For the Gumbo
- In a heavy bottomed pot, or a cast iron pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until wisps of smoke appear.
- Whisk in the flour. Once it is fully incorporated use a wooden spoon to slowly and continuously stir the flour and oil mixture until it reaches a deep chocolate brown, it should smell like toasting popcorn.
- Fold in the onions and continue to stir for an additional five minutes. The sugars in the onions will caramelize in the hot roux and turn it black.
- Next, fold in the peppers, celery, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, Sambal, and black bean paste.
- Toast the aromatics in the hot roux for an additional five minutes.
- Switching back to the whisk, work the vegetable stock into the hot roux until fully incorporated.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring the pot to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let cook for as little as 2 hours or all day, stirring occasionally to prevent the roux from scorching.
- Set a large heavy bottomed skilled or a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Glaze the bottom with the oil and working in batches, so as not to over crowd the pan, roast off the scallion bottoms, peppers, turnips, okra, cherry tomatoes, and tofu – being sure to salt them as needed.
- Place the roasted tofu cubes in the bottom of a serving bowl and ladle the hot gumbo over the top.
- Garnish the gumbo with two pieces of each roasted vegetable, a spoonful of rice, and finish with sliced scallion tops, cilantro, and black sesame seeds. Serve hot.