To make this classic spicy tofu dish you can find all the ingredients in any grocery stores except 2 - Chinese fermented black beans and hoisin sauce.
First let's talk about the dried fermented black beans. They are a staple in a Chinese kitchen. I remember growing up my mom would steam fish or clams, cook green beans, make chicken rice or practically anything with them. The salty, umami flavor they lend to any dish makes them one of the most versatile ingredients in Chinese cooking. Good news is you can get them from any Chinese grocery stores or even order them from Amazon.
To make a black bean sauce, I usually put about a tablespoon of fermented black beans in a mortor, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of hot water and use a pestle to crush the mixture into a lumpy paste.
Now let's talk about hoisin sauce. You can pick up store bought hoisin sauce but I have yet to find a clean product that doesn't contain refined sugars and artificial ingredients. Good news is you can make your own. It really is simple and delicious! Once you've made a batch, you can throw it in stir fries or use it as a marinade or dipping sauce for anything. Check out my recipe here.
Now you're ready to make this delicious dish! A lot of the sauces and spices can be adjusted to your taste, so don't freak out over the exact amount!
- 1 cube of (14oz) tofu, dried and cut into cubes
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 or 2 red chili peppers, crushed
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp of ginger
- black bean paste - 1 Tbsp of fermented black beans + 1 or 2 Tbsp of hot water
- 2 Tbsp of home made hoisin sauce
- 1 1 /2 cups of mushrooms
- 1-2 Tbsp vegetable broth
- tamari to taste
- sesame oil to taste
- ground sichuan pepper to taste
- maple syrup to taste
- 1 tsp of arrowroot powder
- cilantro to garnish
- In a large skillet, heat up oil. Add chili peppers, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add black bean paste, hoisin sauce. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.
- Mix in tofu and stir.
- Add vegetable broth.
- Season with tamari, sesame oil, sichuan pepper. Add a little maple syrup for more sweetness if desired.
- Stir arrowroot powder to 2 Tbsp of warm water to create a paste. Add to tofu mix to thicken the sauce. Coat all ingredients evenly with sauce.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.