We grew up eating Chinese food at almost every meal. My mom would usually cook, and on the days she didn’t, there were a plethora of Chinese restaurants nearby since we lived in an area that had a large Chinese/Taiwanese immigrant population.
When I was 11 or 12, my rebellious streak kicked in. I declared that I didn’t like Chinese food, that I was AMERICAN and that my favorite foods were AMERICAN. My parents ignored this ridiculousness for the most part, but every once in a while, they would roll out the pizza or burgers. Now that I’m older and over my identity crisis, it seems like the food I crave most often is Chinese food. These days I wish I could have my parents cook me Chinese meals like when I was little, but that’s just not an option, and I live in an area where good Chinese restaurants aren’t as easily accessible. Payback for being an ungrateful child!
This is the first Chinese dish in my repertoire, and it is such an easy recipe! Tofu is a quintessential Chinese ingredient, and the flavors totally remind me of my childhood. The prep is super simple and in just a little bit of time, you’ll be rewarded with a big yummy pot of silky tofu and Chinese-y goodness. Making this dish was so easy, I’m now on a hunt for other Chinese recipes. If anyone has other easy recipes, let me know!
Leave the pork slightly undercooked when you put in the chicken stock mixture and finish cooking the pork in the stock. If the pork is completely cooked before you put the stock in, it will be dry.
Use firm or extra firm tofu in this recipe. Anything softer will fall apart during the cooking process.
Remove the tofu from its container. Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and remove the excess liquid in the tofu by putting something heavy on top of it, like a heavy pan or a chopping block. Let sit for 10 minutes.
After the excess liquid has been drained, slice the tofu into ¾” thick slices. Season both sides with salt, pepper and Chinese five spice.
Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the canola oil. Add the ground pork, garlic and ginger and brown the pork for about 2 minutes, until the pork is almost completely cooked, but still a little pink on the inside.
Add the chicken broth, oyster sauce and soy sauce to pan. Adding the sauces before the pork is entirely cooked will add flavor and moisture to the pork as it finishes cooking.
In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Stir the water and cornstarch mixture into the pan.
Slide in the tofu slices and make sure most of the slices are covered by the liquid in the pan. This will season the tofu as it cooks.
Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and the pork is completely cooked. Garnish with green onions.