My mom has been reading my blog from the beginning. My dad, not so much. Last summer, he saw the picture of Silken Tofu Topped with Enoki Mushrooms and told me it looked awful. Maybe he said it looked gross. I can’t remember. To me, the picture reminded me how great the dish was. I saw the taste that I remembered, that I enjoyed, so I didn’t think it looked “gross”. Granted, enoki mushrooms are odd-looking things to the uninitiated. My mom still raves about one of my first photos of enoki mushrooms, and how alien-like they look. Attack of the mushrooms!!
Personally, I love enoki mushrooms and they are definitely one of my favourite mushrooms. They have a delicate flavour so the rest of the dish is what matters most. It is a shame they haven’t hit mainstream grocers just yet. I usually pick them up at T&T when they go on sale, but yes, my new favourite grocery store, Sunny Supermarket, also sells them. On sale to boot- 2 packages for $2!
I wanted to try something that highlighted the mushroom, instead of adding them to a stew. I spotted a great recipe in Kansha, the new vegetarian cookbook by Andoh, who also provided the original recipe for Silken Tofu Topped with Enoki Mushrooms in Washoku. The original recipe was a vegetable side but I decided to beef it up by doubling the vegetable portion and serving it overtop chunks of silken tofu as a main dish.
The prep was quite labour intensive if you follow Andoh’s suggestion of making thin matchsticks of carrots and ginger. I did it all by hand since I don’t have a spiralizer (yet). It made for a nice texture that complemented the enoki mushrooms really well, but since everything was stir-fried, I feel that simply shredding the carrots would be equally as good and way easier to do. But the taste, the taste was great. Andoh’s recipes are more subtle, not in your face, which is what I love. It was simple, tasty and completely Japanese. The zip from the ginger was great with the silky background of the delicate enoki mushrooms and silken tofu.
This is my submission to E.A.T. World for Japan.
Gingery Enoki Mushrooms with Carrots
1lb silken tofu, drained and pressed
2 small carrots, peeled (170g)
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled (30g)
2 large packages of enoki mushrooms (400g total)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp agave nectar, maple syrup or sugar
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1. Drain and press the tofu as you prepare the remainder of your ingredients.
2. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, cut the carrot into thin strips. Next, cut them into 1-inch pieces, and then thinly slice again vertically, so you end up with thin matchsticks.
3. Do the same with the ginger (make thin matchsticks).
4. Remove the base of the enoki mushrooms, then cut the remainder in half. Keep the bottom stalks separate from the top half with the caps.
5. Have all your vegetables ready to go next to at the stove as the cooking will be fast. Put your silken tofu in a microwave -safe dish and mid-way during your cooking, heat on high for 2 minutes, or until heated through.
6. In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over high heat. Once aromatic, add carrots and ginger. Stir frequently for 30 seconds, then add in the enoki mushroom stems, stirring for a minute more.
7. Sprinkle the agave (or sugar) over the vegetables and toss vigorously. Add the sake and enoki caps and quickly saute for 30 seconds. Drizzle with soy sauce. Remove from heat.
8. Once tofu is heated through, cut into chunks and add vegetables overtop. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.