Tofu & Mushroom Patties

I wanted to make these for a couple of weeks, but it has been hard to get tofu. We’re ordering groceries on-line for pick-up these days, and certainly not wandering randomly around to see what’s in stock. Apparently tofu is in high demand at the moment. However, we did get some eventually, and even mushrooms at the same time.

These are mild and delicate; the ingredients are Asian but the method makes me think of Russian “cutlets”. Sprinkle them with a little soy sauce and vinegar, or maybe with chile-garlic sauce when you eat them. Rice would be ideal, and perhaps another time I will try making them a little stiffer, with more barley four, and try eating them in a bun like hamburgers.

4 servings – 16 patties
45 minutes prep time

420 grams firm tofu
225 grams (1/2 pound) fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 medium carrot
1/4 cup finely minced green onions OR chives
1/4 cup finely minced fresh cilantro
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large egg
1/4 cup barley flour
mild vegetable oil to fry

Crumble the tofu into a sieve and sprinkle with a little salt; set it aside to drain while the other ingredients are prepared.

Remove and discard the stems from the mushrooms, and dice them finely. Peel and grate the carrot. Wash, trim, and mince the green onions and cilantro. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms in it over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened and reduced in volume. Add the green onions and garlic, mix in well and cook another minute, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the prepared carrot, cilantro, ginger, sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Break in the egg, and add the drained tofu and the barley flour. Mix well.

Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan generously in a large skillet (you can wipe out the one you used for the mushrooms). When the oil is hot, spoon in the mixture to form little patties or pancakes. They should not be too large as they are fairly delicate and will hold together better if they are small; in fact, if they seem too delicate you could add a little more flour. Try not to add too much as their delicate texture what makes them so nice.

Cook for a minute or two on each side until golden brown, then transfer to a serving dish. They can be kept warm in the oven if you like, although they do cook fairly quickly and should not have cooled off appreciably by the time they are all cooked. Add fresh oil as needed to the pan as cooked ones are removed and new ones put in.

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