I have many fond memories of trips to the grocery store as a child. Particularly, when we lived in Strathcona; a girl, a woman, and a granny cart would walk to Sunrise Market to get the best deals on fresh produce, chicken, tofu, noodles and rice. I grew up being accustomed to shopping for a good deal and enjoying food shopping as an experience because there is so much variety, depending on where you go.
I really like where I live in Vancouver now, because there are 6 large grocery stores along with numerous small specialty markets within walking distance of my home. Often while walking home from work, I’ll stop into a grocery store and peruse the aisles for idea and bargains. Today, I wandered into H-Mart, which is a large Korean grocery store.
Not too long after entering the store, my eyes were drawn to a gorgeous display of brown enoki mushrooms, from a farm in Richmond. I have cooked with white enoki mushrooms many times before, and they have a nice crunchy texture that works in stirfrys or in soups quite well. The flavour is quite mild, so I wondered if this slightly heartier looking enoki would be more intense.
Because I had never cooked with these mushrooms before, I decided to keep it simple and make a stir fry to serve on rice. I grabbed some of my ‘ol faithful’ ingredients for a stirfry: extra firm tofu, shiitake mushrooms, celery, ginger, garlic, carrots, green beans…and then, I saw some great looking swiss chard for sale. *yoink*
As someone who has made a lot of stirfrys, I have to admit that I have messed up my fair share. Over-cooked zucchini? Too much soya sauce?
This is how I learned to do a good tofu stirfry, that has texture and freshness and defined flavours. I’ll demonstrate with the veggies I used tonight.
extra firm tofu – sliced or cubed
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves of minced garlic
1.5 tbsp of cooking oil
brown the tofu, ginger and garlic over medium heat, then set aside.
turn heat to medium high. In the pan you had cooked the tofu, add another tsp of cooking oil and saute the veggies in order that they take to cook:
-sliced shiitake mushrooms
-chop the brown enoki mushroom about 3/4 inch from the roots. They will look like little florets of mushrooms broken up in your dish.
add 2 tbsp of mirin or cooking wine to the mushrooms so they’ll have some moisture to absorb, stir fry for 3 mins
-sliced carrots, celery, chard stems; stir fry for 2 mins
-green beans, chard leaves
-add 1 tbsp of Braggs, 1 tbsp Water, 1 tbsp of mushroom stir fry sauce (it’s a vegan version of oyster sauce)
-add the tofu-ginger-garlic mixture back to the stirfry
After a couple more minutes, it’s all done! Serve over rice or noodles!
The brown enoki, for me was still more about the texture than the flavour. I will never complain about great texture, it’s fun! I’d definitely use them again.