Think mapo tofu but with a bit of crunch.
For this dish, a cake of firm tofu was sliced horizontally into two pieces, salted generously and deep fried until golden and crisp.
The tofu steaks were arranged on individual plates and smothered with a saucy stir fry of ground pork and vegetables cooked with an amazing medley of spices and aromatics.
The dish is filling enough but serving it with hot rice is a great idea too, and most Asians would probably prefer it that way.
For best results, use two woks (or frying pans) on two burners simultaneously. That way, the tofu steaks won’t cool and turn soggy by the time the stir fried ground pork is done.
- 1 and 1/2 cups oil for deep frying
- 1 cake of firm tofu about 300 g., split horizontally into two pieces and sprinkled generously with salt
- 200 grams finely ground pork
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger with the juice
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 bird's eye chili finely chopped
- 1 small eggplant cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 bell pepper whatever color, roughly chopped
- 2 pinches brown sugar
- 1 very generous splash rice wine
- 1 splash soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons bone broth
- drizzle sesame seed oil
- strips of scallions to garnish
Heat the cooking oil in a wok.
Lower the two pieces of tofu side by side and fry over high heat until browned and crisp, flipping them over after about four or five minutes. Arrange the tofu steaks at the center of two plates.
While the tofu steaks fry, heat another wok in another burner of the stove. Take about a tablespoonful of the hot oil from the wok with the tofu and pour into the second wok, swirling it around to coat the sides of the wok.
Add the ground pork. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until lightly browned.
Throw in the garlic, ginger, onion and chili. Stir fry for half a minute.
Add the eggplant and bell pepper. Sprinkle in the sugar and a bit more salt and pepper. Pour in the rice wine. Stir fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are done but still firm.
Stir in the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Pour in enough broth to make a few tablespoonfuls of sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
Drizzle in the sesame seed oil. Stir. Turn off the heat.
Spoon the stir fried pork and vegetables, with the sauce, over the tofu steaks. Sprinkle with strips of scallion and serve.