Friday, February 11, 2005

Porcini tofu teriyaki

Yes, it's time for another stab at fusion cooking here at SevenSoy Central. Be very afraid.

I was faced with the necessity of using up the remains of Wednesday night's teriyaki sauce, as well as using a cake of firm tofu before its expiration date in a few days. I was able to scrape out a surprising amount of chicken-infused teriyaki sauce from the skillet; it was promptly bottled and stuck in the fridge. I've found that Newman's Own salsa jars are excellent storage units for the oddments of sauces and whatnot that accumulate around my kitchen.

Tofu and teriyaki were a good Japanese combination; I thought shiitake mushrooms might be a good authentic addition, but I wasn't sure whether the strongly-flavored shiitakes and the teriyaki sauce would work together. Finally, I decided to brave the unknown and use porcini mushrooms instead. I suppose I'll burn out on them at some point but right now they're in the top ten of cooking ingredients here.

I marinated the tofu in the teriyaki sauce. Meanwhile, I hydrated the porcinis and then sauteed them in their own soaking water. Finally, I added the tofu and marinade to the pan and cooked everything until I thought it was probably done.

It was a thoroughly edible meal, but I found myself disappointed. Teriyaki and porcinis, on their own, are wonderful tastes. Brought together, each lost its particular character (teriyaki's sweet strength, the porcinis' smokiness) as it blended into an undistinguished whole. If I tried this again (and I probably will, because now it's a challenge), I would either add a carefully-crafted combination of seasonings, or vegetables to provide a variety of consistencies to the bite.

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