Prep 1 hr
Cook 5 mins
An autumn dish from "Good Food From a Japanese Temple". Sometimes the tofu and mushroom mixture is too crumbly to hold together well. If that happens, add some egg or an egg substitute, according to your diet.
- 1 cake regular tofu
- 3 large dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in tepid water, stems cut off, and finely chopped
For flavoring shiitake
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
For deep frying
- vegetable oil
- 1 part fresh ginger juice
- 2 parts soy sauce
- Place tofu in a medium-sized saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer 1 minute. Drain. Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel, place on a cutting board, and weight with about 1 pound (450 g) for 45 minutes.
- Pour 1 teaspoons vegetable oil in a small pan. Add chopped shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry about 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce and sugar and stir-fry until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
- Place pressed tofu in a bowl and mash with your hand, leaving some small lumps. Add flavored shiitake and mix gently by hand.
- Heat oil to 340 F/170 C over medium heat.
- Form tofu-shiitake mixture into 12 small pine cone shapes about 1 1/-2 inches long and weighing about 1 ounce (30 g) each. Dee-fry until golden brown. Drain on rack or absorbent paper. Mix ginger-soy sauce ingredients.
- Serve pine cones hot, along with the dipping sauce. Decorate serving with pine needles.