"My mum used to make a version of this recipe on days it was too hot to cook," says Victor Liong. "Top it with any flavour combinations; keep it light Cantonese style with ginger and spring onion, or go as heavy as you like with salted chillies." Start this recipe two weeks ahead to make the Hunan-style salted chillies.
- 300 gm silken tofu, cut into 1.5 cm-thick slices
- 1 tbsp preserved salted daikon (see note)
- 25 gm roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
- Coriander leaves and fried shallots, to serve
Hunan-style salted chillies
- 8 long red chillies
- 7 birdseye chillies
- 2½ tbsp salt flakes, plus 2 tsp for sprinkling
- 35 gm Lao Gan Ma chilli crisp sauce (see note)
- 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
- 3 tsp mirin
- 1½ tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1½ tsp finely grated ginger
- 1 tsp caster sugar dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water
- 1For Hunan-style salted chillies, coarsely chop all chillies, process in a food processor until chopped to the size of peas, then stand in a sieve to drain excess liquid (20 minutes). Mix chilli with salt and add to a sterilised jar. Press down top of chilli mixture, sprinkle over a layer of salt, seal, and store in a cool, dry spot to ferment (2 weeks). Once opened, salted chillies will keep refrigerated for several months.
- 2For black-vinegar dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
- 3Shingle tofu slices in a bowl. Pour over dressing and top with daikon, peanuts, spring onion, Sichuan pepper, coriander, shallots and salted chillies to taste.
Preserved salted daikon and Lao Gan Ma chilli crisp sauce are available from Asian supermarkets.