Jia Chang tofu is fried tofu braised in a spicy sauce with a little meat and maybe a simple vegetable like bamboo shoot, a common Sichuan dish. I have noticed most people described this dish as 'homestyle tofu' which is not really correct. The two words Jia Chang (家常) though is the same writing as 'homestyle' in Chinese but when talking about Sichuan Jia Chang it means this is a type of cooking or flavouring like fish fragrant (魚香 yu xiang ) or numbing spicy (麻辣 ma la). The only thing homestyle about this dish is all the ingredients are common in most Sichuanese kitchen.
There are many 'homestyle tofu' recipes but not Sichuan Jia chang tofu.
This recips will feed about 3 - 4 people as a meal with other dishes
Ingredients are approx. More or less does not really matter.
500g firm tofu (firmer the better)
125g pork, cut into thin slivers
125g bambaoo shoot, sliced
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
1 - 2 tsp of chopped ginger
1.5 - 2 tbsp chilli bean sauce
about 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
dash of light soy
some sugar (to your taste) I find 2 tsp is about right
1 - 3 tsp medium hot red chilli, roughly chopped (if you don't like too spicy can leave out)
1 tbsp of cornflour mix with few tbsp of water
dash of sesame oil
about 3 - 4 stalks of spring onion (chopped)
1.5 cup of unsalted stock or water
- Cut tofu into 8 - 10mm thick slices in triangular shape or rectangular shape. Lay these on kitchen paper to absorb any excess water for a while. Then fry with oil till golden both sides. Normally these are deep fried but I fried them with 5 - 6 tbsp of oil in several batches.
- In a clean work heat about 1 - 2 tbsp of cooking oil, add ginger and garlic fry for about a minute then add pork and fry till browned, add chilli bean sauce follow by bamboo shoot and stir fry for a while then add dash of cooking wine and chilli. Add in the fried tofu and stock/water and bring this to the boil. Let the tofu braised for about 10 - 12 minutes till the tofu pieces have abosorbed about 3/4 of the liquid. Taste if salty enough if not add dash of soy and sugar to taste. Add dash of sesame oil and slackened cornflour to thicken. Then stir in 3/4 of the spring onion, plate up and sprinkle on the remaining spring onion.