Starting at 8:30
1. Drain the tofu thoroughly by wrapping it in a paper towel and placing a weight on it for about 10 minutes to extract any liquid.
2. Parboiling the cubed tofu for 5-10 minutes makes it more resilient and "toughens" it up for cooking.
3. "Douban jian" (spicy broad bean paste) can be substituted with "garlic bean sauce", Korean "gochujang" (red pepper soybean paste) or even Sriracha in a pinch. 4. "Dou chi" (fermented black beans) can also be substituted with "black bean sauce" (Kikkoman makes it) to taste.
5. Sauteeing the white portion of chopped scallions with the ginger, dou chi, and douban jian will help flavor the meat and resulting sauce.
6. If you can obtain Sichuan peppercorns (prickly ash) toast about a teaspoon for 1-2 minutes before grinding them to add to the sauce for that "mala" (numbing) effect.
7. Use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water for added flavor