Mapo Tofu

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I’m addicted to the wonderful mix of smooth soft tofu and saucy hot pork. If you remain in the understand, you understand what I’m discussing: mapo tofu.

What is mapo tofu?

Mapo tofu is a well-known Sichuan tofu meal that has lots of mala, the signature numbing spiciness of great Sichuan food. If you have not had Sichuan food in the past, you may be frightened of it’s fire-y red color, once you surpass that worry of heat, you’ll be returning for more, more, more.

I never ever utilized to enjoy hot food, however I have actually constantly, constantly liked tofu. As a kid, it would be on the menu 2, in some cases even 3 times a week. Partly due to the fact that all of us liked it, however mainly it was due to the fact that my bro was a tofu addict. He would plead my mama to prepare tofu for him. He didn’t even care how it was made, he simply needed to have tofu. It was among those amusing things that all of our household pals understood about. They even teased him, informing him that his fiancée would need to be a tofu maker. Spoiler: unfortunately, my sister-in-law is not an artisanal tofu maker. However, she likes tofu too, and in specific, mapo tofu.

If you enjoy tofu and you enjoy spicy, you’re going to enjoy mapo tofu too. And, if you’re not so huge on spicy, the advantage about this meal is that you can change the spiciness level by changing how huge of a pinch of Sichuan pepper you complete it with.

If you’re not acquainted with it, here’s a fast breakdown: mapo tofu is an incredibly popular Chinese meal from the Sichuan province. It has soft tofu in a spicy intense red sauce with a little ground pork. The name of the meal approximately equates to “pockmarked granny’s tofu,” type of like old granny’s tofu. There are great deals of mapo tofus out there however this is a conventional, genuine mapo tofu dish.

What does mapo tofu taste like?

Mapo tofu tastes spicy: both traditionally spicy with heat on your tongue, and málà, a numbing type of spicy that is particular of Sichuan food. The sauce is nicely oily, which ampliflies the spiciness and taste. It likewise has a deeply savoriness to it thanks to the umami from the doubanjiang. Likewise essential is the texture play mapo tofu has going on: the smooth creaminess from the soft tofu coats your tongue and the crispy-ish little bits of pork include a pleasing contrast to the total softness and sauciness of the meal. Mapo tofu is soul food and perhaps the very best home cooking out there, specifically when coupled with completely fluffy rice.

Secret Active Ingredients

There are 2 essential components to this tofu: chili bean paste (doubanjiang) and Sichuan peppercorns. You can discover both of them at your regional Asian supermarket. The other components are quite basic fare.

  • Doubanjiang. Often, with genuine dishes, there’s that a person active ingredient that you need to browse everywhere for. You’ll be browsing the aisles questioning, is this worth it? I’m here to inform you that it is! Doubanjiang is a hot fermented mix of soy and broad beans. It’s been called the soul of Sichuan cooking and it’s what will provide your mapo tofu that remarkable red color. When shopping, you wish to search for the Pixian (a location in China) range if you can. It’s type of like how, if you can, you wish to purchase champagne from the Champagne area in France. However, like champagne, if you can just discover champagne, do not sweat it, Lee Kum Kee likewise offers a functional simpler to discover Cantonese design doubanjiang that they call chili bean sauce/toban djan. More about doubanjiang here!
  • Sichuan peppercorns. In concerns to Sichuan peppercorns, you can purchase pre-ground Sichuan peppercorn powder, however if they’re readily available, opt for entire Sichuan peppercorns and toast and grind them yourself. The spice will be a lot more fresh and evident if you do.
  • Soft tofu. Soft tofu is essential to genuine mapo tofu. The tofu must be smooth, velvety, and soft.
  • Ground pork. There’s simply a little ground pork in this meal, simply enough to match the tofu.
  • Ginger and garlic. Ginger and garlic include a punch of aromatics.
  • Chicken stock. Chicken stock is what comprises the bulk of the sauce.
  • Cornstarch. We’ll utilize cornstarch as a thickener to make the sauce smooth and smooth.
  • Soy sauce. Simply a touch of soy for some additional umami.

mapo tofu recipe | i am a food blog

On tofu

I need to state, the most often asked concerns about mapo tofu are of the following range: What type of tofu for mapo tofu? Can you utilize firm tofu in mapo tofu? It appears like everybody requires to understand: which tofu is it! Great deals of dishes out there state you can utilize company or medium tofu and naturally, you can, however if you’re opting for a genuine mapo tofu, opt for soft tofu. The tofu must be smooth and jiggly and practically disintegrate the minute your chopsticks touch them. I believe a great deal of dishes advise company or medium company tofu due to the fact that soft tofu is infamously hard to deal with. However I think in you. Do the soft tofu. It deserves it!

