Mapo tofu is one of the most well-known dishes from the Sichuan cuisine, and as with most Chinese recipes, there are many variations to the recipe. It is also extremely easy to make, and the main ingredient is soft tofu (medium can also be used if necessary, but is not ideal, but stay away from silken and firm – here’s a guide to tofu types!)
This version uses more minced pork than usual, and doesn’t have as much sauce as some of the other versions. If you decide to use less pork, then you can reduce it to 100g without affecting the flavours. You can also add a tbsp of chicken stock powder to it instead.
350g of soft tofu
1 spring onion
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp of chopped ginger
Handful of sichuan peppercorn
300g minced pork
1 tbsp of spicy broad bean paste
1 tsp of miso paste
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of sugar1 tbsp of cornstarch
Another handful of sichuan peppercorn
2 tbsps of sesame oil
You’ll also need some oil to start then pan and salt to taste.
Step 1: prep the tofu by chopping it into cubes of roughly 1 inch across. Add a dash of salt to a pan of water, add the tofu and bring it to the boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain the tofu.
Step 2: chop the spring onion by separating the white parts and the green. Chop the white parts into 1 inch sections and chop the green parts more finely.
Step 3: heat a little oil in a wok and add the white parts of the spring onion, garlic, ginger and sichuan peppers. Heat for 1 minute.
Step 4: add the minced pork and keep stirring. As soon as the colour starts to change, add the spicy broad bean and miso paste. Keep stirring until the pork looks fully cooked.
Step 5: add a little water, depending on how much sauce you want at the end. Wait for the water to come to a boil, then add in the tofu, soy sauce and sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Step 6: add the corn starch and the green part of the spring onion. The sauce will thicken and bubble.
Step 7: in a separate pan, heat the sesame oil and add the peppercorn to it until they pop. Pour the oil over the tofu and it’s ready to serve!
It’s also possible to buy sichuan pepper oil, in which case you won’t need to complete the last step and can simply use the oil straight away! You can also add dried chillies to make it spicier. What do you think? Is it spicy and mouth-numbing enough for you?Follow @blenderbasil