Easy One Pan Szechuan Vegetables and Tofu Recipe


Szechuan Vegetables and Tofu – an easy vegan one pan Chinese dish recipe for stir-fried vegetables with tofu in a fragrant spiced chilli sauce. This recipe is actually not overly hot and is in fact well balanced with every thinkable flavour and texture mingled in one dish.

Szechuan vegetables and tofu, easy one pan recipe

The tangy sweet balsamic vinegar, hot sambal or chilli paste, savoury salty soy sauce, the warm pungent aroma of cloves, the ambrosial floral notes from the star anise and a touch of sugar, all come together to give this Szechuan dish its unique flavour profile that is salivatingly moreish yet simple. And, best of all, it is all made in one pan!

The Shaoxing rice wine in this recipe adds an unmistakably distinct oomph and fragrance to the dish with a pleasant nutty undertone. It should be available at any Asian stores or you can get it online. If these are no options for you, then replace it with a vegan dry Sherry (not cooking Sherry as it is salty and won’t be appropriate), any vegan dry white wine or just omit it altogether.

This dish comes close to what we’ve had in restaurants before. In fact, the restaurant versions are even more fiery. So feel free to nudge the chilli paste amount to your preference.

For gluten-free and soy-free options, see the notes within the recipe below.

Rice noodles pair perfectly with this Szechuan vegetables. But you can never go wrong by accompanying it with boiled rice.

Enjoy the video as Kevin walks you through the step-by-step process of making this easy Szechuan dish.

Utensils and equipment that we’ve used in the video above.

Manual spice grinder
Carbon steel wok
Burnished bamboo angled spatula
Burnished bamboo all-purpose spatuala
Chinese cleaver
Kitchen Food Scale

Szechuan Vegetables and Tofu Recipe

Ingredients (serve 3)

1 dried shiitake mushroom*
1 small cluster woodear mushroom* or black fungus (or use any mushroom of choice)
200g [7 oz] firm tofu, cut into 1.5-cm [1/2-inch] cubes
1 medium [115g] carrot, thinly sliced into half moons
1 medium [175g] courgette (zucchini), sliced into half moons
1 yellow or red bell pepper, cut into 2.5cm [1-inch] cubes
3 – 4 spring onions (scallions)
1 ½ cups [100g] bean sprouts
1 large fresh tomato, cut and blended to a puree (or 150 ml canned tomato puree)
4-5 cloves, ground (or 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns*, ground)
1 star anise*
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (make your own homemade minced ginger and garlic)
1 – 2 teaspoons ground chilli paste (like Sambal Oelek* or chilli bean paste like gochujang)
1 dried red chilli
1 dash (about 2 tablespoons) Chinese Shaoxing rice wine* (or dry Sherry)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or Chinese black rice vinegar*)
1 tablespoon potato starch (or cornstarch)
3 – 5 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari or use this homemade soy-free gluten-free soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sugar (or other sweetener)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or cooking oil
Salt to taste

*These ingredients can be found at any Asian store and some regular stores or online

For gluten-free options:

  • Swap the Chinese rice wine with a gluten-free cooking white wine or dry Sherry.
  • Substitute the Chinese black vinegar with balsamic vinegar
  • Replace the soy sauce with tamari or our homemade soy-free gluten-free soy sauce.

For soy-free options:

  • Omit the tofu. Replace it with some chickpea tempeh (using our homemade tempeh making method). Or you can add more meaty mushrooms like portobello and king oyster mushrooms.
  • Substitute the soy sauce with our soy-free soy sauce recipe.

 

Directions

Place the shiitake and the woodear mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and let soak.

Once rehydrated, cut the woodear mushrooms into small pieces.

Leave the shiitake to continue soaking in the water. We will use this water later in the sauce.

Chop the spring onions. Separate the white and green part.

In a wok or sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium temperature.

Add the ground cloves (or Szechuan peppercorns), the star anise and the dried red chilli. Roast for about 20 seconds. This will flavour the oil.

Next add the ginger-garlic paste, chilli paste and white part of the spring onions. Stir fry for another minute.

Add in the tofu pieces. Stir fry until tofu is slightly crispy on all sides (about 10 minutes).

Add a little of the shiitake water if the tofu is sticking to the pan.

