I love take-out Chinese food. It’s by far my favorite thing to order, I’m always craving it, and I blame half of this love on watching too much SATC and my grandparents. However, I can honestly say, and I know that I will probably get some haters, but Austin doesn’t have good take-out, or Chinese food, or ethnic food for that matter.
I have tried so many restaurants that people rave about, and every single one of them has left me feeling disappointed and unsatisfied with either the quality or the authenticity of the meal. Now, don’t get me wrong, Austin does do one thing perfectly, American food. Standard bar and grill type cuisine are so excellent, and fusion restaurants are superb. If there was a way to combine French and Vietnamese food, only Austin could do it, I’m looking at you Elizabeth Street Cafe.
BUT, I will say, that one restaurant that gave me a small moment of shimmering hope was Koriente. An Asian fusion restaurant that describes themselves as, “pan-Asian fare, including vegan & gluten-free options, in a homey, easygoing eatery with a patio.” True. All of that is true. It’s pan-Asian, which is still odd to me, they have excellent vegan options, and I found an item I became so obsessed with I had to recreate it at home. Only, I ended up making it differently than they do, and now I like my version more.
If you’ve tried this restaurant or nibbled on their shiitake tofu, then you’ll know how good it is, and how different mine is. However, I encourage you to give my recipe a try, leave me a comment below, and improve upon it in any way, as I said, this Californian is in desperate need of yummy, healthy, take-out recipes.
Yields: 2-4 servings
1 extra firm tofu block, dried and shredded
3 large shiitake mushroom heads, sliced longwise
4 large portobello mushroom heads, sliced longwise
3 cloves of garlic, slivered
1/4 cup Tamari or soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp Brown Miso paste
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground fresh chili paste
1 lime, zested & juiced
1/2 head of cabbage, finely chopped
2-4 stems Dino kale, massaged & roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
Pinch of sesame seeds
Start off by drying your tofu block for at least 10 minutes, I usually leave mine for an hour. Press the tofu on a plate with a cotton towel underneath and over to soak up the moisture. I usually will add weight by placing another plate on top and then stack several heavy books in order to get all the water out.
Prepare your marinade by bringing together the garlic, tamari (soy sauce), brown rice miso paste, ginger, and chili paste. Mix together and let it sit.
Prepare your cabbage by finely chopping them into slivers. Then take the zest and juice of a lime with a pinch of salt, and drizzle over the cabbage. Let it rest in the fridge.
Prepare the kale by removing the stems, slicing, and massaging the kale with a teaspoon of olive oil. The kale should be tender, and vibrantly green. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let it rest in the fridge.
Heat a large skillet or a wok, on medium high, with sesame oil. Once the oil is hot throw in the shiitake and portobello mushrooms. The mushrooms shouldn’t be too overcrowded, if they are, cook them in batches, this will maintain flavor. Be careful not to start stirring or flipping your mushrooms until they have browned on one side, approximately 2 minutes. Then flip the mushrooms over and saute on the other side. Mushrooms need room, and to not be covered or touched. This allows the water inside the mushrooms to evaporate and keeps them from looking soggy.
Once the mushrooms are thoroughly cooked, take your grated tofu and throw it in the pan. Allow it to brown on one side for about 2 minutes and then stir them about to cook the other side.
Once cooked, throw in your marinade and allow the mushrooms and tofu to cook for about 5 minutes. Toss in sesame seeds for added flavor.
Heat a small pan with olive oil and toss in the slivered garlic. Saute them until they become brown and crisp, almost chip consistency. Then toss them over your meal for added crunch and flavor.
This meal can also be made with a rice version of your choosing, we simply had ours with brown rice.