Spicy Simmered Tofu

2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1/4 pound boneless pork tenderloin, shoulder or butt, thinly sliced against the grain (optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon or more hot chile paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

1. Set a large wok over high heat until it's very hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the pork, ginger and Hot Chile Paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds, pressing the meat and scallions against the side of the wok. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

2. Add the tofu, broth and salt and bring to a vigorous boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry over high heat until the sauce thickens and becomes clear, about 20 seconds. Transfer the tofu to a shallow bowl and serve hot, warm or at room temperature, with a small ladle.

Servings: 4



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