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Braised tofu with mushrooms

The secret to putting together an excellent Lunar New Year meal is to balance the dishes you prepare: here is your ‘something braised.'

To make this a vegetarian dish, you can replace oyster sauce with vegetarian oyster sauce. Before starting the preparation for this recipe, you will need to rehydrate the Chinese mushrooms in 400ml warm water for 30 minutes and then drain, reserving the soaking liquid.


900g firm tofu
3 spring onions
6 dried Chinese (shiitake) mushrooms, soaked in water
3tbsp oyster sauce
2½tbsp light soy sauce
1½tbsp dark soy sauce
½tsp sugar
1½tbsp corn starch or potato starch
6tbsp vegetable oil
25g ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1½tbsp Shaoxing wine
1tsp sesame oil
Fresh coriander, to serve
  1. Method

    Step 1

    Cut the tofu into 2cm-thick, triangular pieces. Lay flat and pat dry with kitchen paper.

    Step 2

    Cut the spring onions at an angle into 4cm-long pieces and then separate the green and white parts.

    Step 3

    Remove the stalks of the rehydrated mushrooms using a pair of scissors and rinse away any grit that may be caught in the gills. Slice each mushroom in half or, if large, into three.

    Step 4

    In a medium-sized bowl, mix the oyster sauce, light and dark soy sauces and sugar with a pinch of salt and 400ml reserved soaking liquid from the mushrooms (strained to remove grit). Set aside.

    Step 5

    In a small bowl, mix the corn starch with 2tbsp water to make a slurry (runnier than a paste).

    Step 6

    Heat a wok or shallow frying pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetable oil.

    Step 7

    Gently slide the tofu into the hot oil and shallow fry on both sides till crisp and golden. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper.

    Step 8

    Pour away the excess oil until you are left with about 2tbsp in the pan. Add the ginger to the hot pan and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Stir in the finely minced garlic, the white part of the spring onions and the mushrooms.

    Step 9

    Raise the heat and stir fry briskly for about 30 seconds, then add the wine. Stir fry for another 30 seconds, then add the sauce mix.

    Step 10

    Combine thoroughly and bring to a boil. Once bubbling, add the corn-starch slurry and stir until it starts to thicken.

    Step 11

    Return the fried tofu to the pan, together with the green parts of the spring onions.

    Step 12

    Carefully fold the mixture until the tofu is well coated, taking care not to break up the pieces. Let your braised tofu cook for another 15-20 seconds. If the sauce is not sufficiently thick, add a little more corn-starch slurry.

    Step 13

    Finish by adding the sesame oil. Give the dish one final stir through. Plate, garnish with some fresh coriander and serve.

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