Pan-Fried Beancurd with Leeks

Leeks are popular throughout China but especially in the north, where this recipe comes from. They are an ideal accompaniment to beancurd because of their texture and robust flavour. This is good, simple fare of the kind Chinese families enjoy at home. Serve with plain boiled rice.


  • 450 g (1 lb) firm beancurd
  • 3 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 350 g (12 oz) leeks
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 dried chilli, seeded
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) vegetable stock


Cut the beancurd in half, then cut again on the diagonal into triangles. Heat a wok or large frying-pan over moderate heat and add the oil. Fry the beancurd triangles until golden brown. You may have to do this in several batches. Drain on kitchen paper.

Cut the leeks into shreds, discarding the green parts. Wash well; you may have to do this several times.

Re-heat the wok over high heat. Put in the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the leeks and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and return the beancurd triangles to the mixture. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the beancurd is heated through. Serve at once.