This is another recipe from Things Cooks Love, and like all the other recipes from the book, this recipe is tied to a specific kitchen tool. For the record, this one is really supposed to be cooked in a wok. Not having one, I used an iron skillet, figuring everything would turn out fine. It didn't. The tofu latched on to the bottom of the skillet, requiring some drastic scraping. I got it sorted out, but the tofu never really browned the way I wanted it to. I'm sure with a nicely seasoned wok I wouldn't have had the same kind of issues. The tofu still sucked up a lot of flavor from the marinade, and was very good, but it wasn't perfect. Maybe next time.
Fortunately the other ingredients made up for the slight imperfection of the tofu. The combination of the oyster mushrooms and spinach is right on. And everything is bathed in a great marinade full of aromatic ginger and garlic. The "three-alarm" warning from the title has less to do with the heat of the marinade (it wasn't that hot) and more with the extreme high heat of the cooking process. Even as a noble failure it was tasty.
- 12 ounces firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
Place the tofu in a clean kitchen towel and press down gently to try and soak up as much water as possible without breaking the tofu. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, cornstarch, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper. Add the tofu, and gently combine. Set aside for 30 minutes. Then remove the tofu and drain. Reserve the marinade.
Set a wok or large iron skillet over high heat. Pour the 2 tablespoons of the oil in and swirl the pan around. Add the tofu. Stir occasionally and cook until the tofu is browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the tofu.
Pour in the rest of the oil, and then add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Stir and cook for about a minute. Add the spinach and the marinade. Cook until the spinach has wilted, and then add the tofu back in. Serve with white rice.