Soft Tofu and Vegetable Stew

  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the stock

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
700ml water
13cm x 5cm piece kombu
1 spring onion, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, roughly chopped

For the stew

1 tbsp vegetable
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsp Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru), or to taste
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic. grated
1 small courgette, cut into half moons about 1cm thick
50g baby spinach leaves
100g mixed mushrooms (button, enoki, oyster, shitake), stems trimmed, sliced lengthwise into 1cm thick pieces
85g Korean cabbage leaves
510g soft silken tofu, broken up into large chunks
1 teaspoon salt

For the garnish

2 large eggs
1 tbsp roasted sesame oil
4-5 chives, cut into thirds crosswise
1 spring onion, sliced thinly on a bias
1 red chilli, sliced thinly on a bias

1. For the stock: In a large pot, place the water, mushrooms, seaweed, scallions/spring onions and onions. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Strain the stock, discarding the solids/boiled items, and set aside.

2. For the stew: In a heavy thick-bottomed medium pot, drizzle in the vegetable oil and warm over low heat. Add the onion and the gochugaru.

3. Sauté over medium-low heat, until onions are just soft, taking care not to brown them. Add the ginger and garlic, give it a quick mix, then pour in the reserved stock.

4. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then stir in the courgette/zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, and napa or Korean cabbage.

5. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt then add the tofu carefully as it will break apart easily. Simmer until the tofu is heated through.

6. Crack a couple of eggs in on top and give it a gentle mix to break it apart and cook.

7. Garnish the stew with chopped chives, spring onions, and red chillies. Serve immediately.

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