In this dish, firm tofu is used to create tofu "steaks" which are simmered in a rich Japanese style teriyaki sauce. Based on a dish from Wagamamma's restaurants, it makes a very special main dish. I hope you won't be put off if I also mention that it is low calorie, low fat and low in cholesterol. But like many East Asian inspired dishes, these virtues are perfectly compatible with taste.
In this teriyaki tofu recipe, the key for me is that the tofu is cooked in the bubbling marinade for about 15 minutes which really drenches it with flavour. The marinade itself is simple to make but uses a couple of speciality ingredients - specifically mirin and sake. These are easy to find at an Asian supermarket but if this is not an option for you, they are are also available online from Amazon. I should also say that the shiitake mushrooms are not essential. Although they obviously provide a rich, "meaty" element, I find that the teriyaki is still excellent without them.
By the way, this recipe is enough for four and is also vegan.
500g/1 pound of firm tofu
125ml/half a cup of soy sauce
125ml/half a cup of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
125ml/half a cup of sake
1 tablespoon sugar
4 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 tablespoon of sunflower or other flavorless oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
200g (small head) of broccoli, broken into small florets
1 leek, finely sliced
200g/7oz pak choi (about 2 average sized) or Chinese leaves chopped
2 teaspoons of cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 4 tablespoons of cold water
Noodles (about 225g or half a pound should be enough for 4 people)
2 spring onions or scallions, finely sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
First cut the tofu into four rectangular pieces like this.
Next put the soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in a large frying pan or skillet and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the tofu and mushrooms if you are using them. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, turning the tofu over halfway through cooking. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. Reserve the sauce.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic, broccoli and leek and cook for two minutes. Now add the pak choi. Stir fry for another minute or two. Add the reserved sauce to the wok.
Push the vegetables to the back of the wok, add the cornflour mixture to the hot liquid and stir until thickened. You may need to add 3-4 tablespoons of water if the mixture gets too thick. Mix the vegetables into the sauce and remove from the heat.
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain. Serve the vegetables on top of the noodles and top each plate with a tofu steak. Sprinkle with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.