"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ka Chi & Mushroom Medley

One sunny Sunday in June my mom and I went to the San Francisco Free Folk Festival at Presidio Middle School. This progressive school has hallways covered with thought provoking and inspirational posters and quotes. It's uplifting to be a space like this - doesn't it seem that our offices and work place should be similarly decorated? I feel that we would all benefit tremendously to look up and see posters of outer space explorations, quotes from Martin Luther King, hand drawn book covers. Aside from the welcoming halls of this Middle School - every other classroom had musicians jamming inside. There was the peaceful Irish Jam Room with fiddlers, violinists and flutists taking you over the rolling green hills of Irish countryside. There were old men and women teaching Contra dancing in one room. An all women's a capella group taking you back to their rowdy nights in the 60's with funny lyrics and saucy moves. But, our favorite performance was Ka Chi, an impressive artist and musician performing in the auditorium. His music is a mixture of Acoustic/Indie/Neo-Soul but he is so much more than these categories....His voice is incredibly soothing and natural. His lyrics are so moving they make your heart calm and your soul come alive...
After being taken to that alternate reality that only live music can take you - we went to the wonderful market on 22nd Avenue and Irving for cheap and fresh produce. Mushrooms were on sale so we bought oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, shitaki mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, some bok choy and tofu. Back at my apartment I whipped up this soothing mushroom medley. Not as wonderful as Ka Chi's music. But on a Sunday evening, as the fog rolls in - this warm meal tasted perfect.
Mushroom Medley
(Serves 2)

1 small bunch Oyster mushrooms
1 small bunch Button mushrooms
1 small bunch Enoki mushrooms
1 small bunch Shitaki mushrooms
1 cup tofu, cut into small rectangle cubes
1 bunch Bok choy
2 servings Quinoa
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon ginger sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Olive oil
Garlic powder

1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the box.
2. Pour some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, add the minced garlic. When garlic is fragrant, add the tofu rectangles. Drizzle a dash of fish sauce and oyster sauce on the tofu and cook until the edges are brown and the tofu has a nice golden tan. This makes the outside nice and textured! Set aside.
3. Add the mushrooms to the pan, pour the remaining sauces over the mushrooms and saute until they are all coated evenly and soften - about 5-7 minutes. Add the bok choy and saute for just 1-2 minutes more until it softens but does not become overly limp.
4. Turn the heat to low and add in the tofu, sprinkle the garlic powder and sesame seeds over your dish and gently toss to incorporate the sesame seeds. Serve in bowls over a bed of quinoa.

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