Skip to main content

Vegan Black Bean Tofu - Smoky, spicy goodness.

It's always great to find a dish that translates into vegan even better than the original and here's one. This has all of the things I like about good quality Chinese food, without the MSG and without the meat. 

The key to this dish is the dow see or fermented back beans. They usually come in a bag and are salted. They are easy to find in any Asian market.



They are packed with umami. In Japanese, umami means, "pleasant savory taste". It's often called the 5th taste. 


Ingredients

1 package Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 Tbsp Oil
4 dried Chilis, Tien Tsin chilis are perfect.
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 piece of fresh Ginger Root, peeled and minced
1 Red Pepper, cut into 1/2 pieces
3-4 Green Onions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 Tbsp Dow See (fermented black beans) rinsed, soaked, drained and lightly mashed. 

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sugar
1Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1Tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp Water.



Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. The key to Chinese cooking is to have everything  in its place, prior to starting, As the French say, "mis en place".

Create your sauce, by combining the fermented black beans, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and set aside. Also mix up your cornstarch and water mixture and set aside.

Heat your wok and add your oil. When it is almost smoking, add the dried chilis and quickly sauté until they turn slightly darker, then add the garlic and ginger root. Stir fry for 30 seconds and then add the red pepper and saute until just slightly soft.

Now add your green onions and stir fry for a further minute, add your tofu and cook for 1 minute. Add your sauce and when it is all simmering nicely, add your cornstarch mixture, stir it and when it thickens, remove from the heat and serve with brown rice.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marlow and Son’s Butterbeans, Garlic Confit and Preserved Tomatoes

I first saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and was fascinated. It used interesting ingredients combined in a unique way and I had to try it. The recipe was given in response to an email from BA writer to Marlow chef Patch Troffer, but the recipe had no measurements and timing. After making it, I adjusted a few things and added quantities and timing and was very happy with the results. I ordered my dried beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa and they were excellent.

To make it spectacular, you really do need to make the garlic confit and preserved tomatoes. They aren’t hard to make, but set aside a bit of time. Make a full recipe and then use the rest for other dishes.
Garlic Confit
3 heads of Garlic, peeled and left whole.  3/4-1 cup Olive Oil  4 springs fresh Thyme  2 Bay Leaves 2 dried Chili Peppers

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on barest simmer for 1-2 hours. (This broad cooking time is due to the fact that some garlic has more moisture than others). You’ll want the cloves to be s…

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.


Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 


After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


Ingredients

1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper


Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Golden Mountain Sauce

I love making Thai food at home, and I've always prided myself on getting that authentic Thai flavor, but if I’m completely honest, I have to admit it always seemed to be missing a little something.

Well, I have found out what that little something was. It's called Golden Mountain Sauce and it has been called the "secret of Thai cooking" and has been used in Thailand for over 50 years.

Use it as you would soy sauce, but mix it equal parts with fish sauce to get the real Thai flavor. Here is the perfect dish to try it out.

Gai Pad Prik Grapao/Chicken with Hot Chilies and Basil
Thais’ love fresh basil, and use many different types. Most of us are familiar with Sweet Basil, and this is easy to find in any market. However, it’s the “Holy Basil”, known as Bai Grapao, which is the most flavorful and authentic.
This basil has an anise type of flavor and gives this dish an amazing flavor and dimension that just doesn’t taste the same with sweet basil.
You should always use fres…