Tofu batons with hot sesame dressing

Time 55 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Tofu batons with hot sesame dressing
(Richard Jung / For The Times)

Add 2 inches of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the tofu sticks, breaking them if necessary to submerge them. Remove from the heat. Weight down the sticks with a plate that fits inside the pot. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.


Remove the plate and drain the tofu well. Cut the sticks into 2-inch lengths, trimming and discarding any tough bits. Cut the sticks lengthwise in halves or into quarters, to make narrow batons. Set aside.


Heat a wok or wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the peanut and sesame oils. When the oil is hot, add the chile pepper flakes and the tofu batons and stir-fry for 2 minutes, stirring and pressing on the batons to expose them to the hot surface of the pan.


In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar and whisk well, then pour over the tofu batons. Stir-fry briefly to distribute the flavors, and continue to cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from the heat.


Turn out into a wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from “Beyond the Great Wall.” Tofu sticks, also known as bean curd sticks, are available at Chinese and other Asian markets.

Amy Scattergood is a staff writer for the Food section of the Los Angeles Times.
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