Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage


  • 5 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 12 cup boiling water
  • 12 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 12 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 14 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 box (20 ounces) soft silken tofu
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 12 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 14 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Combine dried mushrooms and boiling water in small bowl.  Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.  Remove mushrooms, squeeze out excess liquid (reserving all liquid), and slice.  Set aside mushrooms and liquid.  
  2. Combine sausage with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and sugar in small bowl.  
  3. Place steamer insert in large Dutch oven and fill with 1 inch water.  Bring to simmer.  Place tofu on plate and place plate in steamer.  Cover and steam until hot, 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove tofu from steamer, carefully pour off excess liquid, and cover with foil.  
  4. Combine mushroom liquid, 12 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, oyster sauce, and cornstarch in small bowl and mix with fork to blend.  
  5. Heat sausage and mushrooms in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up sausage until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir sauce mixture then pour into skillet and heat, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute.  
  6. Uncover tofu and pour sauce over it.  Top with green onion and cilantro.  Serve with rice if desired.  


This recipe is from Serious Eats and, well, we didn’t love it.  I think it was the texture and amount of tofu.  If I end up making this again, I’ll try a number of tweaks.  First, I’ll use firmer tofu and cut it lengthwise into two thinner pieces.  I’ll sauté that to add some color and texture.  I’d also double everything except for the tofu, so that there’s half as much in relationship to everything else.  This had potential, the flavors were great, the texture of the tofu was just a distraction.