Serves: 4

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


1 teaspoon (3 g) cornstarch

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold water

2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut, rice bran, or other neutral oil

4 ounces (120 g) ground beef

2 teaspoons (5 g) minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

2 teaspoons (5 g) minced fresh ginger (about ½-inch segment)

2 scallions, chopped into ¼-inch pieces, dark greens reserved for garnish

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sake

2 tablespoons (30 ml) mirin

1 tablespoon (15 ml) shoyu or light soy sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) low-sodium chicken stock, dashi, or water

1½ pounds medium to firm silken tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes

Steamed rice and chili oil, for serving


Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl and mix with a fork until homogenous. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the beef and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites and pale greens and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the sake, mirin, soy sauce, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and cook for 30 seconds, until thickened. Add the tofu and carefully fold it in, being careful not to break it up too much. Transfer immediately to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the scallion greens. Serve immediately with rice and chili oil.


Excerpted from “The Wok: Recipes and Techniques” (copyright) 2022 by J. Kenji López-Alt. Reproduced by permission of W.W. Norton. All rights reserved.