I was hooked from my first spoon of Mapo Tofu on a cold wintry night in Hong Kong. There are many stories about how the dish came about, but the flavours are absolutely impeccable. Here’s my simplified version,
- Firm Tofu, crumbled – 1 block
- Button Mushrooms, chopped – 1/2 cup
- Green Bell Pepper, chopped – 1/2 cup
- Soy Crumbles – 1/2 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Salt, to taste
- Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon
- Ginger, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
- Garlic, minced finely – 1 teaspoon
- Sichuan Peppers, powdered – 1 teaspoon
- Shallots, finely sliced – 2 to 3, for garnishing
- Black Bean Sauce – 2 teaspoons
- Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon
- White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Corn Flour – 1 tablespoon
- Mix soy sauce, black bean sauce and vinegar with 1/2 cup water then dissolve the cornflour.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet and fry the Sichuan pepper powder, ginger and garlic for 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetables, soy crumbles and crumbled tofu and mix well.
- When the vegetables look slightly browned then add in the sauce mixture.
- Add more water if required, simmer for 3 – 5 minutes on gentle heat till sauce starts to bubble up and thicken.
- Take off the heat and stir in the shallots.
Enjoy hot with steamed or, fried rice or, as is, in a big bowl!