1/2 lb ground pork (omit this if vegetarian)
2 leeks, green parts discarded, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger (I grated mine)
2 1/2 Tbsp chili bean paste (I used toban djan)
1/2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 cup chicken stock (vegetarians, use vegetable stock)
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Chinese rice wine
2 Tbsp Asian chili powder
2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Heat a large wok or or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peanut and chili oils and swirl to coat the sides. Add the pork (if using) and stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until crispy and starting to brown. Reduce the heat to medium; add the leeks, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the black bean sauce, chili bean paste and Sichuan pepper; stir fry for 1 minute or until the oil is a rich red color. If using whole fermented black beans, simply mash them with a spoon before adding.
Add the stock and stir well. Carefully add the tofu; fold the mixture gently to prevent the tofu from breaking apart. Add the Shaoxing wine, chili powder, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and white pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Mix carefully but well, and cook for several minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve with scallions and hot steamed rice.