I really enjoy making this dish because it’s easy to prepare, vegetarian/vegan and packed with flavor.
The time required to make this dish is really just in the initial prepping of the ingredients. Once you start, the cooking time is barely 5 minutes.
It uses a unique ingredient which is the Lao Gan Ma Chili Oil With Black Bean. This legendary sauce is just one of many made by Lao Gan Ma. She is probably most known for the Spicy Chili Crisp, which has a cult following amongst professional and home chefs.
The story of the lady who founded it is well worth a read. Needless to say, she is now a very wealthy woman. Some people jokingly call it the “smiling lady sauce” due to her serious expression in the jar.
2 Tbsp Oil
14 Oz extra firm Tofu cut in small, 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tbsp Lao Gan Ma Chili Oil With Black Bean
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry Sherry
3 Garlic cloves, minced
Ginger Root, 2 inch piece minced
6-8 Tien Tsin dried Chilis
1 Red Pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 green onion, cut in pieces
2 heaping tablespoons Lao Gan Ma Chili Oil With Black Bean
2 tablespoons Chinese light Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Vegetable Broth
1 teaspoon Chinese dark Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sugar
Pinch of Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Corn Starch
Prep all of your ingredients before starting to cook.
Add the Shaoxing wine and 1 Tbsp of LGM black bean paste to the cubed tofu to marinade. I’ve left it for up to an hour in the refrigerator and it imparts a nice flavor.
Heat your wok to smoking hot and add your oil. Stir fry the dried chili until they blister, add the red peppers and green onions. Finally, add the garlic, and ginger.
Once almost done, add tofu and then sauce mixture gently toss and allow to thicken.
Serve with rice. I prefer brown Jasmine rice.
Note: All of these ingredients are easily available in your local Asian market. If you are new to cooking Chinese food, here is a comprehensive pantry list. With this stocked pantry, you can cook most any Chinese dish.
Once you buy these items they will last for a long time, and will allow you make a variety of dishes.
Additionally, if you want to make this without using the LGM black bean paste, this can easily be made with fermented black beans known as dow see. Here’s the recipe.