Monday, August 15, 2016

Best Mapo Tofu

Hi!

I'm Hannah, Julie's daughter, who now has access to this blog to post all my favorite recipes!

So to start off, here is a recipe for Mapo tofu from Serve the People: A Stir-fried Journey Through China by Jen Lin-Liu. Now, I will say that one ingredient we used is probably not what the recipe actually intends. The recipe calls for broadbean paste (doubanjiang), which exists in plain and spicy versions. The way the author calls for chili sauce in equal part to broadbean paste in other recipes in the book makes me think it's meant to be the plain version. I couldn't find a kind that didn't have chili in it at the Vietnamese or Thai grocery stores I go to, so I just used Lee Kum Kee's chili bean sauce, which has broadbean paste in it but also a hefty dose of chili. So my husband was a big fan, partly because he takes very spicy food as a challenge, but I like it with a little bit less chili bean sauce. I could have tried a Chinese market, but I'm not made of trips to the store. And I like this version anyway.

"The Best" Mapo Tofu

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons minced leek or scallion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 cup broadbean paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1 package firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine

Add the oil to a wok and place over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef, breaking it into small pieces and stirring until it begins to brown. Add the following ingredients, stirring for a minute between each addition: leek and ginger, broadbean paste, soy sauce, rice wine, salt, and sugar. Add the water, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tofu, raise the heat to high, and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the ground Sichuan peppercorns and remove from the heat. Serve immediately.

It's easy, fast, and delicious!

3 comments:

Julie D. said...

This sounds great ... although I've got to say tofu isn't my favorite. Tastes rather like chalk, though this flavorful sounding sauce could help mask that I suppose.

Hannah said...

We couldn't really taste it in this. It just sort of absorbed some of the salt and spicy flavor.

Julie said...

That's been my problem in the past. Recipes promise that the tofu will absorb the flavor and leave it in big pieces. And, honestly, tofu can't absorb anything. But cut in those little pieces, it would give the sauce more of a chance to coat all the surfaces and overcome the tofu.