Dried bean curd with mushrooms and bean sprouts

Dried bean curd sticks were a bit of a novelty sat on the shelf in the local Vietnamese supermarket. Cheap (only £2) and weird looking – they went in the shopping basket. The packet weighs 200 g. Ingredients are soya beans (92%), water, preservative E222. Allergens: soya beans and sulphur dioxide. Don’t let the slightly dog biscuity smell put you off – it disappears after soaking.

Bean curd is another name for tofu: curd made from soya milk.

Dired oyster mushrooms are used in this recipe as the soaking juice is added to the sauce and adds a real depth of earthy flavour. Feel free to use fresh mushrooms and either use hot water or a small amount of hot vegetable stock.

This is a quick, protein packed meal serve with plain rice or spicy rice noodles.

2 sticks of dried bean curd
20 g dried oyster mushrooms
1 tbs vegeatble oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp dried red chillies
1 spring onion
2 tbs salted black beans, chopped
3 tsp tamari (or other gfv soya sauce)
40 g edamame beans (frozen)
40 g bean sprouts
1 small carrot
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds

1. In two separate bowls soak the bean curd and the dried mushrooms in very hot (not quite boiling) water for five mins
2. Heat a wok (or large pan) and add the vegetable oil
3. Skin and chop the garlic and chop the spring onions in to 2 cm length. Chop the black beans
4. When the oil is hot add the chilli flakes, garlic and half the spring onions (do not let the garlic burn it will add an unpleasant background taste to the dish). Stirring constantly
5. Add the black beans and cook for a minute
6. Chop the soaked bean curd in to bite sized chunks and add the bean curd and drained mushrooms (save the soaking juice) to the wok add the tamari and cook for two mins. Then add the frozen edamame beans and mushroom soaking juice and simmer gently for five mins
7. Peel and finely slice the carrot (use a mandolin or the slicer part of a grater to get it wafer thin)
8. Add the carrot, bean sprouts and lime juice. Stir until everything is well incorporated
9. Serve with plain rice or spicy rice noodles and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

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