Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 0 mins

This is a delicious recipe is from Greensboro's excellent restaurant "Boba House", where it is one of the most popular items on the menu. It's a vegetarian version of a traditional Szechuan dish with soft tofu sautéed with mushrooms, peas, carrots, and "beef" chunks in a mildly spicy sauce. Both the tofu and the mushrooms need soaking time. If you don't have brown bean sauce, substitute a mild brown miso, mixed with a bit of water to make a softer mixture (halfway between a sauce and a paste).

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 cup dried shiitake mushroom
  • 0.5 (16 ounce) package tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons chili oil (for a less spicy dish, sub. a neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon brown bean sauce
  • 1 12 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 12 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
  • 12 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 14 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 12 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 12 cup vegetarian ground beef or 12 cup vegetarian beef strips, diced
  • 34 cup fresh peas and carrots or 34 cup frozen peas and carrot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 14 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cover the mushrooms with hot water and let stand 1 hour. Drain and cut into 1/8-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Place the tofu in a large sieve. Bring 8 cups (2 L) of water to a boil. Pour into a metal bowl just larger than the sieve and place the sieve inside. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Mix 5 tablespoons. of cold water with the broth, chili oil, bean sauce, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or heavy, large skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the mushroom pieces and “beef” and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir the broth mixture and add to the wok with the peas and carrots. Stir-fry until reaches a boil, about 1 minute. Add the tofu and toss gently to coat. Cook 2 1/2 minutes, tossing gently.
  5. Divide between plates. Garnish with the cilantro and sprinkle with the pepper.