This is one of those savory Filipino favorites usually consisted of organ meats. The good news is it can be veganized the healthy way using tofu & shitake mushrooms combined ! What’s great with using shitake mushroom, aside from containing some B vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t only absorb flavor but it also gives chewy meaty consistency & natural umami flavor to this dish ! No need to deprive ourselves with tasty dish like this one !
▪︎ 1 lb firm tofu
▪︎ 8 whole pcs shitake mushroom (used fresh here but you can used dehydrated ones, as long as you rehydrate it well before cooking)
▪︎ few stems of lemongrass
▪︎ few pandan leaves
▪︎ 1/2 cup annatto seeds, soaked in 1 cup of hot water
▪︎ 1 small carrot minced
▪︎ 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
▪︎ apple cider 1 tbsp or to taste
▪︎ 2 tsps red sili (chili) seeded & minced, optional
▪︎ 2 tablespoons ginger minced
▪︎ 1 medium onion chopped
▪︎ 6 cloves garlic minced
▪︎ 3 to 4 pieces dried bay leaves
▪︎ few tbsp cooking oil (or alternate with minimal water for oil free cooking)
▪︎ Himalayan salt & pepper to taste
▪︎ Slice tofu about 1/2 inch thick then either surface fry both sides or air fry, for oil free cooking, until slightly firm on the outside.
▪︎ Together with shitake mushroom, simmer tofu slices, for about 10-15 mins in water with added lemon grass & pandan leaves.
▪︎ Drain both shitake mushrooms and tofu, then mince. Make sure to set aside some of the broth to be used later for flavor.
▪︎ Sauté ginger, garlic, and onion in medium heat with cooking oil nor minimal water for oil free cooking.
▪︎ Add the minced carrots & green bell pepper then cook for about 3 to 5 mins or until almost cooked, while stirring once in a while.
▪︎ Pour in annatto water with the seeds strained and stir.
▪︎ Add minced tofu & shitake mushroom & let them simmer together for about 5 mins. Add the set aside broth.
▪︎ Add the dried bay leaves & simmer until some of the liquid evaporates while adding apple cider vinegar to taste.
▪︎ Season with salt & ground black pepper then stir. Great with steamed rice ! Serves about 5 to 6 people.