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Kung Pao Tofu

1 pound extra-firm tofu, cubed into small bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup unsalted, skinned peanuts
2-10 dried red chilies
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces, (white & green parts)
oil for frying

4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon corn starch
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine, mirin or dry sherry (I use sherry)
1 teaspoon sugar

Put a medium pot of salted water to boil. Rinse the block of tofu
and cube it into bite-sized pieces and place the tofu into the
rapidly boiling salted water. Let the tofu remain in the water
until it returns to a boil and the tofu cubes rise to the top.
Drain and put on a plate in a single layer to cool a bit.

Make the sauce. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch into the water.
Add the soy sauce, sherry and sugar. Stir to blend.

To cook the dish: (I use a flat bottomed Teflon skillet and keep
the flame pretty high throughout the approx. 5-7 minutes it takes
to complete the dish.) Heat the skillet and pour enough oil to
coat bottom of skillet. Fry chilies until they begin to turn brown.
Remove with slotted spoon to plate. In same oil, fry peanuts until
they begin to turn brown and remove with slotted spoon to plate.
In same oil, fry tofu cubes. Let the tofu cook until brown and
crispy-looking, turning to brown all sides, about 3-5 minutes.
Pour sauce over all. Sauce with thicken very quickly - 30 seconds.
(This is not a runny-sauce dish!) Add green onions, cook together
less than a minute. Add chilies and peanuts back to re-warm for
a few seconds and serve! Serve with a nice Asian rice.

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
Taste: Ease of Prep: Appearance:
Wonderful!, January 24, 2004 - 02:08 PM
Reviewer: Julie from Houston, TX USA
Ok, I gave this a 5star rating because it was the first time I made a real tofu dish, and my family couldn't get enough of it. It is really tasty! I gave it 4stars for ease of preparation because I think 5stars would mean "dump together in a bowl and stir," or something similar. But this couldn't get much easier. I do add more veggis to mine ~ snow peas, sliced carrots, mushrooms, and peppers. Even yummier! Definitely a keeper recipe!

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