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Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

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I like tofu so much and I’ll always stock up some different kinds of tofu in the fridge for cooking. They are so many varieties ranging from extra firm to extra soft tofu, including the fresh tofu, braised tofu, deep fried tofu or any other processed tofu. Tofu itself has no taste and many people think that they are plain and bland. One of my coworkers doesn’t even like tofu and I don’t understand why. I like the texture of tofu, it is so soft that just melts in your mouth. Most importantly when you cook it together with other ingredients, the tofu will absorb the taste and flavor of the dish.

You can see how the Korean people like tofu so much because the ‘Spicy Tofu Pot’ is one of their well-known cuisines. Tofu is beneficial to our health as it is made from soybean that contains calcium, iron and magnesium. As a matter of fact, Korean spicy tofu pot is a bit similar to Mapo Tofu dish that I am presenting today, they are both spicy tofu dishes but ingredients used are different.

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) is a famous dish in Chinese Szechuan or Sichuan cuisine. Mapo Tofu is cooked with ground beef or pork in spicy bean sauce that covers it completely in red and spicy sauce. One special ingredient used is the Sichuan peppercorns that will numb your tongue, this is added to create an extra hive to the spicy numbness (麻辣) of the dish. Here I substituted ground beef with ground pork based on preference, but the original dish uses ground beef. Having this dish especially in colder nights warms me up, I could gobble my bowl of rice with just the Mapo Tofu. See other Szechuan dishes for Spicy Egplant with Minced Pork, Kung Pao Chicken.

Ingredients:

1 block soft or regular tofu, not the silken (cut into 1/2″ cubes)
1/2 lb ground pork (marinate f0r 15 mins)
5 slices ginger (finely minced)
4 clove garlic (finely minced)
2 stalks green onions (chopped)
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (花椒)*

For pork marinades:
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch

For the sauce:
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp spicy preserved soy bean (辣豆瓣醬)
1 tsp Sichuan ground red chile
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch (dissolve in water)

Instructions:

  1. Heat some oil on medium low, add in Sichuan peppercorns and stir fry for 1 minute.
  2. Turn heat up to medium high, brown ground pork, addd in ginger and garlic, stir fry together.
  3. Add in the sauce, wine, follow by spicy preserved soy bean, ground red chile, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and some water.
  4. Add the tofu, gently fold and combine well. Cook and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning for extra salt or sugar.
  6. Add in corn starch mixture, bring to boil to thicken the sauce.
  7. Garnish with chopped scallions. Serve.

*Note: Becareful for the peppercorns while eating that will numbs and have a bitter taste. Optional method is to ground the peppercorns to powder and add into the sauce.

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Category: Entrée (Pork), Entrée (Veggie)

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