Friday, December 9, 2011

Mapo Tofu

Holy Sichuan pepercorns - I am PSYCHED that I just made a kickass mapo tofu! Mapo tofu is probably one of my favorite things to eat in life. I woke up this morning with a serious craving and decided it was time to learn how to make it. Soooooo, the key ingredient that gives mapo tofu it's awesomeness is toasted, ground Sichuan pepercorns. While I was grinding them, the smell literally brought me back to Shanghai. So freaking good. Best part about this recipe is that you can find all the ingredients at Whole Foods - no extra trip to the Asian market necessary!

Mapo Tofu
Recipe from
*I recommend doubling this recipe.

1 package (14 to 16 ounces) soft or regular tofu, drained

1 tablespoon oyster-flavored sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 pound ground pork or beef
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns (Just to clarify, buy whole pepercorns. Throw 'em on a piece of foil and toast them for about a minute, then grind in a spice grinder. I used more than the recipe calls for because clearly I am obsessed with this flavor and like it to be as spicy as a punch in the face.)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 fresh red chile pepper, minced (I left this out and used extra Sichuan peppercorns and a few squirts of sriracha instead.)
green onion for garnish
brown rice for serving

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add pork and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic and chile pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add tofu and sauce. Cook, stirring gently, until tofu is heated through and sauce boils and thickens. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with green onions. Serve over brown rice or ramen or lo mein noodles with some steamed veggies on the side.