Days come and go. Wake up. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Walk the dog. Feed the cats. Water the plants. Read a book or several. Binge watch a new show or several. Mow the lawn. Finish a house project. Tool around on Twitter. Mindlessly scroll through Instagram. Shower or not. Go to bed. Repeat. The mundane can get hella boring hella fast.
So, spice things up with a Szechuan dish! Got some broccoli or carrots or zucchini or kale wilting in the fridge? Package of tofu or chicken breasts or flank steak expiring soon? Toss whatcha’ got in wok with a few tongue numbing Szechuan peppercorns and awaken your senses! Instantly transport yourself out of the mundane and into the thrilling heat of Szechuan cuisine!
1 block extra firm tofu
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 sm zucchini, trimmed, spiralized, and divided into two bowls for serving
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 fine cornmeal
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp whole Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and crushed
2 – 4 dried arbol chilies
2 tbsp Tamari
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shoaxing
1 tbsp Black Vinegar
1 tbsp brown or raw sugar, honey, or maple syrup
salt and black pepper to taste
about 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil, or as needed
In a small mixing bowl, combine the Tarmari, light soy sauce, Shaoxing, Black vinegar, and sugar and whisk until completely incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the tofu with the cornstarch, cornmeal, salt, toasted Szechuan peppercorns, and five spice powder until evenly coated. Set aside.
Heat a wok until very hot over med high flame. Add in the sesame oil and fry the tofu, in batches, until crispy and golden brown. Set aside on paper towels.
To the same wok, add in the onion and saute until just translucent, about 2 minutes. Add in next the broccoli, garlic, chilies, and sauce. Cook until the sauce has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tofu and continue cooking until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately over the spiralized zucchini.