Hunanese Home-Style Tofu
A spicy Chinese dish using the smooth and earthy tasting tofu.
Yield: serves 4
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1⁄4 lb. pork loin, cut into 2"-long slices about 1⁄8" thick
- 1 tsp. shao xing jiu (Chinese rice wine)
- 3⁄4 cup peanut oil
- 14 oz. firm tofu, drained, patted very dry, sliced into 2" squares about 1⁄2" thick, and halved diagonally
- 2 Tbsp. dou ban jiang (Sichuan chile paste)
- 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
- 3⁄4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
- 3⁄4 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. cold water
- 3 Chinese chives or scallions, green parts only, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- Put mushrooms into a bowl and cover with hot water; let soak for 30 minutes. Drain, then trim and discard stems. Cut caps into 2"-long pieces about 1⁄8" wide; set aside. Toss pork and wine together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Working in 3 batches, fry tofu, turning once, until light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer tofu to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Discard all but 3 tbsp. of oil from wok. Reduce heat to medium-high, add pork with wine, and stir-fry until pieces separate, about 30 seconds. Add chile paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds more. Add tofu, stock, and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture, stir well, and cook until just thickened, about 30 seconds. Add chives; toss to combine. Stir in sesame oil and transfer to a plate.