Kung Pao Tofu
with Chinese Broccoli & Brown Rice
Kung Pao, a chili and vegetable stir-fry from the Szechuan province of China, is believed to be named after a former governor of the province from the Qing Dynasty. His title, Gong Bao, translates to “palatial guardian.” Peanuts and tingly Szechuan peppercorns are typical ingredients that define Kung Pao. We also included black vinegar, an aged rice vinegar that’s often used to add richness and complexity to this flavorful dish.
- 1 Cup Brown Rice
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Piece Ginger
- 2 Scallions
- 1 Bunch Chinese Broccoli
- 1 Package Firm Silken Tofu
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Black Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Szechuan Peppercorns
- 2 Dried Chilis
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
- ¼ Cup Roasted Peanuts
Cook the rice:
In a medium pot, combine the rice and 2 cups of water. Heat the pot to boiling on high, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
Prepare your ingredients:
While the rice simmers, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Slice the scallions. Roughly chop the Chinese broccoli. Drain the tofu and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
Cook the tofu & make the slurry:
In a large pan, heat a little olive oil on high until hot. Add the tofu, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, turning it over occasionally to ensure it browns on all sides. While the tofu cooks, make the slurry: in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, black vinegar, and ½ cup of water until smooth.
Finish the tofu:
With the side of your knife, smash the Szechuan peppercorns to crack them slightly. Add the peppercorns, along with the scallions, half the garlic, the ginger, and the dried chilis to the pan with the tofu. Cook about 1 minute, or until fragrant, stirring. Add the slurry and sesame oil and cook about 2 minutes longer, or until thickened and saucy. Transfer the tofu mixture to a bowl.
Cook the Chinese broccoli & enjoy:
Wipe out the pan used for the tofu. Add a little olive oil, and heat the oil on high until hot. Add the Chinese broccoli and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add the remaining garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the garlic is fragrant and the Chinese broccoli is bright green and slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the rice, tofu, and Chinese broccoli between 2 plates. Garnish with the peanuts. Enjoy!