Let’s turn a classic popular Northern Chinese meat dish into a vegetarian-friendly option. It is best to not substitute black vinegar with other kinds, as it’s important to the unique taste of Kung Pao!
Serves 3 as a main dish together with steamed rice
- 400g brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- 300g firm tofu cut into 1/2” cubes
- Vegetable oil for cooking
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
- 2 tbsp hot chili paste (such as Ayam’s sambal oelek)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1.5 tbsp black vinegar
- ⅓ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts, roughly crushed
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
In small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and chili paste and set aside. In another small bowl, mix together corn starch and 2 tbsp water and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. Sear tofu cubes until golden brown (it is ok if each single piece of tofu isn’t brown on all sides). Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok or large frying pan on medium-high heat, then sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant and shallots are translucent but not browned. Add brussels sprouts and toss together with shallot mixture. Add seasonings and toss everything together so that sprouts are well coated. Lower heat to medium so that the sauce doesn’t reduce too quickly. Toss occasionally and let simmer until sprouts are soft and almost cooked through. Then add tofu and toss to combine.
Remove to shallow plate and garnish with peanuts and fresh coriander leaves. Serve immediately on a bed of steamed rice.