For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin
- 2 tablespoons chinkiang rice vinegar *
- 2 tablespoons coconut, date, or brown surgar
- 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/4 cup water
- 14 ounces firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons peanut or grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 4 to 6 dried red Szechuan peppers
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 small carrots, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
- 4 scallions, sliced (keep light and dark pieces separate)
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
- Bring three cups of water to a boil (on the stove or in the microwave).
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl; whisk until well-combined. Set aside.
- Drain the tofu and cut into bite-sized cubes. Place the tofu in a colander and pour the boiling water over the top. Pat dry with paper towels, then transfer the tofu to a plastic zipper-close bag. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to the bag. Seal the bag and give it a good shake. Re-open the bag and add one tablespoon of the corn starch. Re-seal and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining cornstarch, one tablespoon at a time, until the tofu is well-coated.
- Heat the peanut oil in a 10" or larger heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the peanuts and peppers and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Strain from the pan and set aside.
- Add the bell pepper, carrots, and light-colored scallions to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned and tender-crisp. Strain from the pan and set aside with the peanuts and Szechuan peppers.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add the tofu to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side (6 minutes total).
- Transfer the bell pepper, carrots, scallions (light and dark), peanuts, and Szechuan peppers back to the pan. Give the prepared sauce a good stir and pour into the pan. Toss with the tofu and vegetables; allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with rice.
Source: The Wanderlust Kitchen
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