I could write paragraphs about the wonders of mushrooms—how their meaty qualities make vegetarian food acceptable to carnivores, how they soak up whatever seasoning you’ve got, how they adapt to virtually any style of cooking (just on this site they star in pizza, atop penne, in risotto, and in one of my favorite skillet chicken dishes. And dried, they’re the centerpiece of one of the most comforting soups on the planet: mushroom-barley soup. But I already wrote The Skinny on Mushrooms for Weight Watchers. And you just want to know what’s in that pretty picture up there.
Friends, what you’re looking at is a self-contained, East-meets-West meal. A vegetarian One-Handed Meal that’s easy to make, but tastes complex. It’s packed with mushrooms, spinach, and tofu, flavored with a salty-sweet, simplified teriyaki sauce.
Extras freeze well—reheat in a 350° oven, straight from the freezer. Any leftover filling will make a nifty lunch, served over rice—in fact, if you’re not in the market for handpies (or just don’t feel like futzing with dough), cook up a boil-in-bag brown rice, call it Teriyaki Mushroom & Spinach and you’ve got one super-fast weeknight supper.
Teriyaki Mushroom & Spinach Handpies
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (or dry sherry or sweet marsala)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces crimini or white button mushrooms, chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach, torn
6 ounces crumbled tofu
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
flour, for rolling
2 prepared piecrusts
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar for 1-2 minutes, then set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, another 5-8 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked off. Add the spinach and tofu, followed by the sesame oil and reserved sauce. Simmer 1-2 minutes, then add the cornstarch slurry. Cook, stirring, until thickened, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
- While the mushroom mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 425°F, with racks positioned in the upper and lower thirds. Grease or line 2 baking sheets.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out one piecrust, making it as rectangular as possible—take care not to roll it too thin or the finished pie won’t be sturdy enough to eat hand-held. Trim edges, and cut into 4 pieces.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture slightly off-center on each piece of crust, then fold over into a rectangle. Crimp the edges with a fork, and transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the second piecrust.
- Brush the handpies with the egg wash, then poke steam holes in each with a fork or small knife. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating trays halfway through, until golden brown.
MAKE BABY FOOD: Even reduced-sodium soy sauce is relatively high in sodium, so save the finished dish for more experienced eaters. Instead, pull out some of the cooked mushroom-spinach-tofu mixture before adding the sauce. Puree with a splash of broth or milk, or serve as finger food.