Glazed Tofu With Chile and Star Anise

Ingredients

  • 2

    (14-ounce) packages firm tofu, drained

  • 2

    tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼

    cup granulated sugar

  • 1

    whole star anise

  • 1

    cup vegetable broth or stock

  • ¼

    cup Shaoxing wine

  • ¼

    cup dark soy sauce (see Tip)

  • 2

    garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1

    (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, scrubbed and thinly sliced

  • 1

    small hot dried chile

  • 6

    scallions, whites cut into 1/2-inch pieces, greens thinly sliced

  • Steamed rice, for serving

Preparation

  1. Place the tofu blocks between paper towels and press gently to remove excess liquid.
  2. In a large skillet or cast-iron pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the tofu with salt and place in the pan; sear without moving until the contact side is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and sear the other side until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate.
  3. Carefully add 1/2 cup water, the sugar and star anise to the pan. (The mixture will sputter and steam.) Cook, stirring, until the syrup is reduced and turns deep amber, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour in the stock carefully (again being mindful of sputtering), Shaoxing, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chile and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced, syrupy and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Use your fingers to break the tofu into 1/2-inch pieces, return to the pan and add the scallion whites. Toss to coat with the sauce and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and discard the star anise and dried chile. Garnish with scallion greens and serve immediately with steamed rice.