This typical Hunan recipe does two things very nicely:
First, it turns a firm tofu a bit crispier and therefore into something with a nicer mouth feel.
Then, it combines that with chile pepper and garlic, making for a much tastier dish again.
And in the end combination of salty and a little fatty (from the cooking oil) and spicy, it is a dish that really speaks to the senses and combines perfectly with the usual rice.
No one say tofu were boring.