(The ad below will not display on your printed page)
Sichuan-Style Tofu with Mushrooms
“Because of the high moisture content of tofu, it can go from a stir-fry to a braise in seconds. We also recommend salting and drying the tofu in paper towels so oil doesn't splatter during frying.”
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar (see Tip) or balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
Tofu with Mushrooms
14 ounces water-packed firm tofu, rinsed
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1½ cups sliced white mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
1To prepare sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set the sauce near the stove.
2To prepare tofu and mushrooms: Place tofu on several paper towels and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Turn the tofu over, sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, place more paper towels on top and weigh the tofu down with a plate. Set aside for 5 minutes. Cut the tofu into roughly 1-inch cubes.
3Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon oil; add garlic and scallions and stir-fry until fragrant, 10 seconds. Add mushrooms and stir-fry until just beginning to soften, 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
4Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the pan, reduce the heat to medium, add the tofu and pan-fry, turning midway through cooking, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the reserved sauce and the mushroom mixture; increase the heat to high and stir-fry until the tofu is just heated through and the sauce clings to it, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Serve immediately.
Tip: Chinkiang vinegar is a dark, slightly sweet rice vinegar with a smoky flavor available in many Asian specialty markets. Balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.
People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.