Made without pork & needs improvement:
More acid (soy sauce)
Brighter spice (chili sauce)
More ginger & less garlic
Maybe try NYTimes recipe
Yields 4-6 servings
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
2 cups water
15 ounce block of soft tofu (do not use silken)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 small dried hot red peppers
1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon fermented spicy broad bean paste (doubanjiang)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely ground Sichuan pepper
1 tablespoon corn- or potato starch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water
½ cup slivered scallions, both white and green parts
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Remove stems from mushrooms. Make a light mushroom broth by simmering stems in 2 cups water for 15 minutes, then strain and reserve broth (discard stems). Dice mushroom caps and set aside.
Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes. Cover with boiling salted water, let steep for 15 minutes, then drain.
Put oil in a wok or wide skillet over medium heat. Add red peppers, black beans and bean paste and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger and let sizzle, then add mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil and Sichuan pepper. Add 1½ cups mushroom broth and cook mixture gently for 2 minutes.
Carefully add tofu cubes. Shake pan to distribute sauce, using a wooden spoon to help. Try to avoid smashing tofu. Drizzle in cornstarch mixture, gently swirling pan to incorporate (sauce will thicken) and simmer tofu in sauce for 2 minutes more. Thin with a little mushroom broth if necessary. Transfer to a low bowl or platter. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro sprigs.