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    Chilli Salt Crusted Tofu with wilted greens and black bean sauce

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    Chilli Salt Crusted Tofu with wilted greens and black bean sauce

    It is a bit of a fiddle to make the first time. The black bean sauce makes enough for two meals and keeps well in the fridge for a week or two.

    • Total time: 2hrs

    Serves: 2

    Ingredients

    • For the salt crust:
      12 large dried chillies
      12 black peppercorns
      2 tspns sea salt crystals
      2 tbspns uncooked basmati rice

      For the blackbean sauce
      2 tspns dried blackbeans
      30ml vegetable oil
      1/2 tspn sesame oil
      5 cloves garlic. minced
      2 tspns minced ginger
      4 red birds eye chillies, finely sliced
      25ml chinese rice wine - or sherry if you have none, though it's easy to buy in chinese food shops
      25ml ginger juice, made by putting 6 tbspns minced ginger into a blender with a splash of water, blend for a minute, then press the pulp through a very fine sieve to extract the juice
      75ml sweet soy - kecap manis
      150ml water
      1 tspn sea salt
      50g garlic chives
      500g pak choy or other chinese greens
      1 tbspn peanut oil
      800g firm beancurd, cut into 8 cubes

      Oil for deep frying

    Method

    1. To make the chilli salt crust, dry roast the dried chillies, peppercorns, salt and rice over a gentle heat until slightly coloured and aromatic. Put to one side till cool, then grind to a powder.
    2. To make the black bean sauce, soak the black beans for 30 minutes. Heat the vegetable and sesame oils in a pan over a moderate heat and fry the garlic, ginger and chilli for a minute till fragrant then add the drained blackbenas, rice wine, ginger juice,sweet soy and water and bring to a boil, then simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the salt, then taste and adjust seasoning.
    3. Heat the peanut oil in a pan and add the separated and washed chinese leaves. Cover with a lid and allow to wilt. Drain.
    4. Meanwhile, heat enough vegetable oil in a pan to deep fry the tofu. Coat the beancurd cubes in the chilli salt, then fry a few at a time for 3 minutes or so until pale goled and crisp on the surface. They will float to the top when cooked. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper and cook the remainder.
    5. Stir the garlic chives into the blackbean sauce. Arrange steamed greens onto a plate, spoon over blackbean sauce then top with fried beancurd. Add a dollop of chilli jam if you have some, for a lovely starter. Rice for a main course.

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