Today’s recipe for Mapo Tofu, a traditional spicy Sichuan dish that gives a numbing sensation when you eat it, has a curious legend behind its name, which translates to “pockmarked grandma’s bean curd.”
According to legend an elderly widow named Mrs. Chen became very poor following her husband’s tragic death from a disease. In an effort to help the widow, Mrs. Chen’s friends occasionally gave her some meat and tofu. Mrs. Chen was always an amazing cook so she created a brilliant dish with her donated ingredients: Mapo Tofu.
All of Mrs. Chen’s friends loved the dish and encouraged her to make a living off of it. She then opened a small shop to sell her Mapo Tofu, which eventually became famous through word of mouth!
Mapo Tofu is definitely on my list of good eats and I’m excited to share the recipe for this dish with you here!
1 pack of soft tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 oz of beef, minced
3 dry red peppers, minced
1 teaspoon of scallions, minced
1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of gingers, minced
1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder
1 tablespoon of Sichuan pepper oil
1 tablespoon of chili bean paste
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons of hot chili oil
A dash of sesame oil
A pinch of white pepper
1 cup of water
2 teaspoons of cornstarch water mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
1. Blanch the tofu in boiling water for about 30 seconds, adding a pinch of salt to make the pieces more durable. Take the tofu out and drain all the excess water.
2. Heat up the wok. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and heat to a medium heat. Add the minced beef and then stir fry until well done. Take it out and put it aside.
3. Leaving the excess oil in the wok, add the minced ginger, dry red peppers and chili bean paste, and stir well until fragrant. Add the Sichuan pepper oil and water. Then add all the other ingredients for the sauce (Sichuan pepper powder, salt, sugar, pepper, dark soy sauce, sesame oil), and then stir in the cooked minced beef. Cover the wok for about 10 seconds. Then add the minced garlic, cornstarch water, chili oil, and scallions. Carefully stir until everything is combined.
You can now enjoy your Mapo Tofu with a bowl of white rice. Let me know how this recipe works for you!
CiCi Li is the host ofCiCi’s Food ParadiseonNTD Television. Join her for food adventures and discover the endless wonders of Food Paradise. You can stay in touch with her onFacebook,Twitter, andInstagram. Happy eating!.