尖椒香菇炒千张 Peppers and Tofu Leaves
Pinyin: jiān jiāo xiāng gū chǎo qiān zhāng
The bell pepper has become a common ingredient added to all sorts of traditional Chinese dishes since it was first introduced into the old world by the Spanish in 1493. Bell peppers are a mutant form of a chili pepper that doesn’t produce capsaicin. Bell peppers come in red, yellow, and orange varieties and green ones simply haven’t ripened yet.
It’s hard to go wrong with tofu and mushrooms. The addition of the bell peppers almost ruined it for me, but they didn’t overpower the dish and the chunks were big enough to avoid. The shiitake mushrooms never fail to appeal to my palette and as usual there weren’t enough to satisfy me. The pieces of very thin dry and firm tofu manage to become coated in the thin cornstarch based salty sauce forming a mild yet desirable reaction on the taste buds.
This vegetarian dish is another one of those foods that isn’t likely to be winning culinary awards, but instead can be found on many dining room tables in homes around China. I’m hoping to hunt this one down soon to add to my arsenal of dishes I can cook.