Prep Time: 10 Mins
This is a vegan version of Taiwan 滷肉飯 (lu rou fan) or braised pork on rice, using braised tofu and mushroom instead. If you prefer to use something with a dense texture, you can always use seitan, Meat Magic, or extra firm tofu. For me, I use semi-firm tofu for almost everything. I just love the texture.
Have you ever been so lazy that you didn’t feel like chewing things? Sometimes I feel like that, and when I do, I dice everything super small so I can basically just inhale my food instead of masticating properly. I am probably not a good role model but hey, the food tastes great! So that’s how this dish is going to go. It’s basically a braised vegan mince on rice. You can cut your bits bigger instead, totally up to you.
The magic of this dish is in the spices. You may not have everything, but absolutely essential is the cinnamon and star anise. If you are cooking for children, you can omit the Sichuan peppercorns and chilli. Make sure you save the water from soaking the mushrooms for the stock, it adds so much flavour!
And continuing the theme on laziness, this braised tofu and mushroom rice is great because it just sits on the stove until it’s cooked. If you like it saucier, add more water, flavouring, and corn starch to have a sticky saucy mess. Enjoy!
Presoak the mushrooms, saving the mushroom water for later.
Fry the diced red onion in 2 tbsp of oil over medium-low heat until golden.
While the red onion is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Gather all the spices. If you have a spice pouch, use it! If not, you can just scatter them in the pot later, but it's a pain in the ass when you accidentally bite into some when eating.
Remove the fried shallots from the pan, leaving the oil. Finely dice the garlic, mushroom and tofu. Slice the ginger.
Add the ginger slices to the pan, and fry until bubbling and golden. If there is not enough oil in your pan you can add another 1 tbsp.
Add the garlic and mushrooms and stir to mix well until the raw garlic smell is gone.
Add the spice pouch, the Chinese cooking wine, dark soy, soy sauce, vegan oyster sauce, sugar, and vegetable stock granules. Add 2 cups of the mushroom soaking water. If you don't have enough just use normal water. Bring to boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the fried red onions. Mix well and simmer another 5 minutes. Add a bit more water, if required.
Remove the spice pouch and ginger slices. And add salt, sugar, pepper to taste.
Prepare cornstarch slurry and pour slowly into the watery part of the tofu, thickening up the sauce.
Serve hot with plain rice and a few stalks of green vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds.