Tofu and Mushroom Adobo
* 1 cup dried shitake mushrooms
* 2 (300-gram) blocks tofu, rinsed and drained
* ¾ cup soy sauce
* ¾ cup cane vinegar
* 20 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
* 1 tsp ground black pepper
* vegetable oil
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 tsp black peppercorns
1) Place mushrooms in a bowl and pour in hot water. Place a smaller bowl or plate on top to keep the mushrooms submerged. Soak for 30 to 45 minutes or until completely rehydrated. Reserve the soaking liquid for the marinade. Squeeze mushrooms and slice into quarters. Set aside.
2) Slice each block of tofu into thin slabs then sandwich tofu between several paper towels and press gently to remove excess water.
3) Mix soy sauce, vinegar, half of the garlic, pepper and ¾ cup reserved soaking liquid in a large bowl. Add mushrooms and tofu carefully; press down to keep submerged (make sure tofu doesn’t break). Marinate for at least 1 hour.
4) After 1 hour, carefully remove tofu from marinade and place between paper towels to drain excess liquid. Slice tofu into ½-inch thick rectangular pieces then halve into squares.
5) Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook remaining garlic until golden brown. Set aside.
6) On the same pan, fry tofu until dark brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to a platter. Set aside.
7) Increase heat to high. Add mushrooms, adobo marinade, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook until simmering. Taste then adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.
8) Pour mushrooms and sauce over fried tofu. Top with fried garlic.