MAPO TOFU - Spicy Chinese Dish Recipe

by - 4:04 AM

Mapo Tofu, also called Mapo Doufu , is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan province. The name
means pockmarked old woman because: Ma (pockmarked) and po (old Lady). Sounds interesting? Well, it tastes even better, being one of the most authentic Chinese dish you'll ever taste, unlike those wannabe ones available locally which mostly just tastes like chili garlic sauce or tomatoes. My mother ended up eating (and enjoying) it even though she hates tofu, so I must have done something right...right?

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Last month I traveled to Lahore, Pakistan for a day because I was invited to an event. During my extremely short trip I was introduced to a Pan Asian eatery called Bamboo Union. The first dish I tried there was Mapo Tofu and I instantly fell in love. Upon my return to Karachi, I looked everywhere but Alas, this dish was not available in any restaurant. The cravings did not subside so I took matters in my own hands, rolled up my sleeves and went in search for the ingredients (and alternatives), which took a week or so,before I was finally able to execute Mapo Tofu.

As I have already mentioned, Mapo Tofu is a spicy, yet savory, Chinese dish. It is definitely hot enough to make you sweat (depending on the amount of chili oil and chili flakes you use!). The dish is not as complicated as the ingredients, but I managed to get hold of most of them as well as great alternatives. Let's begin!

INGREDIENTS:
Finely chop 1 big / 2 small garlic clove
Finely chop 1 thumb of ginger
Finely chop white part on spring onions
Bias chop the green parts
1 tbsp roasted sichuan peppercorns. then grind or bash (Alternative: Black peppercorn and coriander seeds)
Tofu Cut into 2cm 1 inch cubes
100g ground Chicken or Beef mince (Chinese use Pork Mince)
1 heaped tbsp DOU BAN JIANG (Alternative: chili paste with soya bean oil)
2 tsp douchi (Alternative: Black Bean Sauce or Paste)
1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 3 tbsp water (this is also called slurry)
Chili oil
Sesame oil
Steamed/Boiled Garlic Rice or Brown Rice (enough for 4 to 5 servings)
Vegetable Oil

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DIRECTIONS:
First and foremost, boil some water with a bit of salt and add tofu cubes. Boil the tofu for 2 to 3 minutes. This will firm the tofu. Drain and set aside.

In a wok heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and add mince. Fry until almost cooked, then add 1 heaped tbsp DOU BAN JIANG and 2 tsp douchi then stir. Add ginger, garlic and spring onions (white part only) and stir fry for a minute or so but not too much. You don't want to burn them. Deglaze by adding 2/3 cup of water and then bring to boil after which you can add the slurry and stir. Slurry will thicken the gravy. Add tofu and gently stir, making sure you don't break it. Now drizzle chili oil generously, or as per taste with a small drizzle of sesame oil.

Food is cooked therefore transfer to a serving dish and garnish with ground sichuan. green spring onions (green part) and chili flakes. Serve with a bowl of rice on the side and enjoy!

Serves 4 people.

I really enjoyed this dish, from searching for the ingredients to cooking it and finally gobbling it up. If you have any further questions or more recipe request do let me know.

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3 comments

  1. Shall try this out. I love the taste of Tofu. I also enjoyed your snap story on this recipe 👍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like tofu then you will love this. do try it and let me know :)
      xx

      Delete
  2. Salivating!! Need to try this dish! :D xo

    Jadirah Sarmad at Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

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