Fish fragrant tofu (Yu Xiang Tofu) or Chinese fish flavor tofu is tofu stir-fried with a Szechuan style hot sweet and sour sauce. It is commonly named as Sichuan hot garlic sauce in restaurant. It is one of most popular homemade tofu recipe from Sichuan Cuisine. And this 15 minutes dish is absolutely a perfect match with steamed rice. The fish fragrant sauce can help me eat up two large bowls of boring steamed rice.
It is very interesting this Yu Xiang, or fish fragrant sauce has no fish is this dish at all. There are two versions about the name. One saying is the sauce is usually used to cook fish at the very beginning, then it is further cooked with other ingredients including pork, eggplant, egg and tofu, so all dishes with this particular sauce is named as "Yu Xiang" dishes. The second saying is coming from the pickled peppers. Traditionally, fish is added in the jar of the pickled peppers, consequently the peppers are loaded with fish flavor. Since pickled pepper is used in this sauce, it is named after the flavor.
Tofu is always on the top of my ingredients. I love to drink soy milk and eat Mapo tofu very much. Fish fragrant sauce or yu shiang sauce (鱼香) is a famous flavor in Sichuan cuisine. And there are other dishes which are quite famous the taste including fragrant eggplant, you can check the recipe here Yu Xiang eggplant and the famous fish fragrant shredded pork or Yuxiang Rousi(鱼香肉丝).
Ingredients for Yu Xiang Sauce is similar to Mapo tofu using garlic, ginger, scallion, sugar, vinegar and chili paste. The differences are the seasoning ratio and the pickled peppers. Overall this is a sweet and sour sauce with a soft spice flavor. Even with a faint change, the flavors can be different, that's the key cooking concept of real Sichuan cuisine.
Yu Xiang flavor can be vegan friendly by skipping the mince pork. But if you are not on vegan diet, I highly recommend adding some mince pork, with a very small amount, it can improve the flavor greatly.
Add tofu into thick strips and then coat with cornstarch.
In a pan, add oil and fry tofu until crispy and golden brown.
Fry mince pork until crispy and slightly browned and then add doubanjiang and pickled pepper to fry until the oil turns red.
Then add garlic, ginger and scallion, fry until aromatic. Place the sauce in. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is well thickened. Add tofu strips in, mix to coat each strip with Yu Xiang sauce.
Fish Fragrant Tofu
- 1 box of regular firm tofu , cut into thick strips
- ¼ cup mince pork
- 1 spring onions , white part and green part separated
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped ginger , finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped pickled pepper , cut into small sections
- ½ tbsp. doubanjiang
Yu Shiang Stir-fry sauce
- 1 tbsp. starch , recommend using sweet potato starch
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
- 2 tsp. light soy sauce
- 5 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Cut tofu into thick strips. Either larger or smaller. Then coat with cornstarch one by one.
- Prepare a bowl and mix the stir fry sauce together.
- Heat oil in pan and fry tofu strips until golden brown. Transfer out.
- Keep the oil and then fry minced pork until crisp and browned, slow down the fire, add doubanjiang and pickled peppers. Fry for a while until the oil turn reds.
- Add garlic, ginger and scallion in, fry until aromatic. Pour in the mixed sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Return fried tofu strips, mix well. Serve hot!