THE CHINESE COOK and your BASIC "VEGIES & TOFU RECIPE"
So easy. First you steam l cup BROWN BASMATI rice in 2 1/2 cups water. While it cooks,and it takes a good 45 min to an hr., make your TOFU AND VEGIE DISH. So easy.
Buy oyster sauce, fresh sesame seeds which you toast on a heavy skillet. Buy sml bag Dried shitake mushrooms, a can of water chestnuts, tofu, broccoli, eggplant. CHOP ALL VEGETABLES first: celery, carrots, onions, green onions, mushrooms, dried or frsh, peeled eggplant, broccoli florettes, and other vegies you fancy. Peas, shelled. Soak that cup of dried, black shitake mushrooms for 1/2 hr beforehand, CHOP them, have those ready.
HEAT THE VEGETABLE OIL in THICK SKILLET OR WOK. DROP IN and STIR FRY the chopped vegies. Add frozen peas, washed once, drained. Add part of a can of water chestnuts. Drained.
ADD TOFU chunks. Saute l minute so tofu gets flavored. Stir around in the flavor without breaking up chunks. Firm, Medium or Silken hardness tofu are all good. Pick your favorite.
Now, last minute, CHOP THE MUSHROOMS a little and add these as you drop in the gravy mixture (2 tbsp. soy sauce, half cup chicken or fish broth, 1tbsp. corn starch, and 3 tbsp oyster sauce, stirred til no lumps along with the water you soaked the mushrooms in.) Stir until gravy thickens. Add more liquid if needed. Turn off fire. slash with spicy, red toasted sesame oil. Chopped raw, fresh garlic. Stir in just a bit to distribute as they are the most flavorful ingredients.
On flat, thick skillet, you already toasted 4 tbsp of sesame seeds until litely browned. Drop on top of food as you serve it for max crunch. Make chinese mustard from powder/water. Serve on side plates.
(For gourmet touch, add chopped, sugared walnut halves to the pot when you add peas. You don't want to cook them too long. Or just toast sesame seeds and sprinkle over all. Use Chinese mustard on side part of it
SERVE ON RICE. Always serve pot of hot jasmine tea on the table, with many little teacups. Makes for better conversation.
BUY TOFU Braised with BLACK MUSHROOMS AT WONG FU CAFE, 6$, Just for that one dish, Then you have to BUY BROCCOLI 6$ and beg them to put other vegies in it. Your RICE at restaurant is maybe 1$ but maybe 2$, or sometimes free. If no ribs/ eggrolls, soup, you may spend Twelve to FOURTEEN DOLLARS at that CAFE. But you go tomorrow to a Korean or CHINESE SUPERMARKET and that same money will buy you whole bag black shitake 'shrooms, bottle soy sauce, oyster sauce, (whole bottle of each) powdered mustard in little can, lb of tofu, a whole big bag of rice though I go to INDIAN stores for brown basmati. You want basmati as it has popcorn aroma when it steams. ANd when you bring that food home, you have two dinners for four people. The rice may last longer, ditto shrooms, soy sauce, oyster sauce and mustard, maybe ten dinners.
END RESULT? WHICH DO YOU PREFER? TAKE OUT? or STAY IN?
With the ribs and eggroll it was 20 BUCKS.
Let's get outta here, Harry! Who needs to
pay to have a heart attack? We can enjoy
the tofu with vegetables and live to know our
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