Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ma Po Tofu

Mapo Tofu is another perennial favorite of mine & is probably the first Chinese dish I ever attempted.

Last week I found myself with a packet of thawed minced pork & tofu in the fridge & I realised that it's been ages since I cooked this.

The only way to eat this is pour over white rice to let it soak up the goodness. Perfect for a cold winter day. Gawd I practically finished the dish all by myself.

Mapo Tofu

source Appetite for China

1 block soft tofu, drained and cut into cubes

3 tablespoons oil

350g ground pork

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, thinly sliced at an angle (or spring onions)
2 1/2 tablespoons chilli bean paste (since I didn't have chili bean paste, I used chilli oil)
1 tablespoon fermented black beans (& added 2 Tbsp of this instead)

2 teaspoons ground Sichuan pepper

1 cup chicken stock

2 teaspoons white sugar

2 teaspoons light soy sauce
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 6 tablespoons cold water (I used only half of this)

Optional garnish: 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed roasted Sichuan peppercorn

1. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add pork and stir-fry until crispy. Reduce heat, then add garlic and leeks and stir-fry until fragrant. Add chili bean paste, black beans, and ground Sichuan pepper, and stir-fry for about 1 minute, until the oil is a rich red color.

2. Pour in the stock and stir well. Mix in the drained tofu gently by pushing the back of your ladle or wok scoop gently from the edges to the center of the wok or pan; don't stir or the tofu may break up.

3. Season with the sugar, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the tofu to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Then add the cornstarch mixture in 2 or 3 stages, mixing well, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. (Don't add more than you need).

4. Serve while still hot in a deep plate or wide bowl. Garnish with optional scallions or crushed Sichuan peppercorn.


SIG said...

I love this dish too! Perfect with white rice. :)

Rachel Chung said...

oh you make it look so good! I'm needling the cook (also known as the bf) to make this for dinner tomorrow :P

petite fleur said...

I know. Me too.

Nice of you to drop by. So were you successful in getting the cook to prepare the dish for you ?

Dutchess said...

Petite Fleur: I love, love, LOVE Ma Po Tofu and will almost always order this dish when dining in a Sichuan restaurant here.

Yours look so appetizing!

small cookie said...

Oh this looks good. I haven't tasted this for a long time.

Rachel Chung said...

hey thanks for the recipe!! he made it yesterday and blimey, it was good!

will put it up in my blog when i get the time :)

Grace said...

Ooh now I'm really craving some ma po tofu!
I always dump on triple the amount of black beans that you're supposed to coz they go so well with this dish :D

Beau Lotus said...

Dear, I can eat it all up myself too!

This sounds like a good recipe, will try it when I find some tofu...

petite fleur said...

BTW Has it been a year in Beijing already ?So when are you moving back ?

Small cookie
When I'm settled down in Singapore, you come over for lunch okay ?

I'm thrilled that you both liked it.

I like black beans too but I always hesitate to put too much cos the one I have is really salty.

It is a keeper. Try it if you can