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Tofu batons with hot sesame dressing

Tofu batons with hot sesame dressing
Richard Jung / For The Times

Imagine the cookbook as Lonely Planet guide -- trail-stained, river-logged, loaded with maps and pictures, the recipes like scrawled postcards -- and you get an idea of the kind of books Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid write. "Beyond the Great ... Read more

Total time: 55 minutes | Serves 4
  • 3 ounces tofu sticks (4 to 6 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Step 1Add 2 inches of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the tofu sticks, breaking them if necessary to submerge them. Remove from the heat. Weight down the sticks with a plate that fits inside the pot. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2Remove the plate and drain the tofu well. Cut the sticks into 2-inch lengths, trimming and discarding any tough bits. Cut the sticks lengthwise in halves or into quarters, to make narrow batons. Set aside.

Step 3Heat a wok or wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the peanut and sesame oils. When the oil is hot, add the chile pepper flakes and the tofu batons and stir-fry for 2 minutes, stirring and pressing on the batons to expose them to the hot surface of the pan.

Step 4In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar and whisk well, then pour over the tofu batons. Stir-fry briefly to distribute the flavors, and continue to cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Step 5Turn out into a wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Adapted from "Beyond the Great Wall." Tofu sticks, also known as bean curd sticks, are available at Chinese and other Asian markets.


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