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Braised Tofu with Mushrooms

1 1/2 lb Firm tofu

Braising Mixture
2 c Chinese Chicken Broth
1 c Mushroom soaking liquid; reserved 2 1/2 tb Oyster sauce
1 1/2 tb Soy sauce
1 tb Rice wine
1 ts Sugar
1 tb Cornstarch
2 tb Water
2 ts Corn oil
1 md Leek; cut in 1" lengths
1 tb Garlic; minced
10 Dried Chinese mushrooms
1/4 lb Shiitake mushrooms

Soak the Chinese black mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve soaking liquid. Discard stems and cut caps in half or in thirds if very large. Reserve.

Remove stems from shiitake mushrooms and cut caps in half. Reserve.

Wrap the tofu in paper towels or a cotton towel and place a heavy weight such as a skillet, on top. Let stand for 30 minutes to press out the excess water, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine the Braising mixture ingredients and set aside. Combine the cornstarch and water and blend well.

Heat a flameproof casserole or a Dutch oven, add the corn oil, and heat until hot. Add the leek, garlic, and softened black mushrooms and stir-fry for about 10 seconds, until fragrant. Add the braising mixture and heat back to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Add the constarch thickener and cook, stirring continuously to prevent lumps, until thickened. Transfer to a serving bowl or serve directly from the pot.

Serves. 6.

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