Articles / Sichuan-Style Twice-Cooked Tofu with Leeks

Sichuan-Style Twice-Cooked Tofu with Leeks

Published February 9, 2018

If you’re a fan of Sichuan food, you’re probably familiar with the dish known as twice-cooked (or double-cooked) pork. It’s a hunk of pork belly simmered in water, sliced thin and stir-fried with vegetables (often baby leeks) and a holy trinity of Sichuan staples: chili bean pastesweet wheat paste (often called “sweet bean sauce”), and fermented black beans. It’s salty. It’s fatty. It’s heaven.

Earlier on in the pandemic (August, I think, though time has mostly lost all meaning), I went vegan for a month and started messing around with ways to make something inspired by twice-cooked pork, but without any pork (you see the problem). The solution is tofu, a brick of it, sliced into 1/4-inch slabs, dried out in the oven until firm and gently chewy (dare I say “meaty?”), then stir-fried with many of the same things that make the original dish so lovable (minus the rendered pork fat). The result is not one of those “pretty good for a vegan dish” dishes; it’s just plain old good.