Shanghai Fusion Rice Bowl with Sesame Eggplant Stir Fry, Spicy Miso Tofu Stew, and Yu Choy Shiitake Sauté on a bed of brown rice.
Spicy Miso Tofu Stew
8 oz firm tofu, cubed
2-3 oz Enoki Mushrooms, roots cut off, pull apart mushrooms into small sections (about 1-4 mushrooms per section)
2 celery stalks, cut into ½ inch pieces
1-2 Szechuan Whole Dried Chilies
½ bell pepper, diced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
½ cup Bamboo Shoots In Chili Oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp miso paste
3-4 tbsp Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
3 ½ cups of water
Cilantro for garnish, chopped
Serves 3-4 when accompanied by other dishes
I am in love with this stew you guys. The day I made this, we were having some snow in upstate New York and this savory and spicy stew took the chill right out of my bones! The flavor combination of the miso and chili crisp is to die for. I especially loved the Enoki mushrooms.
One little note friends, make sure to remove the Szechuan chilies from the stew before eating unless you want to be crying like a baby. But hey, if you’re a spice lunatic who enjoys suffering like one of my housemates, by all means, chow down! No judgment here, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Heat medium sized pot on medium heat and add sesame oil. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add celery and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add tofu, Szechuan chilies, miso paste, Lao Gan Ma chili crisp, and water. Bring pot to boil and stir to dissolve paste and chili crisp. Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add enoki mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and bamboo shoots. Simmer for 2 additional minutes. Take off heat and add scallions. Serve garnished with a generous helping of fresh cilantro.
Sesame Eggplant Stir Fry
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch sections
1 eggplant, sliced and cut into triangles
10 white button mushrooms, quartered
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp vegan stir fry sauce
2 ½ tbsp sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 tsp black sesame seeds
Serves 3-4 as side dish
Ideally I would have used Chinese eggplant for this dish as the Shanghai dish traditionally calls for, but alas none were available to me! In a pinch, the Western eggplant worked just fine. If you do have Chinese eggplant at your disposal, feel free to substitute.
This dish always reminds me of the way my grandfather used to cook for our family when my sister and I were younger and both my parents were working in the city. There’s a running joke in our family about certain Shanghainese dishes typically looking brown and tasting sweet. You can see why that is when you try out this stir fry!
I absolutely adored my grandfather’s eggplant stir fry, so I decided to create a fusion dish inspired by him! I hope you all enjoy it just as much as I do.
Heat large sauté pan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, eggplant, and red pepper flakes. Mix thoroughly to coat eggplant evenly with oil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix in black vinegar and soy sauce, then cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and cook for additional 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add vegan stir fry sauce and sugar. Cook for 1-2 minutes and take off heat. Mix in scallions and sesame seeds.
Serve topped with additional sesame seeds if desired.
Yu Choy Shiitake Sauté
8-10 oz Yu Choy, chopped into 2 inch sections
3.5 oz Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and sugar to taste (I used about ½ tsp Pink Himalayan salt & 1 tsp raw sugar)
Serves 3-4 as side dish
Such a simple dish shouldn’t have so much flavor! The fresh crispness of the Yu Choy combined with the delightful umami flavor of the shiitake mushrooms melted perfectly with the savory garlic.
Heat large sauté pan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add yu choy and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix in shiitake mushrooms and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms become tender and yu choy has changed color, but remains crisp. Take off heat and mix in salt and sugar. Garnish with scallions if desired.
In contrast to the “brown dishes” in Shanghainese cuisine, they also tend to have a lot of lighter, healthier veggie dishes as well! My father tends to whip these up for me in less than 5 minutes whenever I go home to visit. Don’t ask me how he does it – he’s a speedy prepper and I definitely inherited my love for cooking from him.
As for my adoration for fusion foods, I have my mother’s creative cooking adventures to thank for that! I hope you guys enjoy this bowl as much as I did.
Onion – Onions includes high levels of sulfuric compounds, which stimulates the body’s anti-inflammatory processes to promote healing. It also has folate, vitamin C, and fiber and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Garlic – Garlic contains manganese, vitamins B6 and C, and selenium. It has incredible medicinal properties including combating illness, reducing blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol, and promoting longevity of life.
Scallions – Scallions have calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K. Folic acid, a B vitamin found in scallions, helps the body make new cells. They can also help boost the immune system.
Celery – Celery is a good source of vitamin K and contains vitamins A and C, folate, and potassium. It is a good source of dietary fiber and can aid in healthy digestive function.
Bell Pepper – Bell peppers have a high amount of vitamin C, potassium, and carotenoids, and can help improve heart and eye health.
Cilantro – Cilantro, the leafy portion of the coriander plant, contain high amounts of antioxidant flavonoids, essential oils, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, and vitamins, A, C, K, and folate. It may help reduce levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol as well as promote healthy cardiovascular function.
Shiitake Mushrooms – Shiitake mushrooms provide an incredible immunity boost and promote heart health. They are packed with B vitamins, assisting in fighting infection, cancer cells, reduce inflammation, and control blood sugar levels. These powerful mushrooms also contain selenium which can help with acne prevention when taken with vitamins A and C.
White Button Mushrooms – White button mushrooms have high amounts of copper, which aids in heart health and blood cell production. They also contain vitamin C, D, and B, and iron, selenium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. White button mushrooms can help to improve immune system function and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds are packed with copper, magnesium, and calcium and are a good source of fiber and protein.
Tofu – Tofu is a wonderful source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It also provides iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B1, and calcium. There is huge debate today regarding whether tofu is good for you or bad for you. As with any processed soy product, tofu when consumed in excess may be detrimental to health. A human however would have to eat a ridiculous amount of concentrated soy products for it to begin affecting the hormone levels in the body, but as always, pay attention to what your own body is telling you and act accordingly in response!
Eggplant – Eggplants are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 – all of which can contribute to heart health. Anthocyanin found in eggplants can help to reduce blood pressure. Eggplants contain polyphenols that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Yu Choy – There was not much information readily available on Yu Choy, but the internet did note that Asian leafy greens tend to be rich in vitamin C, a whole variety of B vitamins, and beta-carotene. They also are a good source of calcium and iron. The lower levels of oxalic acid in them also contributes to better iron and calcium absorption.
Enoki Mushrooms – Enoki mushrooms are a healthy source of vitamin D, folate, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. They also contain good amounts of sodium, calcium, copper, iron, selenium, potassium, and dietary fiber. The antioxidants in enokis contribute to healthy immune system function.
Happy eating folks! And remember, food is art.
“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates
If you liked this recipe, share with a friend! What are your favorite fusion foods?