Braised Bean Curd, Cloud Ear and Vegetables

Braised Bean Curd (Photo by mswine/flickr)

Serves 4.


30 g/1 oz dried black fungus
or 100 g fresh fungus
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
or 100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms
250 g/8 oz pressed bean curd
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
250 g/8 oz sliced green beans or asparagus
150 g/5 oz matchstick strips of carrot
1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon sesame oil


Soak dried fungus and dried mushrooms in separate bowls of hot water for 30 minutes. Save soaking water after squeezing excess water from mushrooms. Discard mushroom stems and cut caps into slices. Trim any tough gritty portions off cloud ear fungus and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut bean curd into small dice, drop into a pan of boiling water and simmer for a few minutes until bean curd is heated through. Drain in a colander.

Heat a wok, pour in the oil and fry garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and stir-fry for a few minutes, then add soy sauce, sugar and 1 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add prepared vegetables, cover and simmer a further 5 minutes. Add fungus and cook for a minute or two longer. Stir in cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of cold water. When sauce boils and thickens, add the sesame oil, toss through and serve at once with steamed rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)