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Spicy Simmered Tofu


This silky tofu in a thick, spicy sauce is traditionally made with a little pork, but the dish is also delicious without meat. Made with 1 tablespoon of chile paste, the tofu is medium-hot.

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  1. 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 3 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  4. 1/4 pound boneless pork tenderloin, shoulder or butt, thinly sliced against the grain (optional)
  5. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  6. 1 tablespoon or more Hot Chile Paste
  7. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  8. 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
  9. 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
  1. Set a large wok over high heat until it's very hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the pork, ginger and Hot Chile Paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds, pressing the meat and scallions against the side of the wok. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tofu, broth and salt and bring to a vigorous boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry over high heat until the sauce thickens and becomes clear, about 20 seconds. Transfer the tofu to a shallow bowl and serve hot, warm or at room temperature, with a small ladle.

Suggested Pairing

A light but intensely fruity Pinot Noir—served cool—will balance the heat of this tofu dish. Stick with wines from California or Oregon.