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Szechuan Spicy Tofu

ingredients

serves 4
1 packet tofu
1 leek
115 g (4 oz) minced beef
45 ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) black bean sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) light soy sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli bean sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
about 45 - 60 ml (3 - 4 tbsp) water or vegetable stock
10 ml (2 tsp) cornflour paste
ground Szechuan peppercorns, to taste
few drops sesame oil

method

1. Cut the tofu into l cm (1/2 in) cubes and blanch them in a pan of boiling water for about 2 - 3 minutes until they harden. Remove and drain. Cut the leek into short sections.

2. Stir-fry the minced beef in oil until the colour changes, then add the chopped leek and black bean sauce.

3. Add the tofu with the soy sauce, chilli bean sauce and wine or sherry. Stir gently for 1 minute.

4. Add the vegetable stock or water, bring to the boil and braise for about 2 - 3 minutes.

5. Thicken the spicy sauce with the cornflour paste, season with the ground Szechuan peppercorns and sprinkle -with some drops of sesame oil. Serve immediately.

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