A pock-marked grandmother from Chengdu in the peppery province of Sichuan came up with this now-famous dish, a fiery Stir-fry of beancurd and pork sauce. Restaurants tend to make this a dish of pork garnished with beancurd, but I prefer to return it to its original intent: a dish of beancurd garnished with pork. Serve with plenty of rice and a spicy Shiraz.
Cut beancurd blocks into 2 cm (¾ in) cubes, and set aside to drain for 15 minutes.
Heat wok, add oil, and heat. When hot, add garlic, chilli and ginger. Add minced pork and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add green onions, chilli bean sauce, sugar, wine, dark soy and chicken broth and stir fry for 5 minutes.
Add the drained beancurd, lower the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the ground Sichuan peppercorns over the top and stir them through the pork sauce. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
P.S. Reinvent this dish as a first course or light supper by steaming whole beancurd squares over simmering water for 10 minutes. Make the pork sauce in the wok, arrange a square of beancurd on each warmed serving platter, and spoon the chilli pork sauce on top. Top with coriander and serve.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.