Marinated Tofu with Spinach
6-oz firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tbs dark soy sauce
3 tbs Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
3/4 tsp plus 1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp plus 1 tsp minced garlic (or according to taste)
1/4 tsp plus 1/4 tsp chili paste (or according to taste)
10-oz fresh spinach, washed and drained
1/2 tsp salt, or according to taste
1/4 tsp Asian sesame oil
3 tbs peanut or vegetable oil for stir-frying
Combine the marinade ingredients for the tofu (6 tbs dark soy sauce, 3 tbs rice wine or sherry, 3/4 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon minced garlic plus 1/4 teaspoon chili paste - in a small bowl. Place the tofu cubes in a re-sealable plastic bag. Pour in the marinade ingredients. Marinate the tofu in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally. Remove the tofu and discard the excess marinade.
Preheat the wok and add 1 tbs oil, tilting the wok so that the oil comes partway up the sides of the wok. When the oil is hot, add the tofu cubes. Stir-fry about 3 to 4 minutes, until browned on the outside. Remove and wipe out the wok.
Have all the ingredients for stir-frying the spinach at hand near the stove. Heat 2 tbs oil in the wok, again swirling so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the wok. When the oil is hot, add 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp chili paste, and the salt. Stir for a few seconds until the garlic is aromatic.
Add the spinach, stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until the leaves are almost wilted. Stir in the 1/4 tsp sugar and Asian sesame oil. Sprinkle the spinach with a bit of black pepper if desired. Add the tofu back into the pan and stir to combine with the spinach. Serve immediately.