Pro suggestion: to assist your tofu remain together when you toss it into the sauce, blanch it. To blanch tofu: just location in simply simmered salted water for a number of minutes and let it sit. Blanching tofu in salted water will season it and assist company it up. The tofu will end up being much more velvety and flexible while keeping its shape when you blend it into the mapo sauce. It likewise has the bonus offer of making the tofu warm so that you do not need to warm it up as much in the sauce.

mapo tofu recipe | i am a food blog

How to make mapo tofu?

When you have your components in hand, it’s a quite easy dish. You start by blanching your tofu in salted water. Then, it’s simply a concern of frying the pork and doubanjiang, including some chicken stock and thickening it up. Frying the doubanjiang and launching the oils is what makes whatever very yummy and aromatic. The sauce gets a little thickening up with cornstarch and whatever is shiny and golden and sticks completely to your tofu cubes. It’s a match made in paradise for fluffy rice.

  1. Blanch the tofu. Carefully simmer the tofu over low heat in salted water, then get rid of the pot from the heat and let it hang out in its salted bath.
  2. Fry. Brown the pork so it crisps up a bit then include the doubanjiang and fry it so that the heat launches its hot red oils. Stir in the garlic and ginger.
  3. Sauce. Include the chicken stock and soy sauce and bring whatever as much as a bubble. Include the drained pipes tofu cubes and stir in a cornstarch slurry. Simmer up until the sauce is thick and gloss then you’re all set!

making mapo sauce |

Can mapo tofu be vegetarian/vegan?

Vegan mapo tofu: You can avoid the ground pork and it will be vegan. If you have actually some dried shiitake mushrooms on hand, soak them, drain them, slice them up and provide a fry in location of the pork. Change the chicken stock out for veggie stock.

What do you consume mapo tofu with?

Typically mapo tofu is served with fluffy rice. You can likewise have mapo tofu with noodles (or zoodles), bread, you call it. Basically it opts for any carbohydrate. We have actually even made mapo tofu pizza and mapo tofu poutine. And naturally, it goes terrific with wonton.

mapo tofu recipe | i am a food blog

Tastes great on zoodles too!

mapo tofu recipe | i am a food blog

Mapo Tofu

You may be frightened of it’s fire-y red color, once you surpass that worry of heat, you’ll be returning for more, more, more.
Serves 4
. wprm-recipe-rating. wprm-rating-star. wprm-rating-star-full svg * {fill: #f 5a623;} 4.84 from 6 votes.

Preparation Time 20 minutes Prepare Time 10 minutes Overall Time 30 minutes

Active Ingredients

  • 14 oz soft tofu 1 block
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1.5 tablespoon doubanjiang sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp ginger grated or carefully sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock salt free/unsalted chosen
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended into 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tsp ground sichuan pepper or to taste
  • green onions very finely sliced, to end up


  • Cut the tofu into little cubes and reserved. Bring a pot of water to a boil and include a pinch of salt. Turn the heat to a simmer then include the tofu and cook for 2 minutes. Get rid of from the heat and let take in the salted water while you prepare the remainder of the meal.cubing up tofu |
  • In a wok, warm up the oil over medium heat. Include the pork and cook, separating, up until the fat renders out and the pork is prepared through. Reject the heat and include the doubanjiang and cook, stirring, up until the oils launch from the doubanjiang and whatever looks intense red.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Include the stock and soy sauce and bring the warm up so whatever comes near a simmer.making mapo sauce |
  • Drain pipes the tofu and include it to the wok, pressing it around carefully so you do not break it. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and raise to a mild simmer, up until the sauce is thick and shiny, about 1 minute.mapo tofu |
  • Switch off the heat and scoop the tofu with sauce into a serving meal. Complete with a spray of ground Sichuan peppercorn and chopped green onions.mapo tofu recipe | i am a food blog

Approximated Nutrition

Nutrition Information.
Mapo Tofu.

Quantity Per Serving.

Calories 150
Calories from Fat 74

% Daily Worth *

Fat 8.2 g 13% Hydrogenated fat 1.3 g 8% Cholesterol 22mg 7% Salt 716mg 31% Potassium 257mg 7% Carbs 5.6 g 2% Fiber 0.3 g 1% Sugar 1.9 g 2% Protein 14.5 g 29% * Percent Daily Worths are based upon a 2000 calorie diet plan.

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