Bubbling Cauldron of Reviving Potion

An example of how to use this physical component in a full blown spell:

Cut two blocks of firm tofu into three sheets each. Lay out flat and press with as much weight as you can get onto them for at least 30 minutes. Uncover and cube each sheet into sixteen.

While your tofu is pressing, get one can of black beans (with the goo) into a food processor or blender along with a generous portion of roasted garlic, vegetable broth and Chinese five spice. Don’t render completely smooth, but try to be sure nearly all the beans are broken up.

Get your wok (or a huge, non-stick skillet, or a huge cast iron skillet you trust to be not sticky) rocket hot and give it a very generous portion of the fire and ice potion. Once hot, augment with more unflavored high heat oil (like safflower) and possibly toasted sesame oil for flavor. Drop the tofu cubes in and keep them moving vigorously until they begin to brown up (in addition to the red oil stain, don’t mistake the one for the other). Splash some soy sauce and cook off the moisture. Splash a big sum of “rooster sauce” and do the same. If the season and your habits allow, do the same with fish sauce. Put the tofu aside in a serving dish.

Add the black bean mixture along with a second can of un-processed beans into the hot wok. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stir often. Depending on how much broth you added, this may take some time. If you get bored, impatient, or simply want a lot of sauce, use corn starch to thicken before the liquid reduces too far.

Slice a batch of snap peas on the bias and put them on top of the tofu. Pour on the sauce, stir to combine, and serve with rice or noodles.

Have a lot of beverages near to hand — and handkerchiefs.

Potion of Endless Fire and Ice

  1. Find a grocery that sells whole Szechuan pepper corns [a]
  2. Pour the entire contents into your spice mill along with an equal quantity of red pepper flakes
  3. Grind as fine as you are able
  4. Pour this powder into about five time as much (by volume) of a high heat oil (like safflower)
  5. Shake thoroughly
  6. Let sit at least a week before using, but shake daily if you can remember
  7. If the oil is not red in color within that week, keep waiting
  8. Shake prior to every use
  9. Use this in every single thing you cook

Your mouth (and your guests) will thank you.

[a] I was shocked to learn this past year that the numbing peppers that make Szechuan cuisine so fantastic are not a chili, but are more like black pepper.