Hong Sao Tofu with Schezuan Peppercorns

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This is a variation on a theme… I used some of the ingredients listed in a Hong Sao beef stew but without the beef (obviously) and with much less liquid, more of a stir-fry.

  • 1 large tsp Schezuan peppercorns, dry roasted and ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 small or 1 large dried red chillies
  • 1 Lapsang Souchong teabag
  • ½ block tofu, chopped into cubes
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced

Put all the ingredients (except the tofu and veg) in a pan with a splash of boiling water and heat gently for at least one hour (take the teabag out after 20 mins or as soon as you can taste the smoky flavour in your sauce or it will overwhelm everything else). Continue cooking (adding water as needed) but don’t let it boil… it will reduce over time to a thick, glossy, tasty sauce! In the meantime, fry the tofu in sesame seed oil until golden brown and then set aside. 15 minutes before you want to eat, stir-fry the vegetables in a dash of sesame seed oil in a hot wok. As they are beginning to soften throw in the tofu and your sauce (you obviously have to strain it first!). Then cook everything together, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is as soft as you like it. Serve with jasmine rice or whatever you fancy… we had faux duck pancakes (faux crispy duck, Hoisin sauce, spring onions and cucumber – very thinly sliced).

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