I’m in love. This is my favorite Chinese dish to make, hands down. Read on for a hearty and mildly spicy vegan-friendly dish (I hear adding bits of ground pork makes it carnivore-friendly, and you can increase the spiciness for all you spicy-hot lovers). This makes about four servings.
- 1 block of tofu (I’ve tried it with sprouted, firm, medium, and soft tofu. It depends on the texture of tofu you prefer; I like lots of texture so I use the sprouted, extra firm variety)
- 1 lb. finely chopped fresh mushrooms (I like to split it 50-50 between portabellas and shiitakes, but I’ve used only portabellas when the shiitakes were out of season. It’s just as good!)
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. minced ginger
- 2-3 tbsp. peanut oil (can substitute olive oil or canola oil)
- 1.5 tsp. fermented black beans (I know their name is weird, but they are salty little nuggets of delicious flavor.)
- 1 tbsp. chili bean sauce (do 2 tbsp. if you like it spicy)
- 0.25 tsp. ground szechuan pepper (commonly called “prickly ash” at the Asian grocery, increase up to 1 tsp. for added spiciness)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp. cold water
- 4-5 thinly sliced green onions
- cooked white rice (as much as you like)
- Make the rice. Let it cook while you’re making the rest of this dish.
- Dice the tofu block into small pieces. Set aside so it can drain.
- Saute the minced garlic and ginger in hot oil until they’re browned.
- Add the mushrooms. Saute until they’re fully cooked.
- Add chili bean sauce, black beans, optional red szechuan pepper flakes. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, and tofu. Do a taste test to see whether you’d like more spiciness (more pepper flakes) or saltiness (more soy sauce).
- Cover frying pan, turn heat down to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cornstarch to the desired thickness.
- Serve with the white rice, topped with the scallions.