Beancurd Sticks Simmered with Chili Bean Paste

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

About the author: Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.

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Beancurd Sticks Simmered with Chili Bean Paste

About This Recipe

Yield:serve 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:30 minutes, plus several hours for soaking
Special equipment:3 quart sauté pan
This recipe appears in: Chichi's Chinese: Tofu Skin, Part One


  • 8 ounces beancurd sticks, soaked in water for a a few hours
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Sichuanese chili bean paste
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoons crushed Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 star anise pod
  • Kosher salt
  • Chopped cilantro and scallions to garnish


  1. 1

    Cut the soaked bean curd sticks into 2-inch segments and set aside. (You can soak the tofu skin the night before, placing them in the refrigerator in a large bowl of water.)

  2. 2

    Heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chill bean paste and stir-fry until it is fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the stock, wine, soy sauce, spices, and segments of tofu skin. Simmer until the tofu skin is tender and flavorful, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately, garnishing with scallions and cilantro.

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