Hunan-Style Tofu and Pork Stir-Fry: DIY Guide
Explore the delightful flavors of our Stir-Fried Tofu and Hunan Pork recipe. This delectable dish combines tender tofu with savory Hunan-style pork, creating a perfect harmony of tastes and textures
- For marinating pork
10 ounces of pork (280g, thinly sliced, 1/8 inch thick)
2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of oil
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- For the remaining part of the dish:”
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil or canola oil (divided)
1 pound of firm tofu (450g, drained and sliced into 2-inch squares, 1/2-inch thick)
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
2 tablespoons of spicy bean sauce (doubanjiang)
3 green onions (cut into 2-inch pieces at an angle)
2 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons of fermented black beans
1 red bell pepper (cut into 1×2 inch pieces, approximately 1.5 cups)
1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
¾ teaspoon of sugar
1/3 cup of hot water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon of cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon of water)
Preparation of Ingredients and Instructions for Making Stir-Fried Tofu and Hunan Pork
- In a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water to the pork slices and massage them until they absorb all the water. Then, add oil and cornstarch, mixing well until the pork is thoroughly coated. Set it aside.
- Heat a pan over high heat and evenly coat the surface with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the tofu slices in the pan in a single layer and allow them to cook without moving for at least 1 minute. Tilt the pan to ensure the oil covers the tofu on all sides, adding more oil if necessary.
- After another 1 to 2 minutes, the tofu will turn golden brown and no longer stick to the pan. You can use a metal spoon to gently loosen them. Reduce the heat and carefully flip all the tofu slices. Once both sides are golden, transfer them to a plate. They will be easier to handle now.
- In the same pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the pan starts to smoke slightly, immediately add the pork. Use a metal spatula to spread the pork around the pan, allowing it to cook on one side for 20 seconds. Stir-fry for an additional 15 seconds, then transfer the meat to the marinade bowl. It should be about 80% cooked.
- Using the same pan, lower the heat to low and immediately add 2 tablespoons of oil, minced ginger, hot chili sauce (doubanjiang), and the white part of the scallions. Stir this mixture into the oil and fry it over low heat for 15 seconds, allowing the oil to become a deep red color.
- Add the garlic, black beans, red bell pepper, and the remaining scallions. Increase the heat and sauté everything for 45 seconds. The red peppers will ripen and enhance the dish’s natural red color.
- Add the partially cooked pork and any juices from the marinade bowl to the pan, along with the tofu. Then, drizzle 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine around the pan and sprinkle sugar. Continue sautéing for 15 seconds, being gentle to avoid breaking the tofu.
- After another 15 seconds of stir-frying, pour chicken broth or hot water around the pan’s perimeter to cook. Continue stir-frying for an additional 30 seconds; the liquid may spill over the sides of the pan. (Note that we don’t add salt or soy sauce because the combination of spicy soy sauce and fermented soybeans is already quite salty.)
- At this point, you can continue to sauté the dish until the liquid is mostly reduced, or you can add water and cornstarch to thicken the remaining liquid. Transfer this Hunan pork and tofu dish to a plate and enjoy it with rice!”
Recipe: Stir-Fried Tofu and Hunan Pork
Stir-fried tofu and Hunan pork is a classic dish that graces the menus of many Hunan restaurants both in China and America. This recipe is not only delicious but also quite straightforward to prepare.
Hunan cuisine, much like Sichuan cuisine, revolves around the rich flavors of chili peppers and spices. Over the years, it has gained popularity, especially as Chinese immigrants and visitors have spread its influence across all corners of the United States.
Fermented black beans are a hallmark ingredient in Hunan-style cuisine, featured in various dishes like the highly acclaimed Steamed Hunan Fish with Salted Peppers (a dish you can find on our blog).
Speaking of fermented black beans, if you’d like to take a more cautious approach before diving into the deep end with a whole steamed fish, one of our favorite condiments is Lao Gan Ma, also known as “Lady Sauce,” a nickname given by Sarah and Kaitlin in one of our early posts. Our choice of names may be up for debate, but the delectable combination of fermented black beans and hot chili sauce infused with oil is something you absolutely must try!
Another noteworthy aspect of Hunan pork, and most Hunan dishes for that matter, is the generous use of oil. Hunan-style cooking, much like Sichuan-style Chinese cuisine, incorporates a substantial amount of oil. It’s not uncommon for dishes to contain up to half a cup of oil!
While this Stir-fried Tofu and Hunan Pork recipe does call for a liberal amount of oil (6 tablespoons), you’ll find that it doesn’t result in the same intense visible oiliness you might encounter in Chinese restaurants in China. As always, we encourage our readers to experiment, so if you prefer that restaurant-style flavor and consistency, feel free to increase the oil from 2 tablespoons to a quarter cup during the step when you fry the chili bean powder.
Let’s get started with making Stir-fried Tofu and Hunan Pork!