Chinese Vegetarian Recipes: How to Make Gong Li’s Favorite Spinach Tofu in Raise the Red Lantern


There are many Chinese vegetarian recipes. This one became even more popular after Gong Li’s movie Raise the Red Lantern. In the movie, Gong Li plays a 19 years old girl that’s force into marrying a much older wealthy man. The man already has 3 wives, so Gong Li is wife number 4. At the dinner table for the first time, she doesn’t see anything that she can eat because she is a vegetarian. She tells the servant I do not eat meat, can you make me some spinach tofu. Being the newest and most favorite wife, the servant obeys her request and made the dish just for her. Here’s the recipe for spinach tofu Chinese style. It’s takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.

This is a fast recipe, so prepare all ingredients before beginning.

1 pound of fresh spinach, wash and dry the spinach thoroughly. Remove any tough stems.
1/2 pound of firm tofu cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
1 tablespoon of rice wine
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt

This dish is best done with a wok. Place wok over medium high heat. When you see it beginning to smoke, add the peanut oil and minced garlic in. Stir for a little while, then add spinach and salt and continue stirring for about 1 minute, until the spinach is wilted.

Then gently add in the tofu and sprinkle with rice wine. Cook for about 1 more minute so the tofu can be heated thoroughly. Serve right away. This Chinese vegetarian recipe is enough for 6.


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