Recipe by Kate S.
Modified from Gourmet April 2003. This simple, delicious, spicy dish is standard fare in the parts of China where I've lived. Always popular with a crowd.
- 2 baby leeks, cut diagonally into 1/8-inch-thick slices (1/2 lb total, white and pale green parts only)
- 10 ounces firm tofu, drained, sliced, and cut diagonally into triangles
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1⁄4 lb ground beef
- 1 teaspoon chinese rice wine (preferably Shaoxing) or 1 teaspoon medium-dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1⁄2 tablespoon chili bean sauce or 1⁄2 tablespoon chili bean paste
- 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon mild pure chile powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chinese fermented black beans, soaked in water 10 minutes and drained
- 1⁄4 cup chicken broth
- 1⁄2 teaspoon potato starch or 1⁄2 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 teaspoons cold water
- white rice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground with a mortar and pestle
Directions See How It's Made
- Wash leeks in cold water, and drain well.
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 2 cups hot water, and add tofu. Soak 5 minutes, then drain.
- Heat wok over high heat until a bead of water dropped onto cooking surface evaporates immediately. Add oil, swirling wok to coat, and heat until it begins to smoke. Add beef and stir-fry, breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in wine and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce and stir-fry 30 seconds.
- Add chile bean sauce and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add ginger, chile powder, and black beans and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, remaining 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, and tofu, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring gently, about 2 minutes.
- Add leeks and simmer, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir potato starch mixture and add to tofu, then cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
- This serves two people as a the main dish, or up to 10 people as part of a family-style meal with a variety of dishes.