Steamed Bean Curd with Chinese Mushrooms
- SERVINGS: 4
Bean curd is a cooling food, as are all forms of soy. The mushrooms are cool as well, and steaming is considered a cooling process. The scallions, coriander and sesame seeds are warming, yet because they are garnishes, they do not alter the dish's essential yin nature. Honey is cooling; note that its addition makes this dish slightly sweet.
- 5 large dried Chinese black or shiitake mushrooms (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon black soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 pound soft bean curd
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- 10 coriander (cilantro) leaves
- In a heatproof bowl, soak the mushrooms in the boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse the mushrooms. Cut off and discard the stems.
- In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the mushrooms, cover partially and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and cut them into 1/4-inch dice.
- In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds over moderate heat, shaking the pan often, until the white sesame seeds turn a light tan, about 1 minute. Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the black soy sauce and honey. In another bowl, mash the bean curd with a fork. Add the cornstarch mixture and diced mushrooms and mix well.
- Transfer the bean curd to a 4-cup soufflé dish or other deep baking dish and smooth the top. Set the dish in a steamer and cover with a plate. Steam the bean curd until it has set, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the bean curd with the sesame seeds, scallions and coriander leaves and serve hot.