Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tofu with black bean garlic sauce

The star of this recipe is the black bean garlic sauce created by chef Ming Tsai of the famous Blue Ginger restaurant. This sauce is really easy and very flavorful. This recipe makes more than you need, but it can be refrigerated for two weeks and you can use it with other proteins or to flavor noodles as well. If you don't have time to make this sauce, and use the Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic sauce. However, the flavor will not be the same. Tofu picks up the flavor of the sauce really well

You can use a tofu press to remove the excess water from the tofu, which will help it to absorb flavors better. The bland tofu is a good medium to showcase the intense black bean sauce. The sugar snap peas are sweet and crunchy and the red peppers add a touch of color as well as some sweetness and additional crunch to the dish.

Tofu with Black bean garlic sauce

1 14 oz block of firm tofu
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch thin pieces
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
3 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce - recipe below
2 tablespoons canola oil
  1. Press the tofu to remove the excess water. Cut into 2 inch long fingers.
  2. Heat a 12 inch saute pan 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add the tofu pieces in a single layer and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes till the tofu gets brown on one side. Flip and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more so that it browns on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add 1 more tablespoon canola oil to the pan and add the sugar snap peas and cook over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tofu and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the black bean garlic sauce depending on how much sauce you want in your dish. Toss well and cook till the sugar snap peas are cooked but still have a bite.
  4. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Serves 3 as a main course

Black Bean Garlic sauce by Ming Tsai
1 cup grape seed oil or canola oil
1/3 cup fermented black beans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 bunches of scallions, white and green parts, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 tablespoon sambal oelek or hot red pepper sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the beans, garlic, ginger, and scallions, and stir-fry until the mixture has softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the sambal oelek and wine, decrease the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture is reduced by three quarters, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and purée it at high speed while adding the remaining 3/4 cup of oil. Stir the purée back into the remaining mixture and cool completely. Use or store. Lasts 2 weeks, refrigerated.

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