This is less a recipe with specific measurements than a visual presentation of the making of Mapo Tofu, one of my favorite dishes. Add more or less of the different flavors depending on what speaks to you. If you really like the numbing spice feeling, pile on the pepper powder!
Shout-out to my mom for teaching me this recipe.
- 2 scallions
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 box of soft tofu
- chili bean sauce/broad bean paste with chili (doubanjiang)
- soy sauce
- cooking rice wine (michiu)
- Chinese/Sichuan pepper powder
Once you can smell the aroma of the scallions and ginger, add ground pork. (This is obviously optional if you’re looking for a vegetarian dish.) The ground pork can be marinated prior to this with soy sauce, cooking wine, salt, and sugar for more flava.
Add about a tablespoon of cooking wine, around a teaspoon of sugar, and at least a tablespoon of chili bean sauce/broad bean paste with chili (辣豆瓣酱) (doubanjiang). This sauce is what gives the dish its main spicy taste.
Note the inclusion of the various forms of the sauce’s name: this is an important sauce, people.
Add an entire box of soft tofu, cubed (or in this case, rectangular-prismed). Add some water. Adjust the flavor as desired with soy sauce, salt, sugar, or more chili bean paste. Cover it and let it simmer while the tofu soaks up all the flavor.
Sprinkle on some (or a lot of) Chinese/Sichuan pepper powder for that málà (麻辣) (numbing) flavor.
Serve and enjoy! Don’t make the rookie mistake of not having enough rice.