Photo by Tamara West
This is a Sichuan classic that’s an easy 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook. Mapo tofu is a traditional Chinese dish which many Asian people of different nationalities enjoy. Sometimes I add eggplants to this dish if they are in season. Also as an alternative, you can use chicken mince. If you love hot dishes and like a bit of a kick, you can add chilli oil.
|1 tsp||Soy sauce|
|2 tsp||Chilli bean sauce|
|2 tsp||Sweet bean paste|
|2 cloves||Garlic, chopped|
|1 tsp||Brown sugar|
|2 Tbsp||Cooking oil|
|1 knob||Ginger, 2.5cm, chopped|
|2||Spring onions, chopped|
|1 cup||Chicken stock, salt reduced|
|150 g||Pork mince|
|1 block||Tofu, 250g, cut into cubes|
|1 tsp||Corn starch|
|1 Tbsp||Sesame oil|
- Mix soy sauce, chili bean sauce, sweet bean paste, mirin and brown sugar in a small ramekin and set aside.
- Place a wok on high heat and add cooking oil, garlic, ginger and spring onion. Stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add pork mince and cook for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.
- When the pork is almost cooked, add the mixed sauce and cook for another minute, then add chicken stock and tofu and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook tofu for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring gently.
- Add a tablespoon of water to the potato starch and mix well. Add this to the wok, add the sesame seed oil, stir gently and turn off the heat. Serve with steamed rice.
Chilli bean sauce (toban djan) is a Chinese condiment that I use often. It is fermented soybean with chili, salt and wheat flour, readily available in supermarket and Asian grocers.
Sweet bean paste (tian mian jian) is a dark brown Chinese condiment made from wheat flour, salt, sugar and soy bean. It has a similar taste to miso but is a lot sweeter. It is readily available in Asian grocers, but if you can’t find it, you can use miso as a substitute.