Braised Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu, Thai Basil & Chilies

Prep Time: 
3 hours prep time
Number of Servings: 
serves 4
Recipe Source: 

The Chef and the Slow Cooker by Hugh Acheson ($29.99, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free red miso paste
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 shallots, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lbs fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps left whole
  • 3 Thai (bird’s-eye) chilies, seeded and sliced into thin rings
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch-thick planks, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pressed*
  • 1/4 cup freshly torn Thai basil leaves

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Directions

  1. Preheat a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker on the High setting for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Pour 4 cups of water into slow cooker. Add miso, vinegar, shallots, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, whisking well to fully dissolve miso. Add mushrooms and Thai chilies, cover with lid, and cook on High for 1 hour.
  3. Add bell peppers and tofu to mushroom mixture, re-cover cooker, and cook for 1 hour more, still on High setting. To finish, add basil, mix well, season with salt to taste, and serve in a deep platter or a bowl.

Notes

  • In this dish, mushrooms braise into delectable morsels with near-meat consistency. This is a simple recipe, yet it yields stunning results and makes a nice dinner when served with rice.
  • *Tofu has a lot of water in it, so it’s often pressed to expel some, leaving you with a denser, chewier, more flavorful bite. To press the water out of tofu, place a big colander in the sink and then find a plate that nestles in it tightly. Cut the tofu into large 1-inch-thick rectangles, arrange them in a single layer in the colander, and place the plate over them. Weight the plate down with a brick or cans of beans. An hour later, you’ll have pressed tofu. (You can also press the tofu between two heavy plates in the fridge overnight.)
Nutrition Info: 

206 Calories, 13 g Protein, 34 g Carbohydrates, 10 g Fiber, 4 g Total fat (1 g sat), 646 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), B6, C, Phosphorus, ★★★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Potassium, ★★ Vitamin K, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Calcium, Iron