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Make this tonight! Black bean tofu & baby pak choi

It's the Year of the Tiger, don't you know! Earn your stripes with this lucky tofu recipe from Ching-He Huang MBE's bestselling cookbook, 'Asian Green'.

Serves 4 as a side

I add a touch of a good-quality yellow bean sauce to give this dish a savoury, mellow edge. If you are able to buy ready-fried tofu from a Chinese supermarket, it has a sponge-like quality which is super delicious and a quick cheat. Alternatively, place a block of tofu in the freezer overnight, then defrost before use. The water crystals will produce large ‘pores’ in the tofu that make it extra ‘spongy’, helping it absorb lots of sauce, and therefore, flavour!


  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fermented salted black beans, rinsed and crushed
  • 1 tbsp yellow bean paste or miso paste
  • 250g (9oz) ready-fried tofu or regular tofu, quartered
  • 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm (¾in) chunks
  • 200ml (7fl oz) vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
  • cooked jasmine rice, to serve

For the pak choi

  • 200g (7oz) baby pak choi, halved
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into matchsticks


First, prepare the pak choi. Place a heatproof plate inside a bamboo steamer. Season the pak choi with salt, rice wine, tamari or light soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, then lay the ginger slices over the top.

Place the lid on the steamer and set over a wok or pan of water. Bring to the boil, then gently steam over a low heat for 3–4 minutes.

In a small jug or cup, mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp water to create a slurry and set aside until needed.

Meanwhile, place a wok over a high heat and add the rapeseed oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the garlic, ginger and chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds. Then add the black beans and yellow bean paste and stir quickly.

Add the tofu and stir-fry for 1 minute, keeping the ingredients moving in the wok, then add the rice wine or sherry and the green peppers and stir-fry for a further minute.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season with the tamari or soy sauce, then add the cornflour slurry and stir to thicken.

Serve the black bean tofu and steamed baby pak choi with jasmine rice on the side and eat immediately.

Asian Green‘ by Ching-He Huang MBE, available now

Asian Green

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