Spicy Chilli French Bean Mapo Tofu
Fine French beans tossed in a rich and spicy Sichuan Mapo Tofu, seasoned with rich and savoury chilli bean paste and drizzled with black rice vinegar for a tantalizing tangy note: umami heaven and perfect comfort food served with jasmine rice. French beans are packed with nutritional goodness: they contain vitamins A and C, and minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium; they’re also low in calories and contain no saturated fat. They impart a lovely, tender, crunchy bite to the dish, adding texture and a sweet flavour.
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh root ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
200g (7oz) fine French beans, trimmed and sliced into 1cm (½in) rounds
200g (7oz) firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1.5cm (¾in) cubes
1 tbsp chilli bean paste
1 tbsp Shaosing rice wine or dry sherry
200ml (7fl oz) cold vegetable stock
1 tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
1 tsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
large pinch of toasted ground Sichuan pepper, to garnish
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced, to garnish
Before you begin, mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp water in a small bowl or cup to make a slurry. Set aside until needed.
Heat a wok over high heat until smoking and add the rapeseed oil. Give the oil a swirl, then add the garlic, ginger and chillies and stir for a few seconds. Add the French beans, stir-fry for a few seconds, then add
the tofu and cook, tossing, for a few more seconds.
Push the ingredients to one side of the wok. Add the chilli bean sauce and rice wine or sherry to the other side of the wok and cook for a few seconds.
Add the vegetable stock, stir everything to combine, and bring to the boil. Season with tamari or light soy sauce and black rice vinegar. Pour in the cornflour slurry and stir to thicken the sauce.
Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with ground Sichuan pepper and spring onions and eat immediately.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Kyle Books.