Tofu Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Posted by on July 8, 2010 in Blog, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Vegetables & Vegetarian | 17 comments

 

Every so often I get a craving for tofu steak. Do you ever crave tofu steak?!? Well, I had a craving for this a while back and made what I believed to be a “hearty” vegetarian dinner.

I used to order tofu steak quite often at a little hole-in-the-wall izakaya in West Los Angeles (WLA) on Santa Monica Boulevard called Terried Sake House. Have any of you ever tried this place? It’s been a very long time since I’ve dined there but it used to be one of my many Westside haunts. Sadly, I can’t even remember what their tofu steak was like, but I’m happy to have tried a new tofu steak recipe from one of my cookbooks, “What’s Cooking in Japan,” because it perfectly satisfied my tofu steak craving.

Personally, I thought the tofu steak that I made was absolutely delicious. It was bursting with mushroom flavor and quite filling, but perhaps I’m biased because I don’t mind an occasional vegetarian meal since I lived a vegetarian lifestyle for a short period in my life. It was after reading a devastating Newsweek article regarding chicken processing back in college that I decided I would no longer eat meat. I took this to the extreme for about a year, but eventually I found my way back to eating seafood and then beef, which happens to be my favorite meat. Eventually, I ate pork and chicken again too, but not too long afterwards I contracted food poisoning from a poorly refrigerated chicken burrito and to this day, I do not love chicken.

Bebe Dada, on the other hand, requires animal protein for dinner, EVERY night, yet I thought he could go without it for one night. For a few days before I made tofu steak, I heavily marketed this to him with comments such as, “Oooh, I saw the most delicious tofu steak in the cookbook that C gave me and it looks like we won’t even need A-1 because the sauce looks AH-MaaayyZING!” (Seriously, who eats tofu steak with A-1? Anyway…) I also made comments such as, “Wouldn’t it be so healthy if we ate vegetarian one night a week?” Bebe Dada seemed somewhat unenthusiastic although he ate the tofu steak wholeheartedly and even complimented my cooking and the flavor of the mushroom sauce. I was pretty excited about his positivity. I proudly told him that I would add this tofu steak to our dinner repertoire because he liked it so much. Silence. Little did I know….

The next night, I served leftover tofu steak and after we finished our dinner he sweetly told me that tofu just wasn’t the same as meat, and that he needed REAL meat such as chicken, or beef, or pork for dinner. Heh-heh-heh. I think Bebe Dada realized that he needed to speak-up now, otherwise I would make tofu steak regularly!

Tofu Steak

(Serves 4)

for tofu:

  • 2 package medium-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)

for mushroom sauce:

  • 1 pack enoki mushroom
  • 1 pack maitake or shimeji Japanese mushrooms
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dashi powder (either konbu/seaweed dashi or dried bonito dashi)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons water

1) Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 20 – 30 minutes and reserve water.

2) Wrap tofu in a cheesecloth and let rest for 20 minutes on a cutting board propped at an angle to drain off the water. Or, let tofu rest in a strainer, which is what I ended up doing. Slice tofu block in half, horizontally.

3)Cook tofu: heat vegetable oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add tofu and fry on each side until brown or desired crispiness. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with soy sauce.

4) Remove bottom part of the enoki mushrooms. Separate maitake and shimeji mushrooms into smaller pieces with your hands. Remove the stems from the shiitake and slice caps.

5) Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan and briefly cook the mushrooms.  Add the reserved shiitake mushroom water, dried dashi, soy sauce and mirin and bring to a boil.

6) Dissolve potato starch in 2 tablespoons cold water and add to the sauce. As soon as it thickens remove from heat. Corn starch can be substituted for potato starch. I found the sauce to be a little thick, so you might want to play with the water and starch proportions to get the thickness that you would like best.

7) Transfer tofu to individual serving plates and top with the mushroom sauce.

The tofu steak was quite tasty, and despite the fact that Bebe Dada really wasn’t interested in our vegetarian dinner, this meal was healthy and filling and I will definitely serve this again, perhaps with some grilled fish or chicken to satisfy Bebe Dada’s need for animal protein.

Jya-mata ne! (Until next time!)

Judy | bebe mama

Tofu Steak with Mushroom Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • FOR TOFU:
  • 2 package medium-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
  • FOR MUSHROOM SAUCE:
  • 1 pack enoki mushroomS
  • 1 pack maitake or shimeji Japanese mushrooms
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • ½ teaspoon dried
  • dashi
  • powder (either konbu/seaweed dashi or dried bonito dashi)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 20 - 30 minutes and reserve water.
  2. Wrap tofu in a cheesecloth and let rest for 20 minutes on a cutting board propped at an angle to drain off the water. Or, let tofu rest in a strainer, which is what I ended up doing. Slice tofu block in half, horizontally.
  3. Cook tofu: heat vegetable oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add tofu and fry on each side until brown or desired crispiness. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with soy sauce.
  4. Remove bottom part of the enoki mushrooms. Separate maitake and shimeji mushrooms into smaller pieces with your hands. Remove the stems from the shiitake and slice caps.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan and briefly cook the mushrooms. Add the reserved shiitake mushroom water, dried dashi, soy sauce and mirin and bring to a boil.
  6. Dissolve potato starch in 2 tablespoons cold water and add to the sauce. As soon as it thickens remove from heat. (Adjust starch for desired thickness.)
  7. Transfer tofu to individual serving plates and top with the mushroom sauce.
Notes
Recipe compliments of What's Cooking in Japan.

17 Comments

  1. avatar

    Looks pretty yummy to me! I’ll have to try this out one of these days since we’ve gone back to eating dinner at parents. I’m guessing Sun night will be my night to cook again. Oh, joy!! Background is starting to grow on me actually. :)

  2. avatar

    Yay – Sunday night tofu steak… watch OUT! :P

    P.s – Glad you’re liking the new background. I’ll try out another one in a few weeks…

  3. avatar

    That looks good! Yes I remember Terried Sake house and that’s what I ate there, the tofu steak! I’m forwarding this to R so he can make it for me…or dare I try it? lol…

  4. avatar

    Looks yummy!

  5. avatar

    Oh, I LOVE this. I sub tofu for meat pretty often. My husband didn’t like it at first but i think it’s starting to grow on him. I’ve made a few dishes with tofu as the main ingredient and he liked them! I’m sure your husband will come around soon too :)

    • avatar

      I’m not so sure about that. He’s pretty stuck in his way. The phrase, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind – in a good way, of course. :)

  6. avatar

    lol he will get used to it soon Judy! We have tofu often. Thank god, at least my husband gets bored of meat and prefers tofu

    I like your tofu steak especially with the mushroom sauce!

    • avatar

      Thanks, Tanantha. Not so sure he’ll ever come around. He’s pretty stubborn, just like me. ;P

  7. avatar

    This looks fantastic! I love tofu steak! This sounds like the perfect thing for me to make for myself… all I need are some mushrooms and tofu. Yum.

  8. avatar

    Looks so appetizing!

  9. avatar

    Hey, Judy!

    I tried this recipe tonight for our Sunday night dinner with the family and it was a huge success! The sauce was just delish!! I was a lil worried that my brother wouldn’t like it, but he said it was good and asked for seconds!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Keep it coming!!

    Aloha!!

    • avatar

      Aloha, friend! Thank you so much for the comment after trying the recipe! I’m happy your family enjoyed it. If only my husband would ask for seconds instead of a non-vegetarian meal instead! :P Cheers!

  10. avatar

    Sounds like a perfect dinner to me…A-1 on tofu steak, lol:)

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