Pock-marked woman’s beancurd (Mapo Dofu)

The name of this dish has nothing to do with what it should look like, but it describes the appearance of its creator – an elderly Sichuanese woman who first cooked tofu this way. It’s easy to prepare, making it the perfect dish for a Chinese banquet or a light lunch – eaten alongside a bowl of rice.

Ingredients Serves: 3

  • 500g tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 20g chilli bean paste
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dark soy
  • 1 tsp light soy
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 tsp Tianjin preserved vegetable
  • 1 tsp of fermented bean curd
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper

Method

  1. Cut the tofu into 2cm squared cubes, and refresh them in gently simmering, lightly-salted water for two minutes. Drain and put to one side.
  2. Heat the groundnut oil in a wok, add the garlic, fresh chilli and the chilli bean paste and cook on a low heat until it starts to go a darker colour.
  3. Pour the vegetable stock, dark and light soy into the pan, and stir in the potato starch to thicken. Add the Tianjin preserved vegetable and the tofu and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Garnish with slivers of spring onion, and a generous pinch of Sichuan pepper.

1 comment

  • I’’d encourage the addition of some pork or turkey mince to it. That is when it really shines. Traditionally it was a way to make meat go further.

    I’m not a fan of spicy food so i tend to miss out chilli’s and use miso, mine is more like a blander japanese version.

    Mushrooms, especially rehydrated shitake mushrooms add some great texture. Otherwise i add in whatever vegetables i have that need using up.

    Kenny on

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