Ma Po Tofu is popular Sichuan one-pot dish that is made with ground meat, tofu, Chinese seasonings like fermented bean paste, chili oil and also the numbing Sichuan peppercorns. If you like spicy numbing dish, this is definitely calling you!!!
Ma po doufu, or ma po tofu, is a popular Szechuan dish. It is a combination of tofu (bean curd) in a spicy chili oil and Chinese fermented bean-based sauce, often cooked with minced meat, usually pork or beef and amplified by the numbing Sichuan peppercorns. I know it sounds weird, but I love that numb sensation these peppercorns have on the tongue.
I’ve made this ever since I was in college. It’s like the easiest one-pot Chinese dish to prepare. I remember how my sister often teased me whenever I decided to cook back in those days. She knew we would be having ma po tofu ha..ha…! I always have some sort of ground/minced meat and tofu in our fridge. So, needless to say, this appeared on the menu pretty often. For the kids, I have to tone down on the chili oil and dou ban jiang and omit the peppercorns as they do not like the peppercorns. So, if you don’t want to make it spicy, it still tastes good. My kids love ma po tofu!
MA PO TOFU
- 1 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 8 oz ground pork/beef
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp finely minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp of dou ban jiang (fermented chili bean paste)
- 1 Tbsp of fermented black beans
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup chili oil
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp of water
- 1 block (15 oz) medium/ firm tofu (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 stalk green onion (chopped)
Roast the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry wok until fragrant. Dish out and set aside. Ground 1/2 of the peppercorns into powder using mortar pestle or spice grinder
In the same wok, add the oil and ground meat and stir-fry for 2 minutes, drizzle in the soy sauce while breaking the meat and slightly press them against the wok to partially cook and brown them. Dish out and set aside. Add in garlic, dou ban jiang, fermented black beans, and 1/2 of the sichuan peppercorns. Stir fry for about 1 minute. Pour in the stock and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the corn starch mixture and cook for another minute until it's thickened
Add in the tofu cubes and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Have a taste and season with salt as needed. Pour in the chili oil and carefully give it one last stir. Ladle the mixture into a serving bowl, garnish with ground Sichuan peppercorns, green onions, and serve with rice immediately
Check out other Spicy food you might be interested in.
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