Mapo Tofu or 麻婆豆腐 is a humble and tasty Sichuan dish made with tofu and ground beef (or pork). The spicy dish is simple and easy to prepare, and oh so delicious!
- 500 g firm tofu
- 50 g ground beef
- 5 scallions
- 1 tsp ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp spicy bean paste (郫县豆瓣酱/Pixian Dou Ban Jiang)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Sichuan pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp MSG
- Cut the tofu into 3 cm cubes. Add salt to a pot of gently boiling water, stir to dissolve. Add tofu and wait for the water start to boil again. Remove the tofu, and let it cool.
- Mix corn starch and 2 tbsp water in a small bowl, set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok on medium heat and brown the beef, about 5 minutes.
- Turn down the heat, add finely chopped ginger, minced garlic, soy sauce and spicy bean paste to the wok. Stir fry until red oil separates from the paste (15-20 seconds).
- Add 2 cups of water to the wok and gently place the tofu in the water, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add MSG and stir in the corn starch mixture, careful not to break the tofu. Gently stir until the tofu is completely coated with sauce. Cook about 2 minutes longer.
- Place the Mapo Tofu in a medium-deep dish or bowl, sprinkle Sichuan pepper powder and chopped scallions over dish and serve immediately.
- Ground beef can be replaced with ground pork. For a vegetarian version you can just skip the meat (and step 3).
- Boiling the tofu in salted water helps firm the tofo and prevents it from breaking into pieces in later cooking.