Traditionally made with ground beef or pork, this is a vegetarian version.
- 1-1¼ lb (500 - 600 g) plain white tofu
- 4 baby leeks or scallions, green parts only
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- 2½ tbsp Sichuan chili bean paste
- 1 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tsp ground red chilies
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- ½ cup (100 ml) water or stock
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 2 tsp potato flour mixed with
- 2 tbsp cold water
- ¼-½ tsp ground roasted Sichuan pepper
- Cut the tofu into ¾ in (2 cm) cubes and steep in very hot, lightly salted water. Don’t let the water boil.
- Slice leeks/onions into horse ears by cutting at a steep angle.
- Heat wok over high flame. Add oil and swirl around.
- Reduce heat, add chilli bean paste and stir fry until oil is red and fragrant. Don’t overheat any of the seasonings, all should sizzle gently.
- Add beans and ground chillies, stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add garlic and ginger.
- Gently remove tofu from water with a slotted spoon, shake off excess water and add to wok. Mix tofu with sauce without breaking it up.
- Add water/stock, white pepper and salt, mix gently.
- Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes.
- Add leek slices, and cook till tender. If using scallions, add them at the end.
- Stir in small amounts of flour and water mixture until sauce clings to seasongs and tofu.
- Sprinkle with ground roasted Sichuan pepper and serve.