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Szechuan Spicy Tofu

The meat used in this popular wok recipe can be omitted to create a purely vegetarian dish, if you prefer.

ingredients

serves 4
3 packets tofu
1 leek
45 ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
115 g (4 oz) minced beef
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) stock or water
10 ml (2 tsp) cornflour paste
ground Szechuan peppercorns, to taste
few drops of sesame oil

method

1. Cut the tofu into 1 cm (1/2 in) square cubes. Fill a wok with boiling water, add the tofu cubes and bring back to the boil. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes to harden. Remove and drain. Cut the leek into short sections.

2. Empty the wok. Preheat and add the oil. When hot, stir-fry the minced beef until the colour changes, then acid the leek and black bean sauce. Add the tofu with the soy sauce, chilli bean sauce and rice wine or sherry. Stir gently for 1 minute.

3. Acid the stock or water, bring to the boil and braise for 2 - 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the cornflour paste and cook, stirring, until thickened. Season with ground Szechuan pepper, sprinkle with the sesame oil and serve immediately.

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