Kung Pao Tofu

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On Tuesday, I usually scan the refrigerator and try and use up whatever is leftover from last week’s CSA delivery. I’ve been slacking off a bit on my duties lately and have a whole bunch of carrots, cabbage, and lettuce. I figured I could use up at least two of these in a tasty stir-fry and I’d only need to supplement a few things here and there to round out the dish. Tonight I decided on Kung Pao Tofu. I love to eat this stuff when I go out for Chinese food and I’ve finally started to get it close to authentic Chinese take-out Kung Pao. I think the missing ingredient that manages to bring the dish to the next level is Szechuan peppercorns.

For many years these little peppercorns were ILLEGAL! I mean really, what kind of crazy person would declare these tongue numbing jewels illegal? Only the most connected Chinese person was able to work back-room deals to get these little numbers in their hands. Alas they were taken off of the FDA’s banned food lists just a few years back and now we can all enjoy them once again.

There’s not too much to stir-fry. Gather some fresh, crisp vegetables, your protein of choice, some aromatics, and a sauce. For the most part, it takes more time gathering the ingredients than actually cooking them. My stir fry sauce is almost always soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, and water; I then thicken up the works with a cornstarch slurry until it coats everything nicely. There’s nothing easier than stir-fry!

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One Response to “Kung Pao Tofu”

  • brian says:

    This looks delicious. I love the photo with the steam coming off the food. I love King Pao chicken (probably would like it with just tofu, just not as much). This was a very educational post.

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