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If you like a bit of heat in your dinner, Chinese cuisine delivers. With this dish you’ll learn how to harness the power of Sichuan pepper and chillies to transform your tofu into a stunning dish!

You will need

Serves 2

  • 1 packet silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4-5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper
  • 4 dried Sichuan chillies (Kashmiri would work too), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 thumb ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 long red chillies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mushroom powder (4 dried shiitake mushrooms, blended to a powder, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce

To serve

  • Steamed rice
  • 2 stalks spring onion, green tops only, diced
  • Bunch coriander, roughly chopped

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10 mins to prep

20 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Fill a small pot with water and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a simmer. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and put in the salted water letting the tofu warm through. This will create a skin around the cubes and set the tofu.

  2. Step 2

    In a heavy-based pan or a wok, add the sesame and vegetable oils and bring to a smoke. Add the cinnamon stick and Sichuan pepper, and heat through to infuse the oil. Then add the dried Sichuan chillies to do the same.

  3. Step 3

    Add the garlic, ginger and fresh chilli and fry briefly at high heat for about a minute. Turn the heat down to medium and add the mushroom powder, sugar and soy sauce, and fry for a few minutes to incorporate all the ingredients.

  4. Step 4

    Finally, turn the heat back up. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the tofu out of the pot and into the frypan mixture; gently toss to coat the tofu in the Sichuan sauce for a couple minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Pour tofu and sauce into a bowl, serve with rice and garnish with coriander and green spring onion tops.

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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