I saw this recipe in New York Times and gave it a try. It’s fantastic. The recipe is easy and can be adjusted to meet your need for heat. It goes great with wok seared baby bok choy and steamed rice. Of course, broccoli, cabbage, or other hearty green would be delicious as well. Additional chili sauce, toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges on the side is always recommended. And if you like seafood, we had ours with szechuan shrimp. Delicious!
Makes 4 Servings


  • (14-ounce) packages firm organic tofu, drained
  • 2 T neutral oil, such as grape seed
  • 1 T Kosher salt
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • whole star anise
  • C organic vegetable broth or stock
  • 1/4 C Shaoxing wine (Rice Wine)
  • 1/4 C dark shoyu sauce
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced (NYT recipe called for two, but we like garlic!)
  • 1-1/2 inch fresh organic ginger, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • small hot dried chiles (one was recommended in the NYT recipe, but we like heat!)
  • 6 organic scallions, whites cut into ½-inch pieces, greens thinly sliced
  • Steamed rice, cooked according to directions (1 cup per person)
  • Additional chili paste or sauce

Place the tofu blocks between paper towels and press gently to remove excess liquid.  In a large skillet or cast-iron pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the tofu with salt and place in the pan; sear without moving until the contact side is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and sear the other side until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate.

To avoid spattering, carefully add 1/2 cup water, the sugar and star anise to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until the syrup is reduced and turns deep amber, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully pour in the stock, Shaoxing, shoyu, sliced garlic, sliced ginger and chile and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced, syrupy and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes.

Cut the tofu into 1″ pieces, return to the pan and add the scallion whites. Toss to coat with the sauce and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and discard the star anise and dried chiles. Garnish with scallion greens and serve with steamed rice, chili sauce toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges on the side.