The Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 340 g (or ¾ lb) of broccoli
- 340 g (or ¾ lb) of cauliflower
- 8 to 10 cloves (about 35 g) of garlic
- 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of fermented tofu
- 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of liquid from the fermented tofu bottle
- 45 ml (or 3 tablespoons) of cooking sherry
- 55 g (or 2 oz) of fragrant mushrooms
- cooking grade olive oil
- slices of yellow, orange, and red bell peppers as as an optional garniture
- Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size florets, discarding tough stems, and rinse them under hot water in a colander or large sieve.
- Peel the garlic cloves and force them through a garlic press.
- Dice the mushrooms finely.
- In a small bowl, mix together the sherry and the fermented tofu with its liquid to make an thick liquid with no lumps.
- Pour enough oil into a skillet or wok to coat the bottom, and place medium-high heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking.
- Stir-fry the broccoli and cauliflower for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Turning the heat to medium-low, add the tofu-sherry mixture, stir briefly, then cover the pan and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the raw mushrooms, stir to distribute them evenly, and turn the mixture out into a serving dish.
- For added color, sprinkle fine slivers of bell peppers on top of the dish.
Truthfully, I don't like broccoli all that much. The taste is just plain greenie and the texture, especially of raw or steamed broccoli florets, is pebbly. When I eat it I feel like a pigeon, with rocks accumulating in my upper alimentary tract. Nevertheless, it's a nutritious and readily available vegetable, even sometimes for sale at our local farmers' market in Kaua'i.
I don't know when I started using Chinese style fermented tofu (different from the infamous "stinky" tofu, which I have tasted and abhorred) or when I decided to try it as a flavoring for broccoli. But it turned out to be a perfect seasoning—salty, with the yeasty taste now called umami. The cauliflower gives a contrast in taste, texture, and color, and the mushrooms enhance the umami flavor.