When I’m stuffed up with cold (as I currently am), there is nothing I want more than a spicy and fragrant Thai broth. I love mushrooms and it’s great that you can now buy fresh shiitake mushrooms in many shops. Shiitake mushrooms are now being produced in the UK and can be bought online via Maesyffin Mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms are a little more expensive than closed cup, chestnut and flat field mushrooms. If you can’t get your hands on shiitake mushrooms, just substitute them with cheaper, more commonly available types.
1 banana shallot (or similar)
2 red chillies
1 large piece of ginger
4 cloves of garlic
1 stick of lemon grass
2 Kaffir lime leaves
1 pack of tofu
Thin rice noodles (about 100g)
250g shiitake mushrooms (or similar). Keep small mushrooms whole and cut larger ones in half.
Firstly, wrap the tofu in kitchen towel and place a weight on top and set aside so the tofu has a chance for the liquid to drain out.
Finely slice the shallot and fry in oil in a deep sided pan. After about five minutes, add the garlic and fry for a further few minutes before adding finely sliced ginger and chillies. Pour in about two pints of water and add the limes leaves, a bashed lemon grass stalk (so the juices release when cooking) and a big glug of soy sauce. Put onto a back hob and leave this to similar while you prepare the tofu.
Cut the tofu into squares and put into a frying pan with oil. Keep turning the tofu so it goes brown on all sides. This should take at least 10 minutes on a medium heat. You need to be patient with tofu – it won’t go brown if there if the tofu still has lots of water in it. The tofu should shrink as the water is released. Once it is looking nice and brown, splash some soy sauce in the pan and the tofu should now absorb the soy flavours.
Keep the frying pan on a medium heat and push the tofu onto one side so it stays warm. Add the shiitake mushrooms to the pan and fry for about five minutes.
While the shiitake mushrooms are frying, add the thin rice noodles to the broth and the juice of one lime. Have a taste to check the seasoning. Add some more soy sauce if needed.
Once the noodles are cooked through, lift into serving bowls using tongs or a similar implement. Then spoon in the broth using a ladle. Add the mushrooms and tofu onto of the broth and enjoy piping hot!
Tofu comes in many different shapes and sizes. This recipe is based on Cauldron’s original tofu block as this can be bought in most supermarkets across the country. Other unseasoned tofu would be fine to use in this recipe so long as it is firm.