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"Fish, to taste right, must swim three times - in water, in butter, and in wine."--Polish Proverb

Stevenís Mapo Tofu Recipe

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This recipe for Stevenís Mapo Tofu, by , is from Back to our Roots, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Steven Bartus


400-500g fresh firm tofu (one pack), cut into 2-3cm cubes
200-250g ground pork
2 c. chicken stock
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Thai chilies
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
chopped chives or coriander, for garnish
chopped scallion greens, for garnish
cooked rice, for serving

soya or vegetable oil
sichuan peppercorns
fermented black bean sauce
mushroom powder or MSG, optional
chili oil
fish sauce
Demerara sugar
soy sauce

Prep the Tofu

Put a large pot of water on to boil and salt it well. Blanch the tofu cubes for 4-5 minutes, just to warm them through and firm them up a bit. Drain and set aside.

Make the Mapo Tofu

Turn the heat up to high. Season the ground pork with 1t mushroom powder or MSG, if using. Press the pork into the pan; youíre trying to create a crust on the bottom. After 4 or 5 minutes, once the meat is a light blond, break up the pork and continue to cook until fully cooked but still juicy. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium. Deglaze the pan with some chicken stock, scraping up all the brown bits. Dump the liquid into the bowl with the pork.
Heat 2 tbsp. chili oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add 1tbsp. fermented black bean sauce, 1tbsp. coarsely ground Sichuan pepper, minced garlic cloves and 2 tbsp. doubanjiang. Cook for 3Ė5 minutes, adding the remaining chicken stock in splashes to deglaze the pan as needed.
Add the pork and juices to the pan along with the Thai chilies and 1t fish sauce. Turn up the heat to medium high. Add the reserved tofu to the pan and gently fold it into the mixture, trying to keep the cubes as intact as possible. Add the rest of the chicken stock. Once the mixture is bubbling, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the 2tbsp. demerara sugar and 1 tbsp. soy sauce. Taste it; you want the sugar to balance out the heat and savoriness. Add more if needed.
While the mixture is still bubbling, make a cornstarch slurry: whisk together 3 tbsp. cornstarch with 3 tbsp. cold water in a small bowl. Add the slurry to the pan and stir to combine. Take off the heat, and add more chili oil to taste. Garnish with chives and scallion greens. Serve with rice.




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