Hunan Pork and Tofu

For the pork and marinade:
10 ounces pork, sliced ?-inch thick
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
1 block firm tofu, drained and cut into 2-inch squares, ½-inch thick
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons spicy doubanjiang chili bean sauce
3 scallions, cut on an angle into 2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fermented black beans
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1×2-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup hot water or chicken stock
Cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

In a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water to the pork slices and massage until the pork absorbs all of the water. Next, add the oil and cornstarch, mix thoroughly until the pork is coated, and set aside.
Heat your wok over high heat, and spread 2 tablespoons of oil around the wok to evenly coat the surface. Add the tofu slices to the wok in one layer, and let them sear. Don’t move them for a least 1 minute! Tilt your wok so the oil reaches the tofu on all sides. Add more oil if needed.
After another 1 to 2 minutes, the tofu should be browned, and it should not stick to the wok. You may have use a metal spatula to loosen the pieces slightly. Turn down the heat, and carefully flip all of the tofu slices. After the tofu is golden brown on both sides, transfer to a plate. They should be much easier to handle now.
Over high heat, add another 2 tablespoons of oil to your wok. When the wok just starts to smoke a bit, immediately add the pork. Spread the pork around the wok using your metal spatula, and let the meat sear for 20 seconds on one side. Stir fry for another 15 seconds, and scoop out the meat into your marinade bowl. It should be about 80% cooked.
Using the same wok, turn the heat to low, and immediately add 2 tablespoons oil, the minced ginger, the spicy chili bean paste (dou ban jiang), and the white parts of the scallions. Stir this mixture into the oil and let it fry at low heat for 15 seconds to infuse the oil and bring out a rich red color.
Next, add the garlic, black beans, red bell peppers, and the rest of the scallions. Turn the heat to high, and give everything a good stir-frying for 45 seconds. The red pepper will sear and add more natural red color to this dish!
Add the pork and juices from your marinade bowl and the tofu back to the wok. Next, spread 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok, add the sugar, and continue to stir-fry for 15 seconds. Be gentle so you don’t break up the tofu.
After another 15 seconds of stir-frying, spread the hot chicken stock or water around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze it. Continue to stir fry for another 30 seconds, being sure to spread the liquid to the sides of the wok to further deglaze it. (Notice we did not add salt or soy sauce, since the combination of the spicy bean paste and the fermented soybeans is quite salty.)
At this point, you can continue to stir-fry the dish until most of the liquid is reduced, or add the water and cornstarch to thicken any standing liquid. Plate this Hunan Pork and Tofu and enjoy with rice!

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