Spicy Simmered Tofu
- SERVINGS: 4
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.
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
- 1/4 pound boneless pork tenderloin, shoulder or butt, thinly sliced against the grain (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon or more Hot Chile Paste
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 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.
- 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.
A light but intensely fruity Pinot Noirserved coolwill balance the heat of this tofu dish. Stick with wines from California or Oregon.