8.2 Editor's Pick
August 8, 2021

Harissa Tofu & Shiitake—with Color & Flavor Explosion. {Recipe}


Okay, I admit it. I said in an earlier recipe I would not buy this again.

I didn’t fib. I did not forget. It was on sale. I know, such a lame excuse. But picture me as a limited income person of a certain age, who should be out knocking on doors for work. Should be. But, I am able to feed my cats and give them a loving home.

I am able to still eat vegan and organic. And remember, studying and writing are important. Especially when you do not know how much longer you have to do those things that bring you joy.

There’s a lesson in that, however, I digress. On to the meal.

Ingredients and supplies:

I use organic, and also only cook for one. Adjust as needed.

Tofu: I used Hodo Harissa tofu cubes, any will do

Veggies: shiitake shrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli

Spices: ginger, harissa (see below)

Oils: none needed if using this Hodo brand, or oil of choice, or none

Noodles or rice: I used Udon precooked noodles

Liquids: coconut liquid aminos, low sodium tamari, peach-mango hot sauce

Misc.: Sauté pan, pot with lid if making rice or dry noodles, water if needed, for noodles. Spoon holders, cutting board, chef’s knife, cooking utensils, towels to place washed veggies on, pot holder if needed. Good attitude, gratitude, serving plates, bowls, and utensils.

And, as always, remove that one cat in particular from the countertops. Wipe down those counters—I use distilled white vinegar, cut with some water.

Mise en place all the above. More if you are using plain tofu and need to add spices.


1. If using rice, or any dry pasta, start your water to boil. Allow time for this process since cooking your noodles or rice will take a longer time than the main dish.

2. Wash, dry, chop any veggies. Chop with care; give them some sweet talk.

3. If using this brand of prepared tofu with the harissa paste added, no need to do anything except removing the dreaded plastic wrap. Another reason I need to learn to make my own tofu.

4. Oil is not needed here, due to the small amount in this packaged tofu, otherwise oil, or not.

5. I added a half thumb size of fresh ginger root for its fragrance, and also to help offset any digestive issues for me. The harissa includes garlic—garlic and onions do not agree with me. The ginger helped to soothe the flames.

To be safe, I steered clear of all humans for 24 hours, and stayed close to my bathroom.

6. Start to heat the pan after turning on the stovetop light to half-lit for safety. Turn on the exhaust fan.

7. Add to pan: peach mango hot sauce sample size from my favorite local vendor > ginger > then shiitakes for a minute or three > tofu > red bell pepper > yellow squash > baby broccoli > coconut liquids aminos > low sodium tamari.

8. If using plain tofu, add your spices after the tofu.

9. Give it 5 to 12 minutes depending on the tofu you chose, as well as your choice of veggies.

10. Precooked noodles go on top for the last one minute.

While the above culinary magic is shaping itself into a tasty delight, let me tell you a few morsels of knowledge I learned.

Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste or powder from Tunisia and is common in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. I saw variations of the blends but common were: chilies, caraway seeds, garlic. Other searches also added cumin, coriander, parsley, and citrus.

This tofu is from a company named Hodo, spelled as hodo. Based in Oakland, California, it is founded by Vietnamese refugee, Minh Tsai. He missed the quality of tofu he grew up eating and wanted to start making an organically sourced tofu. The entire short story is on their website, but in short, a partner came along and helped Minh Tsai create a company hiring local and starting out at local farmers’ markets.

I love a feel-good story.

Select your plates or bowls to match, or to better your mood. Remember, feel-good food, feel-good mood food. Turn off the burner, stove light, fan. Give a smell, close your eyes, and after opening them, gently plate your food.

Seating place of choice, take a moment to just breathe. Look at your meal, let those salivary glands start working, and give a heart-load of gratitude to all the food, and to all those involved in the process from planting a seed to now.


As always, no critters were harmed in any step of this miracle. Another small win for all sentient beings, and for this tiny blue marble we call Momma Earth. 


For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.


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