What is Mapo Tofu?
It is a Sichuan dish, where the tofu is cooked in spicy broad bean sauce (douban sauce) along with some minced meat and Sichuan Peppercorn (where the numbing sensation comes from).
Mapo Tofu is also translated as “pockmarked grandma’s beancurd”, where it is said that the restaurant who create this dish is located in Chengdu, Sichuan, runs by Pock-Marked Ma herself, the creator of this dish.
This dish was made famous from the television program – Iron Chef, a popular cooking competition in Japan in the 1990s.
Types of Tofu
There are a few types of tofu, in general, they are categorized by their firmness. In this case, we want the outcome to be silken-smooth tofu but still maintaining its shape after cooking, so soft tofu would be the right choice for this dish. I tried before using silken tofu, turns out they are too soft and tend to break apart during cooking, whereas soft tofu turns out to be just great after cooking.
Some of the flavor profile of this tofu dish is hot, spicy, and numbing.
The main ingredients that give this dish its unique flavors come from ;
- Douban sauce – Fermented Broad Bean Paste, the more common brand that you can find in your local supermarket shelves is Lee Kum Kee brand.
- Douchi – Fermented black bean, widely used in Chinese cuisine, salty and nutty flavor.
- Sichuan Peppercorn – Citrusy and numbing sensation, widely used in Sichuan cuisine.
Author have a say…
Mapo doufu or Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐) is a popular Chinese dish from Sichuan province (Also known as Szechuan). Mapo tofu literally translated as “pockmarked grandma’s beancurd”. A variety version of Mapo tofu can be found across the internet. However, the core ingredients remain the same – Sichuan peppercorn, chili douban sauce, and douchi. A Sichuan dish that delivers to you with silken soft pungent tofu, making you ask for more!
Source : Wiki
Authentic Mapo Tofu Sichuan Recipe
- 2 blocks Soft Tofu
- 100 g Minced Meat
- 30 g Garlic (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Chili Douban Sauce
- 1 tsp Sichuan Peppercorn
- 1 tsp Douchi
- 300 ml Water
- 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 2 tsp Cornflour (potato flour as option)
- Scallion (to garnish)
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- Chopped garlic.
- Cut tofu into small cubes of about 1 inch x 1 inch.
- Prepare the other ingredients.
- Preheat a pan with cooking oil.
- Add chopped garlic, chili douban sauce, douchi, Sichuan peppercorn.
- Roughly stir fry on medium heat to mix the condiments together.
- Add minced meat and stir fry to aromatic fragrance on medium heat.
- Pour in 300ml of water.
- Gently add soft tofu in.
- Bring to a boil and reduce for about 5 minutes.
- Prepare 2 tsp of cornflour with 50ml of water.
- Mix the cornflour into the gravy as necessary. Check the thickness of the gravy, you do not want a too thick gravy.
- Remove from heat and transfer to serving plate or bowl.
- Sprinkle chopped scallion on top and serve.