this is a recipe from fuschia dunlop’s book revolutionary chinese cookbook. one of our favorites 🙂 this is a hunanese version of this dish so it’s a little spicy.
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1.25 lb. firm bean curd, drained
3 oz boneless lean pork, cut into fine slivers
1 t shaoxing wine
1 T chili bean paste
1 T chopped salted chiles (we didn’t have this)
1 T finely chopped garlic
1 t dried chili flakes (optional)
1 cup stock
1/4 t dark soy sauce
1/4 t potato flour mixed with 1 T cold water
3 scallions, green parts only, cut into bit-size lengths
1 t sesame oil
1/3 cup peanut oil or lard
1. prep: soak the mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. drain, squeeze, cut off the stems, and slice thinly. cut the bean curd into large squares, then cut them in half across the diagonal to form triangles. the thickness should be about 1/2″. use a paper towel or a kitchen towel to soak up some of the excess moisture in the tofu. put the pork in a bowl with the wine. get the other ingredients ready as well.
2. heat your wok or pan over high heat. when hot, add some oil and swirl it around the pan (fuschia says about 3 T). make sure it’s nice and hot. you’ll want to fry the tofu in batches. carefully lay in the first batch of tofu away from you and fry on one side. shake the pan from time to time to prevent sticking.
once that side is golden, turn the tofu pieces over and fry on the other side until golden.
remove the tofu once it’s done frying and place on some paper towels to soak up the excess oil. repeat with the other batches of tofu. clean out the pan in between if necessary.
3. clean the pan if necessary. reheat the pan until the oil smokes. if necessary, add in a little more oil to coat the pan. add the pork and stir-fry until the slivers separate.
add the chili bean paste and salted chiles and stir-fry until fragrant.
add in the garlic and mushrooms and continue to stir-fry until fragrant.
add the chili flakes if you are using them. stir-fry for a few seconds, then pour in the stock
4. add the bean curd back to the pan and pour in the dark soy sauce.
allow the mixture to come to a boil, then let it simmer until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. it tastes better with a thicker sauce. also, the tofu will soak up more of the sauce flavor the longer it simmers.
5. stir the potato flour mixture and slowly add it while stirring the sauce. taste and season the sauce as necessary. the chili bean paste i used was pretty salty, so i didn’t need to add any more salt.
toss in the scallions. off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.
time to eat!