Mapo tofu “麻婆豆腐” is a Sichuan comfort food that is light yet packs a powerful punch in flavor. “麻” means numb in Chinese, a popular type of spice in Sichuan cuisine. This spice is quite popular and can be considerably addicting.
1 box of soft tofu
½ lb ground turkey, pork, or beef
1 tsp white pepper
½ tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, sliced and bruised
1 cup of chicken broth
1 tbsp of soybean paste
½ tbsp of thai chili pepper, deseeded and sliced (optional)
¼ cup of water
3 tsps of cornstarch
1. Take a mixing bowl and marinate turkey with white pepper, sesame oil, corn starch, and 1 tsp salt for 5 minutes. Reserve remaining ½ teaspoon of salt for later use.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil on a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger.
3. Add turkey/pork/beef to pan and saute until the meat is evenly cooked.
4. Add in chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Add in soybean paste and sliced red pepper (optional).
5. Open the box of tofu and drain out excess water. Dice tofu into small 1/2 inch cubes.
6. In a small bowl, combine cold water and cornstarch and mix.
7. Add remaining ½ tsp of salt to season tofu
8. Once chicken broth starts boiling, pour the corn starch mix into the pan and allow sauce to thicken. Once sauce thickens, carefully fold in tofu into pan, careful not to break up the tofu.
9. After a few minutes, remove pan from heat
10. Garnish with green onions on top and serve with a plate of rice.
Notes: I like using the Japanese soybean paste for this dish for the mild flavor that comes through with the sauce.
Keywords: mapo tofu recipe, mabo tofu