Name Spiced Bean Curd with Pork


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* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
* 125 g (4 oz) lean boneless pork, finely minced
* 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns or 1/2 - 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
* 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 2 spring onions, chopped
* 50 ml (2 fl oz) chicken stock
* 1 tablespoon brown bean sauce
* 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 250 g (8 oz) bean curd, rinsed, drained and cut into 1 cm (14 inch) cubes
* 2 tablespoons cooking oil
* 1 teaspoon cornflour
* 1 tablespoon cold chicken stock
* 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
* salt
* sprig of dill, to garnish

1. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sugar and sesame seed oil in a bowl, Add the minced pork, stir well until all the meat is coated, and then cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Cook the peppercorns in a wok or a large frying pan over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and tip the peppercorns out on to a chopping board. Crush to a fine powder with a rolling pin or the back of a spoon, and then set aside.
3. To make the sauce, combine the ginger, garlic, spring onions, stock, brown bean sauce, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. To cook the pork and bean curd, heat the oil over a medium heat in a wok or a large frying pan. Add the pork and its marinade and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Add the sauce mixture and bean curd, then gently stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Do not stir too vigorously or the bean curd will break up.
5. Blend the cornflour and chicken stock in a small bowl, then stir into the pork mixture. Stir-fry until the sauce has thickened and becomes clear. Add the crushed peppercorns and sesame seed oil. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with dill and serve.

Serves: 2 as a main course, 4 as part of a Chinese meal.

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