Sour-And-Hot Silken Tofu

Get your spoon ready, ’cause you’ll be slurping this Sichuan, silken tofu mixture like it’s going out of style. I was recently gifted, Fuchsia Dunlop’s cookbook, Every Grain of Rice and I can not recommend it enough.

This morning, was cold and snowy so, I was craving something warm and spicy. I thumbed through the pages of the cookbook and this dish caught my eye. Within ten minutes I had a piping bowl of, Sour-And-Hot Silken Tofu in front of me!

Dunlop describes it as a, “tender bowlful of slippery tofu dressed in a heart-warming mixture of chili oil, mellow vinegar and other seasonings, with a crunchy garnish. She was taught this recipe by Chef Zhang Xiaozhong of BarShu restaurant.
Hot Silken Tofu
Ingredients
Salt
11oz (300g) silken tofu
1 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp chicken stock
2tbsp chili oil with 1 tbsp of its sediment
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp finely sliced spring onion greens
1/2 tsp finely chipped garlic
1 tbsp finely chipped Sichuan preserved vegetable (zha cai)

To serve
1 tbsp finely chipped Sichuan preserved vegetable (zha cai)
1 tbsp finely sliced spring onion greens
Small handful of Bombay Mix

Bring to a boil in a saucepan enough water to cover the tofu. Salt it lightly. use a spoon to scoop large pieces of the tender tofu into the water. Simmer it very gently for about five minutes to heat it through.

While the tofu is warming up, you can prepare your other ingredient. Place them all, except for the garnishes, in the serving bowl with 1/4 tsp salt and give the mixture a stir.

When the tofu is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the pieces. Scatter with the garnishes and serve.

Note:
Sichuan Preserved Vegetable (zha cai): Knobbly dried mustard tubers that have been salted, spiced and packed into jars to ferment. This pickle has a crisp texture and sour-savory taste and makes a wonderful garnish for hot and cold dishes, as well as an ingredient in soups, stir-fries and appetizers. It is sold in cans and should be rinsed before use.

Bombay Mix: Traditionally, the crisp element of the garnish might be a mixture of deep-fried noodles and deep-fried soy beans, but Bombay mix (a crispy, crunchy Indian snack mix) makes a perfect substitute.

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