Spicy Hunan Steamed Tofu is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines the rich umami of caramelized oyster mushrooms with the subtle flavor of steamed tofu. Tossed with scallions, ginger, and loads of white pepper, this dish packs a punch of flavor that will leave your taste buds singing. And to take the dish to the next level, a sauce prepared from pickled duo jiao chili peppers is added, providing a spicy kick that will tantalize your taste buds.
To sum up, this vegan dish is superior to its meat-based counterpart due to its abundance of flavor, its high protein content, and the prominence of meaty mushrooms.
Surprised? It’s not any more than we already are…
Hunan-style, One of our all-time favorite meals, is fish that has been steamed and then topped with a generous helping of dual jiao pickled chili peppers. That may seem redundant coming from a food blogger, but it’s one of our absolute faves and a staple in both our home kitchen and our go-to Hunan takeout spot.
Even though the fish is the main attraction, the fanned silken tofu and fiery duo jiao chili pepper combo are what really make this meal shine. Finding the last of the tofu is always a challenge for us!
Duo jiao, prepared by fermenting chopped chili peppers in salt, is an essential condiment in Hunan cuisine. The product is a harmonious blend of salty, spicy, and tangy flavors that really makes this sauce shine. This is at its finest with a big bowl of rice and a heavy spoon.
- 1 pound of silken tofu
- 8 ounces of oyster mushrooms
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 finely chopped scallions (white and green parts separated)
- 2/3 cup of hot water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper (or to taste)
- 1-4 tablespoons of duo jiao salted chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- salt (to taste)
- Slice your silken tofu in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/2-inch cubes to have it ready to use. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise and place each piece in a separate big heatproof rimmed plate or shallow bowl using your knife or cleaver. Fan the tofu chunks out on the platter. The tofu would benefit from a light sprinkling of salt.
- The next step is to steam the tofu. Put the tofu on a steaming rack inside a wok and cover it with cold water to cook it.
- Raising the temperature to medium-high is recommended. In around 7 minutes, the water will boil. Allow it to steam for an additional three minutes, for a total of ten minutes, after it has begun boiling.
- Prior to placing the tofu in the steamer, bring a skillet to temperature over medium heat. Put in a tablespoon of oil and brown the oyster mushrooms. To taste, add salt. Allow them to brown and caramelize, turning once one side has reached the desired color.
- When the tofu is done, remove it from the heat and carefully drain any liquid that has accumulated in the dish. Caramelize some oyster mushrooms and arrange them on top. White pepper (about a quarter of a teaspoon) should be sprinkled evenly over the mushrooms and tofu.
- Two teaspoons of oil and one and a half tablespoons of minced ginger should be heated together in a clean pot or wok over low heat. After one minute, add the garlic and simmer for another.
- Sprinkle in few duo jiao salted chili peppers. You should only need a minute or two to cook it. At this point, the oil should become crimson and release a pleasant aroma.
- The white parts of the scallions should be added next. Add 2/3 cup boiling water, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and whisk for an additional 10 seconds.
- Boil, then simmer. Remove the pan from the stovetop and add the scallion greens. As soon as the sauce is ready, dish it over the mushrooms and tofu.