I love tofu. A lot. So much so I’d be happy eat it every day of the week. But I don’t, because it is very expensive in London (probably because I know how much tofu costs in Asia that I am reluctant to spend £2 on a block of tofu). 😦
Doufu geng is a delicious and nutritious Chinese delicacy in the form of a thick soup or stew with tofu. Many fancy Chinese restaurants zhoosh it up with expensive non-veggie ingredients like prawns and Jinhua ham, but the humble doufu geng is extremely versatile, pantry friendly, and easily made vegetarian. It is also surprisingly easy to make (well, my recipe anyway).
Ingredients (serves 1):
I chose to use several types of mushrooms because I love mushrooms. You don’t need to use all, though it would enhance your stock greatly if you have dried mushrooms. 🙂
- half a block of tofu, roughly mashed (soft or silken tofu works well)
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced (or substitute with dried porcini)
- 2 white mushrooms, sliced
- 20g of shimeji mushrooms
- 30g of frozen mixed vegetables
- 3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup of vegetable stock
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- a small knob of ginger, sliced
- a handful of spring onions / scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp of Shaoxing rice wine (substitute with mirin or sherry, or omit altogether if you haven’t got it, though it does add a delicate richness to the soup)
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbsp of water
- a generous dash of ground white pepper
- a light drizzle of sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp of cooking oil (I used canola / rapeseed oil)
1. Reconstitute dried shiitake in 1 cup of water several hours before cooking. Save the water as we will be needing it for the soup.
2. Heat cooking oil in a medium saucepan. When oil is heated, add garlic and sauté until aromatic but do not brown.
3. Pour in shiitake water and vegetable stock. Add in ginger and rice wine and bring to a boil.
4. Add mushrooms, tofu, and vegetables and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
5. Pour in cornstarch mix and stir well. Season with white pepper and soy sauce. taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
6. Turn the heat up. Slowly drizzle the beaten egg into the soup whilst stirring very quickly in one direction. The egg will form delicate white ribbons upon contact with the boiling liquid. Turn off heat immediately after to prevent overcooking.
7. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle some spring onion/scallion slices and drizzle some sesame oil. Serve with rice. 🙂