This colourful stir-fry dish tastes as good as it looks (from the photo in the book, that is!). The main flavouring comes from Laoganma black bean sauce, a rich oily black bean relish made from fermented black soy beans, chilli oil and other seasonings. I thought that this sauce is delicious! It is not the same as the regular black bean sauce. It has chilli oil and other seasoning, which makes it really tasty.
To make this dish, I've used spiced firm tofu, which is sliced to strips. The veggies; celery, red pepper, onion, spring onions are all to be cut to similar size as the tofu. For the Laoganma black bean sauce, I have added an extra tablespoon. Get everything sliced up and all the other ingredients ready before you start with the stir-fry.
This dish is a delicious way of cooking tofu, a tasty dish with hot fluffy rice, though I could settle down with a pair of chopsticks and enjoy this dish alone!
Stir-Fried Tofu with Black Bean and Chilli
(Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop)
150gm firm tofu (spiced or smoked)
2 garlic cloves
an equivalent amount of ginger
5-10 dried chillies, to taste
1/4 red onion
1/4 red pepper
2/3 celery stick, de-stringed
2 spring onion
3 tbsp cooking oil
3 tbsp Laoganma black bean sauce
1/2 tsp whole Sichuan pepper
1/4 tsp caster sugar
ground white pepper
light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Cut the tofu into 5cm strips, each 1/2-1cm thick. Peel and slice the garlic and ginger. Snip the chillies in half with a pair of scissors and discard their seeds as far as possible. Peel the onion and cut lengthways into strips of a similar thickness to the tofu. Cut the peppers and celery into strips of similar dimensions. Cut the spring onions into 5cm lengths, keeping the green and white parts separate.
Heat the oil in a seasoned wok over a medium flame. Add the black bean sauce, chillies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry until wonderfully fragrant. Then add the ginger and garlic and sizzle for a few minutes more. Tip in the onion, peppers, celery and spring onion whites, increase the heat to high and stir-fry until hot and fragrant.
Season with the sugar, a good pinch of pepper and light soy sauce to taste. Add the tofu and continue to stir-fry until it is hot and everything smells delicious, adding the spring onion greens towards the end of the cooking time. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.
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