Tofu with MIso Mushroom Sauce

Often served in proportions similar to the main dish, once concocted, this side has remained a “go to” side for us; almost a food group in its own right.  It is much, much more some cubed up tofu smothered with a sauce.  I think what makes this dish remarkable is the complex interlacing of the flavors and textures, the creamy freshness of the tofu, the astringent bite and heat of the chili oil, the saltiness and bitter edge of miso and walnuts, and the earthiness of the mushrooms.  Hit this with some crunchy scallions and some peanuts to complete the effect.  There is a lot going on here and, as a result, this conspiracy of goodness ends up being entirely satisfying and extremely filling.  Hats off to Mrs. Fuji, author of The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan, as her work formed the base idea for the mushroom sauce used here…. 

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