A couple of weekends ago Steven and I spent the afternoon in the quaint northern California coastal city of Half Moon Bay, located just 30 minutes south of SF. It is fun to leave the city for a bit sometimes, just to decompress. The trip alone, down California highway 1, is already a magical experience for the eyes, ears and nose. I am enchanted with the rugged coastline, secluded beaches, beautiful cliffs, marine life, the sculptural Monterrey Cypress trees scattered here and there, and the scented air perfumed by the occasional waft of sea sprays, sea weed and the wild sagebrush that the coastal wind knows how to mix so well. If you have not yet done this quintessential trip you are truly missing out.
In the town of Half Moon Bay, we did a bit of window shopping, eventually ending up at the Ocean Books used books store. My favorite section is always where you find the cookbooks, which is where I headed. There I discovered The Complete Soy Cookbook by Paulette Mitchell. It is a bold title, though I’m not too sure about ‘the complete’ part. Nevertheless, it does have a bunch of recipes that I intend to try. This mu shu tofu is the first.
This recipe caught my eye because I used to enjoy mu shu pork back in the day. Aside from the fact that I misread the recipe and ended up using a ¼ cup of sherry vinegar instead of a ¼ cup dry sherry, two totally different things, the dish came out pretty good.
I am getting a puckered mouth as I remember this…..
I plan on making it again using dry sherry and perhaps with a bit of sherry vinegar because I actually liked the sour component in there. Of course much, much, much less of it lol
mouth puckering mu shu tofu
2 broccoli stalks and stems
4 flour tortillas
½ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup baby Portobello mushrooms, slivered
1lb tray tofu, cut into finger sized sticks
½ cup water or vegetable stock
¼ cup dry sherry and a splash of sherry vinegar
¼ cup shoyu or tamari
2 tsp corn starch
3 tbsp olive oil
Peel carrots and broccoli stems then pass through a mandolin to make fine sticks. Place broccoli florets in food processor and whiz it for a coarse grade. Mix with carrots and stems. The total amount should be about 6 cups.
Place dry sherry, sherry vinegar, shoyu, water or veggie stock and corn starch to a small bowl. Whisk it to incorporate.
Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Bring temperature to high. Add broccoli/carrot mix to it and sauté for about 5 minutes. It should still have a crunchy texture. Push mix to the side of the pan. Add remaining olive oil followed by the garlic. Let it sizzle for about a minute. Add mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes. Fold it with broccoli mix. Add sherry sauce to the broccoli/carrot mix and cook stirring until it bubbles and thickens. Add tofu and scallion, remove from heat, keep warm.
Meanwhile bring a skillet to high heat, place one tortilla in the pan and warm it up for about 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a tray lined with a kitchen towel. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
Assemble at table by spreading some hoisin sauce on tortilla, top with mu shu tofu, then wrap it like a burrito and chow down.