Tofu is a great source of protein. It’s one item that always makes it to my basket when I grocery shop (sometimes in multiple forms). I eat it because my parents used to cook tofu the Chinese way. Now, I’m excited to share this recipe with you!
For this recipe, I use traditional style tofu, which is a soft- medium firm type tofu. This breaks easily, so be careful when stirring it in the pan. The flavour of this dish comes from the spicy black bean sauce. It’s a mixture of chilies with fermented beans. It has a salty flavour, and reminds me a little of worcestershire or soy sauce.
To thicken the sauce, mix together cornstarch and a cold liquid. Add this to the hot tofu in black bean sauce, and you will get the signature gloss of some Chinese dishes. Be careful not to add too much, or you will end up with a gooey mess that’s reminiscent of bad Chinese takeout rather than home-cooked Chinese food.
Eat this Mindfully
Prepare: Take a few deep breaths and scan your body. Do you notice yourself holding tension in your jaws, shoulders, stomach, or anywhere else? If so, relax those areas as much as you can. How hungry do you feel? How full do you feel?
Look: What do you notice about the colours? What shapes do you see? Does it look smooth or rough? Crunchy or soft?
Smell: Breath in the aromas of the dish. What stands out to you? Can you smell the sesame oil? Or black bean sauce? What thoughts come to your mind as you smell this dish?
Taste: What tastes do you notice at first? What other tastes unfold as you continue to chew? What’s the texture like?
Check in: What changes do you notice in your hunger and fullness? How do you know when you’re ready to stop eating?
- 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 700 g traditional style tofu (medium- soft), diced
- 4-5 dried wooden ear mushrooms, soaked in boiling hot water for 30 min, chopped roughly
- 1.5 tbsp black bean sauce with chili paste
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (or water)
- 1.5 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
- In a wok or large frying pan, heat up oil until hot over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant.
- Add tofu, wooden ear mushrooms, black bean sauce, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Combine cooking wine or water and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour this over the tofu.
- Season with sesame oil, add salt to taste.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.
- Dried wooden ear mushrooms can be found in the international section of some grocery stores, or in a Chinese grocery store. If not available, try substituting shiitake or brown mushrooms.