Braised Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu, Thai Basil & Chilies

Shiitake mushrooms, tofu and basil ingredients for recipe on a stone slab.
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
  • 14 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
  • 12 lb firm tofu, cut into 12-inch-thick planks, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pressed*
  • 14 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 12 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