Friday, November 30, 2012

Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu is a Szechuan dish with a yummy spicy sweet sauce and it's great because it's a flexible dish that you can adjust to cater to your taste. If you want to make this dish a vegetarian-friendly one, you can omit the meat or use some sort of meat-substitute instead. Or, you could substitute the beef with ground chicken or turkey for a slightly lower calorie option.

Ingredients:
1 lb tofu, cubed
2 tablespoons Thai red chili sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2" piece of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon bean paste
3/4 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
long hot pepper, sliced
handful of baby corn
2 tablespoons beef broth
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes [gochugaru] (optional)
Chop up the onion, pepper, and mince the garlic. Watch out because some peppers are crazy hot and some are really mild.

Cube up the tofu.
Mix up the grated ginger, red chili paste, bean paste, and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Thai red chili paste is a mixture of (you guessed it) Thai red chilies and tamarind and fish sauce and and garlic and hot pepper and other Thai spices. It adds so much flavor with so little effort, I think you should go and buy some right now.
In a large skillet, heat up some oil and add in ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break it up and then add in onions, garlic, and peppers. Add in soy sauce and hot pepper flakes and baby corn.
Let the ingredients cook a bit and then add in some beef broth. Then, stir in the sauce mixture and add tofu. Gently stir to make sure you don't break up the tofu. Add in Sriracha at this point if you want it to be a bit more spicy.
Serve hot with a bowl of rice. My favorite way to eat it is to spoon a bunch of the mapo tofu over my rice, sauce and all, mix it up, and then stuff my face.
Here's the recipe page:

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