Add the carrots and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and continue to sauté for 2 – 3 minutes.

Next add the courgette and bell peppers. Stir fry for another minute.

Add the Shaoxing wine, balsamic vinegar, a little of the shiitake water and the sugar.

Dilute the potato starch in the rest of the shiitake water. Add this mixture to the pan and stir immediately. The sauce will thicken quickly.

Add more water if required to make more sauce.

Add the soy sauce (3 – 5 tablespoons depending on taste and colour).

Lastly adjust salt to taste if necessary (or use more soy sauce).

Garnish with the remaining green spring onions and serve over rice or noodles.

You can find some of the ingredients in this recipe online.

Szechuan Vegetables and Tofu | Easy One Pan Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Yield: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 dried shiitake mushroom*
  • 1 small cluster woodear mushroom* or black fungus (or use any mushroom of choice)
  • 200g [7 oz] firm tofu, cut into 1.5-cm [1/2-inch] cubes
  • 1 medium [115g] carrot, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 medium [175g] courgette (zucchini), sliced into half moons
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, cut into 2.5cm [1-inch] cubes
  • 3 – 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 ½ cups [100g] bean sprouts
  • 1 large fresh tomato, cut and blended to a puree (or 150 ml canned tomato puree)
  • 4-5 cloves, ground (or 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn*, ground)
  • 1 star anise*
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (make your own homemade minced ginger and garlic, see notes below)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons ground chilli paste (like Sambal Oelek* or chilli bean paste like gochujang)
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 dash (about 2 tablespoons) Chinese Shaoxing rice wine* (or dry Sherry)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or Chinese black rice vinegar*)
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch (or cornstarch)
  • 3 – 5 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari or use our homemade soy-free gluten-free soy sauce, see notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or other sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
*These ingredients can be found at any Asian store and some regular stores or online
For gluten-free options:
  • Swap the Chinese rice wine with a gluten-free cooking white wine or dry Sherry.
  • Substitute the Chinese black vinegar with balsamic vinegar.
  • Replace the soy sauce with tamari or our homemade soy-free gluten-free soy sauce.
For soy-free options:
  • Omit the tofu. Replace it with some chickpea tempeh (using our homemade tempeh making method, see notes below). Or you can add more meaty mushrooms like portobello and king oyster mushrooms.
  • Substitute the soy sauce with our soy-free soy sauce recipe (see notes below).
Instructions
  1. Place the shiitake and the woodear mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover with hot water and let soak.
  2. Once rehydrated, cut the woodear mushrooms into small pieces.
  3. Leave the shiitake to continue soaking in the water. We will use this water later in the sauce.
  4. Chop the spring onions. Separate the white and green part.
  5. In a wok or sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium temperature.
  6. Add the ground cloves (or Szechuan peppercorns), the star anise and the dried red chilli. Roast for about 20 seconds. This will flavour the oil.
  7. Next add the ginger-garlic paste, chilli paste and white part of the spring onions. Stir fry for another minute.
  8. Add in the tofu pieces. Stir fry until tofu is slightly crispy on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  9. Add a little of the shiitake water if the tofu is sticking to the pan.
  10. Add the carrots and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree and continue to sauté for 2 – 3 minutes.
  11. Next add the courgette and bell peppers. Stir fry for another minute.
  12. Add the Shaoxing wine, balsamic vinegar, a little of the shiitake water and the sugar.
  13. Dilute the potato starch in the rest of the shiitake water. Add this mixture to the pan and stir immediately. The sauce will thicken quickly.
  14. Add more water if required to make more sauce.
  15. Add the soy sauce (3 – 5 tablespoons depending on taste and colour).
  16. Lastly adjust salt to taste if necessary (or use more soy sauce).
  17. Garnish with the remaining green spring onions and serve over rice or noodles.
Notes
Homemade ginger-garlic paste - http://veganlovlie.com/quick-tip-pre-mince-prepare-preserve/
Homemade soy-free gluten-free soy sauce substitute - http://veganlovlie.com/soy-sauce-substitute-recipe-for-soy/
Homemade Tempeh - http://veganlovlie.com/how-to-make-tempeh-easy-method/

Szechuan vegetables and tofu, easy one pan recipe

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