Best Mapo Tofu – Recipe

Mapo tofu recipe

March 28, 2014

in Recipes

I would love to say that this recipe for mapo tofu is a secret family recipe, passed on from generation to generation… but it’s not. My mom has a version of this dish that she makes for her grandkids that is more mild, less spicy and child friendly that she has adopted as her own signature recipe. “Mapo” translates to a name you call your grandmother. I grew up eating this dish and up until I was older and saw this dish listed on a restaurant menu, I thought this dish was something specific to our family; without an official name having calling it “grandma’s tofu” all this time. Adapting my mom’s recipe, I’ve developed this version that’s a spicier, a bit more authentic and true to a traditional typical szechuan dish.

MapoTofuIngredients:
1 package of firm tofu (drained and cubed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb ground pork
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup green green onions (chopped, reserve some for garnish)
1 1/2 tbsp chinese chili bean sauce
1 tbsp chinese ground bean sauce
3/4 C chicken stock
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 C shitake mushrooms (chopped)
1 tbsp szechuan peppercorn
2 tsp fermented black beans, chopped finely (optional)
1/4 C spicy pickled mustard greens (optional)

Cornstarch slurry
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water


Directions:
Mapotofu copyDrain your tofu of the packaging water. Embrace your inner Martha Stewart and dice the tofu into perfect 1/4 inch cubes. Bring a pot of salted water and boil the tofu at medium heat of 5-8 minutes. This will help the tofu stay firm when you cook it and not fall apart. Drain and set aside.

MapoTofu-4Brown the ground pork with vegetable oil. Once brown, add bean paste, chili paste, ground pepper, shitake mushrooms and optional black beans and pickled mustard greens and toss on medium heat for two minutes.

MapoTofu-3The spicy pickled mustard greens come in a small package and are usually around a dollar a package. Really inexpensive and keep well (they’re pickled, duh) and are a great accoutrement to many recipes. Found at your local Asian market in the preserves section.

MapoTofu-6Add drained tofu pieces, chicken stock, scallions, soy sauce and wine, stir for 2 minutes. Prepare your cornstarch slurry and drizzle into the pot while stirring. Cook for another minute, serve with a drizzle of sesame oil and garnish with chopped green onions. Adjust the spiciness of it with added chili oil (if you prefer spicier.)

Serve with a big bowl of rice and a 10 minute meal is yours! Let me know how you like it or if there are any recipes you’d like to see on the blog!

Did you try this recipe? Let me know!

 

BEST Mapo Tofu
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Jason Lee
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
Adapting my mom’s recipe, I’ve developed this version that’s a little bit spicier, and a bit more authentic and true to a traditional typical szechuan dish.
Ingredients
  • I package of firm tofu (drained and cubed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup green green onions (chopped, reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chinese chili bean sauce
  • 1 tbsp chinese ground bean sauce
  • 3/4 C chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 C shitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp szechuan peppercorn
  • 2 teaspoons fermented black beans, chopped finely (optional)
  • 1/4 C spicy pickled mustard greens (optional)
  • Cornstarch slurry
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Drain your tofu of the packaging water. Embrace your inner Martha Stewart and dice the tofu into perfect 1/4 inch cubes. Bring a pot of salted water and boil the tofu at medium heat of 5-8 minutes.
  2. Brown the ground pork with vegetable oil. Once brown, add bean paste, chili paste, shitake mushrooms and optional black beans and pickled mustard greens and toss on medium heat for two minutes.
  3. Add drained tofu pieces, chicken stock, scallions, soy sauce and wine, stir sentry for 2 minutes.
  4. Prepare your cornstarch slurry and drizzle into the pot while stirring. Cook for another minute, serve with a drizzle of sesame oil and garnish with chopped green onions.

 

Leave a Comment

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

lagatta à montréal March 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

That sounds great for this miserable, late winter in early spring day. I’ve made it, but your recipe does sound better. Thanks for the tofu hint – mine did crumble a bit, though I had used firm tofu.

Where can I find Shaoxing wine? That is one item I don’t recall seeing between Marché Oriental, Kim Phat and the Hawaï on Pie-IX in St-Léonard. (I can easily get to old Chinatown as well).

This is probably not authentic, but I’ve also made it substituting ground lamb for pork, and that was very tasty.

Reply

Jason April 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Parboiling the tofu is integral!

Reply

John Morrison January 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Hi, Recipe looks good. I have a question — In my mapo, I use chili bean sauce (la doubanjiang) from Pi’xian, fermented black beans (dou-chi), but not black bean sauce … what is the Chinese name for this?

I made a vegan version last night and used the ground soy crumbles and vegetable stock. It was very tasty.

Reply

John Morrison January 29, 2015 at 1:35 pm

BTW, you don’t write when to add the peppercorns.

Reply

Jason January 31, 2015 at 12:04 pm

You add it in when cooking the pork.

Reply

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