3 pcs. beancurd (about 3 cups)
2 oz. garlic seedlings
1 tablespoon dried chilli
20 grains Chinese peppercorn
1.1/2 tablespoons broad-bean hot sauce of Sichuan
1.1/2 tablespoons soya sauce
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon gourmet powder
2 tablespoons cooking wine
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons lard
1 tablespoon scallion white
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1) Cut beancurd into pieces of 1.1/2X1X3/8 inches. Place it in an aluminum lunch box, add water to the same level.
Cut garlic seedlings lengthwise and then cut across into 3/4-inch lengths. Do the same with scallion white. Trim dried chilli of stems and seeds. Chop fine broad-bean hot sauce of Sichuan with back of cleaver.
2) Put box containing beancurd on fire, bring to a slight boil and remove box from fire.
3) Heat pan on fire, melt lard and when this is hot, fry Chinese peppercorn and dried chilli till chilli becomes dark purple. Remove peppercorn and chilli and mash them fine on workboard.
Place same pan again on fire. Stir-fry broad-bean hot sauce and minced ginger till they are crisp and the oil becomes red. Pour in 2 cups of boiling water. Bring to a boil and keep it boiling for 5-6 minutes. Remove and throw away the dregs of broad-bean hot sauce with a strainer. Add soya sauce, gourmet powder, salt and cooking wine so that the stock becomes delicious, prickly and hot. Bring it to a rolling boil, transfer beancurd into pan. When the stock boils again, thicken it with cornflour (diluted with water) and pour everything into a big soup bowl. Sprinkle on mashed chilli and peppercorn, followed with garlic seedlings and scallion white on top.
4) Heat sesame oil in a clean pan till it smokes. Pour hot oil on garlic seedlings and scallion and it is done.
(1) In step 2, the beancurd should not be boiled for any length of time or it will become tough and honeycombed.
(2) Before being put in stock, the pre-boiled beancurd should be drained lest the taste of the stock should be affected.
(3) The amount of the stock for this dish may vary as preferred. With much stock, it will be a soup; with little, it is a warm dish. In the latter case, it may also be thickened for good taste.
(4) Quantities for chilli, peppercorn and broad-bean hot sauce may vary to taste.