Tofu was introduced to Japan from China in the 8th century. It became a mainstay of Japanese diets especially when Buddhism became the national religion and advocated vegetarianism. Lightly flavored with sweetened soy sauce, this dish reminds me of scrambled eggs with vegetables only tofu has less cholesterol and more protein. It is quick, easy and tasty. If you like, you can change the vegetables in this recipe to suite your tastes. I enjoy all types of mushrooms in this recipe and sometimes make it with only mushrooms. Just be sure that the vegetables are cooked sufficiently before adding the tofu or it will fall apart into tiny mushy pieces the longer you mix it.
This recipe calls for firm, or momendofu, tofu. Firm or extra firm will do. Kinogoshi or silken tofu is too soft to stand against the vegetables or to withstand the necessary stirring. Plus, the high moisture content of the silken variety prevents the tofu from absorbing the seasonings.
Scrambled Tofu-Vegetarian Style
1 block tofu, firm
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large Shiitake mushrooms, dried
˝ cup carrot, grated
˝ cup onion, sliced thinly
1 green onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. mirin
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 tsp. sugar
Soak dried Shiitake mushrooms in warm water for an hour. Squeeze out water and slice thinly. Bring a small pot of water to a light boil. Break up the tofu into a few large pieces and boil for about three minutes. Line a colander with a tea towel or cheese cloth. Place boiled tofu in the lined colander to drain, breaking up the tofu into smaller pieces.
Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, carrot and mushrooms and sautEuntil soft. Add tofu and mix together gently. In a small bowl, blend together soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Add this to the tofu mixture and stir until liquid is absorbed. Top with sliced green onion before serving with hot steamed white or brown rice.
Scrambled Tofu with Chicken or Shrimp
For a non-vegetarian version, saute small slices of chicken or bay shrimp along with the sliced vegetables. Other vegetable choices might include gobo (burdock), bamboo shoots or sprouts.