Buy Sichuan pepper whole. Dry roast it in a skillet (without oil) until aromatic. Then cool and grind into a powder. Or buy Sichuan pepper already ground into a powder at a Chinese market. To add rice wine to a wok or skillet, pour it along the sides, rather than pouring it directly onto the food. This gives the best flavor.
|1||tablespoon canola oil|
|1/2||pound lean ground beef|
|1||tablespoon chili bean paste or Chinese chili sauce, or to taste|
|2||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|1||piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, finely chopped|
|1/4||teaspoon Asian chili powder or cayenne pepper, or to taste|
|1||cup chicken stock|
|1/2||tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (or substitute pale dry sherry or dry white wine)|
|1||tablespoon soy sauce|
|1||pound soft or medium tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes|
|4||scallions, finely chopped|
|2||teaspoons toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns, or to taste|
|Salt, to taste|
2. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Turn the heat to low. Add the bean paste or chili sauce, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the chili powder or cayenne pepper, chicken stock, rice wine, and soy sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high. When the sauce begins to bubble, add the tofu. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is heated through.
4. Return the beef to the pan. Add the scallions and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with Sichuan pepper. Serve with rice. Adapted from Da Ping Huo