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Braised Chinese Mushrooms and Bean Curd

From Charmaine Solomon, Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking

Serves: 4


  • 8 dried Chinese (black) mushrooms
  • 8 oz. fried bean curd, or pressed bean curd
  • 2 tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 3/4 c. stock
  • 1 tbs. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil


  1. Soak mushrooms in water for 30 minutes. Drain, cut off and discard stems. Slice mushroom caps into 2 or 4 pieces.
  2. If using pressed bean curd, cut into squares about 1/2-inch thick, then cut diagonally. Deep fry bean curd until golden brown.
  3. Heat pan until hot. Add peanut oil; when hot add scallions and mushrooms, and stir-fry on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add bean curd slices, bring to boil, cover, and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  4. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbs. cold water, and stir into sauce until it thickens. Add sesame oil, toss lightly, and serve.


  • The bean curd (tofu) explanation in the recipe isn't very clear. What you want here are small triangles of deep fried tofu: these are light and crisp. I tried to save some time and buy fried bean curd, which came in pieces about 1.5 x 1.5 x 2.5-inches. However, when I cut these pieces, I found the inside texture more closely resembled pressed bean curd (which is dense and slightly rubbery) -- not the texture that I wanted, so I deep fried these pieces. I have deep fried tofu in the past: take a chunk of extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, and deep fry until it turns golden brown.
  • I screwed up and didn't have any oyster sauce, so I substituted about 1/2 tsp. of ground bean sauce. It added an interesting taste, but oyster sauce (which pairs particularly well with mushrooms) would've been better.

Keywords: Chinese, Vegetables, Mushrooms, Tofu.