Vegan MoFo Day 29: Three Cup Tofu (三杯豆腐)!
Monday, November 29, 2010 9 Comments
I think I’m finally (FINALLY) just about over my lingering mystery illness… just in time for MoFo to draw to a close. Well, I still have a pantry full of unknown-to-me ingredients to use up, so I’m just going to keep writing!
This is a veganized version of Sanbeiji (三杯雞), a Taiwanese dish colloquially known as “three cup chicken” because it uses equal parts soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. I’ve had three cup tofu in a restaurant precisely once, at the unstoppably awesome Evergreen in Minneapolis. (It’s dish #CR9 on the Chef’s Recommendations menu. You have to try it, for real.) It was so delicious, and I was excited about trying it at home! It’s super-spicy, super-garlicky, super-gingery, super-savory, and super-TASTY.
All of the sanbeiji recipes I came across included a lot more sugar, but as I am generally loathe to use sugar in savory applications, I only used a tiny bit. YMMV!
THREE CUP TOFU (三杯豆腐)
h/t Eating China
» 1/2 lb yellow or extra-firm pressed tofu, cut into strips
» 2 tbsp or 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
» 1 tbsp or 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
» 2 tbsp soy sauce
» 2 tbsp Shaoxing or other rice wine
» 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
» 1 tsp Sambal Oelek or 2 fresh red chilies, chopped
» a pinch of sugar
» cornstarch, for dredging (optional)
» scallions (optional)
» Thai or sweet basil (optional, preferably Thai), chopped
If using cornstarch, toss the tofu strips in cornstarch until they are coated.
Combine rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl.
Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Fry the tofu strips until golden brown, 4-5 minutes each side, and set aside on paper towel to drain.
Heat the remaining sesame oil over medium heat. Add sambal/chilies, garlic, and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
Add wine/soy/sugar mixture and fried tofu. Braise until sauce is almost completely reduced and absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add a 1:1 cornstarch and water slurry to thicken the sauce, if you’d like. The tofu should be somewhat dry.
If using scallions and basil, add them to the tofu and sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes, until all of the flavors are well combined and the basil is wilted. Serve with jasmine rice and your vegetable of choice. I used a cup or so of crispy steamed green beans and it was delightful.
And here’s some bonus Dulli and Aidan snuggling.