This unforgettable Chinese stir-fry is a feast of tastes and textures. Crunchy exotic mushrooms, meaty bean curd skin, snappy lotus root and rich in umami a garlic black bean sauce. Serve it with aromatic jasmine rice.
It was happy to get the last Cuisine magazine issue dedicated to Asian food. After four years of living and travelling in Asia, I can’t imagine my life without Asian food. Asian cuisine includes several major regional cuisines. Every Asian country has very different styles of cooking, unique flavour combinations, special ingredients and iconic dishes. But all of them have influences of China, Chinese cuisine could be considered as the mother of all Asian food.
I decided to share my fave Chinese stir-fry recipe. Having tried this roast once in a Chinese restaurant, I could not forget it. After some research, I managed to find the right ingredients to recreate the dish and enjoy it at home. This dish is all about textures. In Chinese cuisine, a far wider range of textures than in Western. Do you remember that nice and crispy skin of Pecking duck, I’m dying for? Or a pillowy soft steamed bun. Or gelatinous shark fin soup. Or silky smooth century egg placed on top of aromatic congee.
Below you can find some ingredients which can add amazing textures and flavours to your stir-fry.
Wood ear mushrooms are wild, edible ear shape jelly fungus well known for their chewy texture rather than their mild taste and is a popular textural element in many Asian dishes. You can find this kind of mushrooms in the New Zealand forest. I got dried mushrooms from the Asian grocery store. How to prepare dried mushrooms: soak the wood ear mushrooms in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and slice into small sections.
Snow fungus is commonly known as tremella, snow ear, silver ear fungus, and white jelly mushroom. This fungus is commercially cultivated and is one of the most popular fungi in the cuisine of China and has also been a staple ingredient in Asian medicine and skincare for thousands of years.
Snow Mushrooms have a unique texture which is chewy and gelatinous. They are used to thicken dishes and act as a thickener. How to prepare dried mushrooms: soak the snow fungus in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and slice into small sections.
Bean curd skin, also known as yuba, tofu sheets, or tofu skins, bean curd sheets are a byproduct of the tofu making process. They’re used in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and other Asian cuisines. When you heat soy milk, a thin film forms on top. That film is removed and hung up or laid out on mats to dry (I use bean curd skin in the form of sticks). The result is a brittle dried bean curd “sheet,” about the size of a standard piece of paper. Smooth and a little sweet with a mild soybean flavour, fresh bean curd skin is a delicacy. It has a little bit denser than tofu texture and could be great replacer for meat. To cook with this bean curd product, you soak it to soften it (I would recommend to soak it overnight).
Lotus roots (or
Lotus root has a delicate, sweet taste. Depending on how long it’s cooked, the texture of the lotus root varies from very crunchy to very starchy and a little sticky. You can find sliced and frozen lotus root in the section of frozen foods in Japanese and Chinese supermarkets.
Widely used in Chinese cooking (particularly Sichuan cuisine), black bean sauce (also known as douchi) is made from fermented, salt-preserved soya beans. It is a cooking sauce rather than a table sauce or
The pleasures of texture. Oriental stir-fry with exotic mushrooms, bean curd skin and lotus. Vegan recipe.Course: MainCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy
This unforgettable Chinese stir-fry is a feast of tastes and textures. Crunchy exotic mushrooms, meaty bean curd skin, snappy lotus root and rich of umami a garlic black bean sauce. Serve it with aromatic jasmine rice.
bunch of broccolini, washed and pat dried
1/2 cup dried wood ear mushrooms
1/2 dried snow fungus
5 dried bean curd skins
handful of lotus root slices, defrosted if you use frozen
1-2 tablespoon garlic black bean sauce
1/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
cooking oil (I would recommend peanut oil)
toasted sesame seeds
- Soak the wood ear mushrooms, snow mushroom and bean curd skins in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes (I would recommend soaking bean curd skin overnight, if possible). Drain, pat dry and slice into small sections.
- In a small bowl mix water, soy sauce and corn starch until the starch is dissolved. Add a black bean sauce, mix and set aside.
- Preheat the wok on high heat, add a tablespoon of cooking oil suitable for high heating (I use peanut oil). Add mushrooms and bean curd skin, cook a few minutes mixing intensively to prevent burning. Add lotus root and broccolini. Cook for another two minutes. Pour in the sauce, and mix well. Cook until vegetables are nice and tender, and sauce is thick and glossy. Do a taste test to see if enough salt, add more black bean sauce or water if needed.
- Serve warm with steamed jasmine rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.