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Kung Pao Tofu
4.27 Stars
Food Type: Chinese
Dish Type: EntreÚ
Recipe Source: Recipiezaar a long time ago
Taste: 4 Stars
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Number of Servings: 6 Servings
Ingredients
16 Oz Tofu (firm)
1 Cup Sherry wine (sweet)
8 Tsp Cornstarch
0.25 Cups Water
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Rice vinegar
a dash Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Tuong Ot Sriracha)
1 Tbsp Light olive oil (or other cooking oil)
2 Tsp Fresh ground ginger root
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Onion (white, sweet)
1 Green bell pepper
6 Cups Medium-grain White Rice
3 Cups Broccoli (optional)
1 Yellow bell pepper (optional)
Preparation
1 A preface: you'll make a mess cooking this. It's completely worth it, so cook like no one has to clean up!

Slice up the tofu into cubes, about 1 inch by 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch. Start marinating these right away in a combination of the sherry and about 4 tsp of cornstarch. Marinate for at least 15 minutes, making sure to toss a few times, so all of the tofu is covered.
2 Start cooking the rice -- Kung Pao Tofu is a spicy dish, so make sure to make enough if you need to spread the spice around a bit!
3 Start a-choppin' the vegetables:
Garlic should be diced (pressing will also work),
Ginger grated,
Onions diced into fingernail sized pieces,
Green bell pepper diced to about the same size.
If you're making broccoli with the dish (it works well on the side to clear the spice from your mouth), chop it up for steaming.
4 Mix the sauce in a bowl: put in the rest of the cornstarch (4 tsp), sugar, rice vinegar, and a dash or two of hot pepper sauce. Stir thoroughly, and set to the side.
5 (experimental step I haven't tried yet!)
Take the tofu out of the marinade (but save it), and drop it into the wok on high heat with dash of olive oil. The idea is to crisp the outsides very quicky, without burning, to have the texture later in the dish. This may not work since they've been marinated. Once they're crisp, pull them out and put with the marinade.
(Now is a good time to start the broccoli steaming, if you're doing that sort of thing)
6 If you're done marinating the tofu, set out all the ingredients to stir-fry in a row: things go very quickly once the frying begins!

The order you want is: Garlic and Ginger, Tofu (with marinade), Onions, Sauce, Green bell pepper. Once they're arranged, fire up the wok on high heat, and add a dab of olive oil.
7 SautÚ the garlic and ginger for 20 seconds or so, until just before the garlic starts to brown. Then,
8 Add the tofu and marinade. Cook this for about 90 seconds, until the sauce starts to become a bit thick.
9 Add the onions. Cook the tofu and onions for about another 90-120 seconds, until the marinade has become a gooey covering. Then,
10 Pull the mixture to the outside edges of the wok, and pour the sauce into the center. Let this cook for about 2 minutes without mixing. When it starts to become darker, thick, and bubbly, mix everything up.
11 Add in the green bell peppers. If you're a fan of spicy food (like me), now is also the time to add a boatload of the Sriracha sauce. This will happily make the dish quite a bit more pao-er-ful.

Cook this whole mixture for perhaps another minute or two, until the sauce is a bit thick. Then, serve it up!
12 As mentioned above, serving with broccoli on the side makes a very nice palate-cooler. The contrast of color is nice too. The yellow bell pepper also makes a nice garnish for this dish. Depending on your preferences, you can either mix the rice and Kung Pao, or serve separately.

Enjoy!
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