Monday, January 05, 2009

Broiled sichuan-pepper tofu with greens and lemon

Take two with the sichuan pepper, and this time much more successful.

1 TBSP kosher salt
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
silken tofu, about 3 oz. per person (I used the Mori-Nu that comes in a box and keeps well in the pantry)
1-2 heads baby bok choy per person, or equivalent amount of other greens
1 TBSP fresh ginger per person
vegetable oil
lemon juice
cooked brown rice, for serving

1. Start your rice (if you're using white rice, you might want to make the pepper-salt first).

2. Make the Chinese pepper-salt: toast kosher salt and sichuan peppercorns together in a small, dry skillet until the kitchen is fully aromatic. Then grind together in a mortal and pestle. This will make more than you will likely need, unless you are making of lot of this.

3. Preheat the broiler. Brush the broiler pan, or a baking pan (lined with foil if you like) with a good amount of oil. Slice the tofu into thick slices, place on pan, and sprinkle each slice with a goodly amount of the pepper-salt. Put the pan under the broiler. I used my toaster-oven:

4. Bring a pot full of well-salted water to the boil. Wash the greens well. If you're using greens that have thick stems (bok choy, chard), separate them so you can blanch the stems for a bit longer. When water comes to the boil, add stems (if necessary) to cook for a minute or two, then leaves for 15-20 seconds. Remove to a cutting board with tongs and cut into manageable pieces. Drain.

5. Heat a little oil over medium-high heat in a wok. Add ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds or so; then add greens and stir-fry until they start to develop brown spots. Meanwhile, the tofu should be getting slightly golden on top and well heated through. Remove from broiler after about 10 minutes.

6. Plate up with a generous portion of rice, topped with the greens, topped with a couple of tofu slices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over all.

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