Monday, September 25, 2006
So many different versions for this spicy tofu dish made famous in Sichuan. I've tried about 5 different versions from all sorts of sources and I like the one by Fuchsia Dunlop in Land of Plenty best. I used slightly less chili bean sauce than what she suggested because I was afraid it'd be too spicy for me. It ended up being just right for my taste so maybe if I get adventurous next time I'll follow the recipe exactly. Below is her original recipe:
From Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty
1 block bean curd (around 16 oz)
4 baby leeks or green onion
1/2 cup peanut oil
6 ounces ground beef
2.5 Tbsp chili bean paste
1 Tbsp fermented black beans
2 tsp ground Sichuanese chiles (optional)
1 cup stock
1 tsp white sugar
2 tsp light soy sauce
4 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 6 Tbsp cold water (I use a lot less!)
1/2 tsp roasted Sichuan pepper
1. Cut the bean curd into 1 inch cubes and blanch in hot water. Slice the leeks or green onion into thin slices
2. Heat the wok, add oil, then brown the beef.
3. Turn down the heat to medium, add the chili bean paste and stir fry until fragrant. Add the black beans and chilis and stiry fry for 20-30 seconds.
4. Pour in the stock, and add the drained bean curd. Gently mix so to not break up the curd. Season with sugar, soysauce, and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes until bean curd has absorbed the flavor.
5. Add the leeks or scallions and gently stir in. Add the cornstarch mixture, a little at a time, until the sauce as just thickened . You probably will not need all. Pour everything into a bowl and scatter with the ground Sichuan pepper