Ryan’s notes

Mapo tofu

Mapo tofu

  • Made without pork & needs improvement:

    • More acid (soy sauce)

    • Brighter spice (chili sauce)

    • More ginger & less garlic

Maybe try NYTimes recipe

  • Yields 4-6 servings

  • Ingredients

    • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms

    • 2 cups water

    • 15 ounce block of soft tofu (do not use silken)

    • Salt

    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

    • 3 small dried hot red peppers

    • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed

    • 1 tablespoon fermented spicy broad bean paste (doubanjiang)

    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

    • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

    • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

    • 1 teaspoon finely ground Sichuan pepper

    • 1 tablespoon corn- or potato starch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water

    • ½ cup slivered scallions, both white and green parts

    • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

  • Steps

    1. Remove stems from mushrooms. Make a light mushroom broth by simmering stems in 2 cups water for 15 minutes, then strain and reserve broth (discard stems). Dice mushroom caps and set aside.

    2. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes. Cover with boiling salted water, let steep for 15 minutes, then drain.

    3. Put oil in a wok or wide skillet over medium heat. Add red peppers, black beans and bean paste and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger and let sizzle, then add mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil and Sichuan pepper. Add 1½ cups mushroom broth and cook mixture gently for 2 minutes.

    4. Carefully add tofu cubes. Shake pan to distribute sauce, using a wooden spoon to help. Try to avoid smashing tofu. Drizzle in cornstarch mixture, gently swirling pan to incorporate (sauce will thicken) and simmer tofu in sauce for 2 minutes more. Thin with a little mushroom broth if necessary. Transfer to a low bowl or platter. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro sprigs.

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