Stir-fried Tofu with Black Beans and Chilli

This recipe is adapted from the original in “Every Grain of Rice” by Fuchsia Dunlop. I didn’t do it exactly the same as her recipe because I didn’t have all the ingredients available (no spring onions or green peppers, so I substituted Chinese chives) and I left out the sugar because the laoganma sauce already contains some.


1 block of firm tofu
2 garlic cloves
A piece of ginger about the same size and weight as the garlic
2 unseeded chopped red bird’s eye chillies
1 red pepper
2 celery sticks, peeled to remove the stringiness
5 or 6 long shoots of Chinese chives
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons laoganma black bean and chilli sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan pepper
Freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Cut the tofu into thinnish strips. Peel and chop the garlic, red chillies and ginger.  Cut the peppers and celery into strips of similar dimensions. Cut the Chinese chives into inch long pieces.

Heat the oil in a seasoned wok over a medium flame. Add the black bean sauce, chillies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry until wonderfully fragrant. Then add the ginger and garlic and sizzle for a few moments more. Add the red peppers and celery, increase the heat to high and stir-fry until hot and fragrant.

Season with a good grind of pepper and light soy sauce to taste. Add the tofu and continue to stir-fry until it is hot and everything smells delicious, adding the Chinese chives towards the end of the cooking time. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

I have kept as much as possible to the original recipe, cutting down the amount of oil as well as changing and leaving out a few ingredients and I served it with plain jasmine rice.

It was a quick and delicious meal, and a good way of using tofu. Superior by far to anything from the local Chinese takeaway.



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