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Tofu in Szechuan Sauce

Posted by Jeanne on November 9, 2010

We’re trying to behave this week.  After a weekend of wedding debauchery and cake and donuts and more wine than was strictly necessary, it’s time to go heavy on the vegetables.

So we made tofu in Szechuan sauce.  Inspired by this recipe, published at FoodZone.


0.5 C chicken or vegetable stock

2 TB tomato paste

1 TB rice vinegar

1 TB palm sugar (available at Asian markets – you can also use turbinado or brown sugar)

1 TB soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

0.5 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp crushed red pepper flake

1 or 2 TB vegetable oil (for frying tofu)

1 lb. firm tofu, cubed and patted dry

1 10-oz. bag frozen chopped broccoli or green beans


4 scallions, sliced

World's skinniest scallions, the last from the garden this year.

1 tsp Szechuan peppercorn

Whisk together stock, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and red pepper flake to make the sauce.  Set aside.

Warm vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat until shimmering. Add tofu and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes (don’t be impatient like me and only fry on 3 sides).  Remove the tofu and drain on a paper towel.

Discard all but about 1 tsp. of the oil, and return the pan to the burner.  Add broccoli or beans, whatever you’re using, and stir-fry about 5 minutes or until completely defrosted and just starting to really cook.  Add tofu and sauce mixture.  Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until vegetables are done and sauce begins to thicken.

Turn off the heat and add the Szechuan peppercorns and scallions.  Stir gently so as not to break the tofu.  Serve over steamed rice, maybe with a bit more sesame oil on top.

Next time, more red pepper.


2 Responses to “Tofu in Szechuan Sauce”

  1. Breana said

    I’ll have to try this, I’ve always wanted to make my own sauce! I’ll add more red pepper as per your suggestion, because I like things spicy.

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