Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spicy Kung Pao Tofu (Kung Pao Tofu)

I first came across this recipe in Weichuan's cookbook Tofu! Tofu! Tofu! (published in 1994), then recently adapted it by using my own version of Kung Pao sauce and adding a few extras ingredients, such as sliced mushrooms, red onion, jalapenos, and cilantro. If you can Kung Pao chicken, then why not tofu, shrimp, or other stuff? They're all good!

2 14-oz. boxes medium firm tofu, cubed and well drained

5 tbsp. black vinegar
3 tbsp. Shaohsing or rice wine
6 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 cup water

Cornstarch Slurry:
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. water

5 tbsp. vegetable oil

8 whole dried red chilies
1/4 red onion, minced
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded & sliced
3 scallions, chopped
8-oz. package of sliced button mushrooms
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

NOTE: Feel free to add meat to this dish, such as 1 lb. of ground pork, which can be added in step 4, right after sauteing the garlic and red onion.

1. Combine all the sauce ingredients into a bowl; set aside.

2. Combine the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Heat 5 tbsp. of oil in a wok or saute pan over high heat. Add the dried red chilies and saute for about 30 seconds or until they start to brown slightly. 

4. Add the minced garlic and red onion and saute briefly; stir in the scallions, fresh chilies and mushrooms and toss for 30 seconds. 

5. Add the drained tofu cubes, then the sauce. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the sauce permeate the tofu. 

6. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook until the mixture has thickened, 20-30 seconds. Stir in the cilantro, plate, and serve with steamed white rice.

 Sliced button mushrooms, tofu, minced scallion, cilantro, dried whole chilies, minced garlic, red onion, and jalapeños. 

Sauce ingredients.  

Black vinegar, Shaohsing wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and sesame oil.  

Saute the whole red chilies in oil until they just start to turn brown.  

Add minced garlic and red onion.  

Add fresh jalapeños and chopped scallions.  

 Add the sliced mushrooms.

Add the tofu. 

Stir in the sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Bring the mixture back up to a boil, stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook until the sauce has thickened. 

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