Mapo tofu

700g medium smooth tofu, cut in small 2cm cubes
lightly salted boiling water

1 1/2 tablespoons Sichuan chili bean
paste (doubanjiang 豆瓣酱), minced well
1 tablespoon fermented black beans, minced 
5-8 Chinese dried red chilies, freshly ground (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
3/4 cup vegetable stock
chives or green onions, sliced fine or in segments
1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch, whisked into 1/4 cup water to make slurry
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper, lightly roasted and freshly ground

Prepare all ingredients in advance. Cube tofu and let steep in lightly-salted, once-boiled water. In large wok or pan, sauté doubanjiang for a few minutes, then add black beans and ground chilies. Next, add garlic and ginger, being careful not to burn. Ladle in tofu cubes and add stock, bringing to a boil. Boil for a few minutes, then add chives and Sichuan pepper. Add potato starch slurry to thicken, and serve immediately.

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