1 brick of extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave syrup or sugar
oil for frying
1 teaspoon minced dried onion or 1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 a fennel or leek bulb, sliced (optional, use whatever green vegetable you have)
Drain and slice the tofu and stack it in a bowl or container, preferably one with a good sealing lid. Make marinade by soaking mushrooms in 1/4 cup of water. Once mushrooms are reconstituted, about 5 minutes, add soy sauce, agave or sugar, and onion. Stir the marinade and pour it over the tofu. Marinate the tofu for about 10 minutes, then rearrange the slices or take a spoon and baste them with marinade. If your container has a sealing lid, then seal the container and turn it upside down briefly to baste the tofu.
Heat a (preferably cast iron) fry pan to very hot so that oil swirls and dances. Lay the marinated tofu slabs in the oil, reserving the marinade for later. They will immediately sizzle. Allow them to char slightly, about 1 minute, then flip them so they brown on the other side.
Take the pan off the burner. Add the vegetables and pour the marinade over everything, heating through. The vegetables will go through a brief sauté, you don’t need to cook them for more than a minute. You want them fresh and crunchy.
Serve tofu steaks and vegetables over brown rice.