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.
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Scallions
- 1 Small Piece Ginger
- 1 Bunch Chinese Broccoli
- 1 Package Firm Tofu
- 1/4 Cup Roasted Peanuts
- 1 Teaspoon Szechuan Peppercorns
- 1 Cup Brown Rice
- 2 Tablespoons Black Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 Dried Chilis
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Prepare the ingredients:
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, then pat dry with a paper towel. With the side of your knife, smash the Szechuan peppercorns to crack them slightly. Roughly chop the peanuts.
Cook the rice:
In a medium pot, heat the brown rice, a big pinch of salt and 1½ cups of water to boiling on high. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
Cook the tofu:
In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a couple teaspoons of oil on high until hot. Add the tofu and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate.
Make the slurry:
While the tofu cooks, make the slurry. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, black vinegar and ¾ cup of water until smooth.
Cook the Chinese broccoli & enjoy:
In the same pan, heat a couple teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the Chinese broccoli and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until bright green. Add the scallions, ginger and garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring frequently.
Make the sauce:
Stir in the slurry, sesame oil, whole dried chilis and as much of the Szechuan peppercorns as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Stir in the browned tofu and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until thickened and saucy; season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate your dish, divide the rice, tofu and Chinese broccoli between 2 plates, removing the whole dried chilis. Garnish with the chopped peanuts. Enjoy!