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Veg Szechuan Tofu and Veggies

Szechuan Tofu and Veggies is a bold and spicy dish that embodies the vibrant flavors of Szechuan cuisine, known for its liberal use of garlic, chili peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns which give it a distinctive aroma and piquancy. This dish combines the soft texture of tofu with a variety of colorful vegetables, all stir-fried in a fiery and flavorful sauce.

Veg Szechuan Tofu and Veggies

Ingredients:

Tofu: Firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes.
Vegetables: A mix of bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas, chosen for their crunch and color.
Garlic and Ginger: Minced, forming the aromatic base of the dish.
Sichuan Peppercorns: Crushed, to add the unique numbing spice characteristic of Szechuan cuisine.
Chili Paste or Chili Oil: For heat.
Soy Sauce: For saltiness and depth of flavor.
Rice Vinegar: For a touch of acidity.
Sesame Oil: For a nutty flavor finish.
Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce and give the tofu a crispy coating when fried.
Sugar: A small amount to balance the heat.
Green Onions and Sesame Seeds: For garnishing.

Instructions:

Prepare the Tofu:
Toss the cubed tofu in cornstarch until lightly coated.
Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat and fry the tofu until golden and crispy. Set aside.

Stir Fry the Vegetables:
In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed. Sauté garlic, ginger, and Sichuan peppercorns for about a minute until fragrant.
Add the harder vegetables first (carrots, broccoli) and stir fry for a few minutes. Then add the softer vegetables (bell peppers, snap peas) and cook until all are just tender.

Make the Sauce:
Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste or oil, a splash of water, and sugar in a bowl. Pour this mixture into the pan with the vegetables and bring to a simmer.
Return the crispy tofu to the pan. Stir well to coat everything in the sauce. Cook for an additional minute or so to allow the flavors to meld.

Finish and Serve:
Drizzle sesame oil over the dish and stir through.
Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
Serve hot over steamed rice or noodles.

Serving Suggestions:

Szechuan Tofu and Veggies is perfect for those who enjoy spicy food and is typically served with a side of steamed jasmine rice or noodles to help balance the intensity of the flavors. It's a hearty, satisfying dish that brings the authentic taste of Szechuan cuisine to your dining table, perfect for a flavorful weeknight dinner or to impress guests who enjoy spicy, aromatic meals.

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