The combination of Hunan pork and tofu is a staple at many Hunan restaurants in China and the United States. This recipe is not only easy to make but also tastes great.
The recent influx of Chinese immigrants and tourists across the United States has led to a surge in demand for Hunan-style cuisine, which, like Sichuan cuisine, is characterized by a focus on chilies and other spicy ingredients.
Hunan Steamed Fish with Salted Chilies is only one of many dishes in the Hunan cuisine style that features fermented black beans.
As we see in our first article, Sarah and Kaitlin have long since christened Lao Gan Ma, or “Lady Sauce,” the name of one of our favorite condiments, fermented black beans. Though our name may be a bit of a mouthful to get used to, our signature dish of fermented black beans and fiery chili sauce soaked in oil is truly excellent.
In addition, you should know that Hunan Pork, and most other Hunan meals, tend to utilize a lot of oil. Hunan style uses a lot of oil, similar to Sichuan style Chinese cooking. It’s no wonder that some dishes have as much as a half cup of oil!
Now, what are you waiting for?
PORK AND MARINADE:
- 280g of pork (sliced ⅛-inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
REST OF THE DISH:
- 450g of drained firm tofu (2-inch squares, ½-inch thick)
- 1 red bell pepper (1×2-inch pieces)
- 3 scallions (2-inch pieces)
- ⅓ cup of hot water or chicken stock
- 6 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
- 3 tablespoons of fermented black beans
- 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
- 2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon of minced ginger (doubanjiang)
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon of sugar
- 1/3 cup of hot water or chicken stock
- Put the pork slices in a dish and add 2 tablespoons of water. Use your hands to massage the pork until all the water is absorbed. When the pork is evenly coated with the oil and cornstarch, remove it from the heat and put it aside.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of oil around your wok and cook it over high heat to coat the surface evenly. A single layer of tofu slices should be added to the wok and allowed to brown. To ensure that the tofu is coated in oil on all sides, you should tilt the wok. If more oil is needed, add it now.
- After another minute or two, the tofu should be cooked and no longer adhere to the wok. A metal spatula could have helped you gently separate the parts. To carefully flip all the tofu pieces, reduce the heat.
- When the tofu is browned on both sides, remove it from the pan and place it on a platter. They ought to be a lot less of a hassle to deal with now.
- High heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. You should add the meat as soon as the wok begins to produce a little smoke.
- With a metal spatula, evenly distribute the pork throughout the wok and let it sear for 20 seconds before flipping. Keep cooking for another 15 seconds, then transfer the meat to the marinade. At this point, it should be cooked through around 80%.
- Reduce heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil, minced ginger, hot chili bean paste, and scallion whites.
- To infuse the oil with flavor and bring out a deep crimson hue, stir this mixture into the oil and fry it over low heat for 15 seconds.
- Afterward, throw in some garlic, black beans, red bell peppers, and the remaining scallions. With the heat on high for the next 45 seconds, give everything a good stir-fry. The roasted peppers will give the meal a deeper, more natural shade of red.
- Add the pork, marinade, and tofu back into the wok and stir to combine. Add the sugar and stir-fry for another 15 seconds while spreading 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine along the edge of the wok. Take care not to crumble the tofu.
- After 15 more seconds of stir-frying, deglaze the wok with the hot chicken stock or water. For the next 30 seconds, keep stirring and deglaze the wok by pushing the liquid to the sides of the pan.
- You can either continue to stir-fry the dish until most of the liquid has evaporated. This Hunan Pork and Tofu is best served over rice.