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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 44 - Salt Pepper Tofu with Mushroom Soy and Ginger

Salt and Pepper Tofu with Mushroom, Soy and Ginger 

By Kylie Kwong

Serves 4

2 x 300g pkts firm silken tofu, drained
1 tbs Sichuan pepper
2 tbs sea salt
60ml (1/4 cup) peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2cm piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
150g shimeji mushrooms, trimmed, separated
100g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
150g oyster mushrooms, halved
80ml (1/3 cup) Shaoxing wine
1 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs tamari soy sauce
2 tbs organic brown rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
100g black cloud ear fungus
100g enoki mushrooms, trimmed, separated 
vegetable oil, to deep-fry
coriander leaves and lemon wedges to serve

1. Using paper towel, gently pat tofu dry. Place on a chopping board and gently cut each block of tofu into 9 cubes, by cutting lengthwise and widthwise in thirds.

2. Stir Sichuan pepper and salt in a small frying pan over high heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Using a pestle and mortar, grind salt and pepper mixture to a coarse powder, then set aside. 
3. Heat peanut oil in a large wok over high heat and stir-fry garlic, ginger and 1 tsp sea salt for 10 seconds or until fragrant and garlic is light golden. Add shimeji, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, Shaohsing, sugar, soy, vinegar and sesame oil, and stir-fry for 1 minute or until mushrooms are softened. Add black cloud ear fungus and enoki mushrooms, and stir-fry for a further minute or until mushrooms are tender, then season with salt and pepper. 
4. Fill a wok or large saucepan until one-third full with vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until 150C or until the surface of the oil shimmers slightly. Place flour in a large bowl. Working with one piece of tofu at a time, lightly dust pieces with flour, then carefully lower tofu in 4 batches into the hot oil*. Fry for 4 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

5. Divide mushrooms mixture among shallow bowls, scatter with coriander leaves, then top with fried tofu and sprinkle with Sichuan pepper mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.

*It is important not to coat the tofu in flour until just before frying, or it will become sticky.