At Wu Liang Ye in Manhattan, the Ma Paul Tofu is zippy with flavor, and yet its braised cubes melt creamily. With a little ground pork and leek for texture, the dish is simple to make, once the shopping is done, and comes together quickly. Take care not to overcook the tofu.
- 1 container (about 15 ounces drained) soft tofu
- 4 ounces pork, ground fine
- 1 tablespoon peanut or other favorite cooking oil
- 1 large leek, trimmed, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (use both white and tender green portions)
- ¼ cup chili-soybean paste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns
- ½ cup chicken broth (homemade or from bouillon granules or cubes)
- Cooked white rice
3 servings (or 2 for addicts)
- Drain tofu and place on a cutting board. Slice horizontally into thirds. Return stack of slices to tofu container and cut into the tofu crosswise and lengthwise to make 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes. Cover with water and set aside.
- In a skillet or wok over medium-high heat, stir-fry pork until no longer pink, about 1 minute. Add the oil, and when hot, add the leek, chili-soybean paste, garlic and peppercorns. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Pour the water off the tofu, and add the tofu to the skillet, shaking the pan so the tofu settles into the broth. Simmer until very tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with or over rice but never under it.