I want you today to present one of my absolute favorite Chinese dishes: Mapo tofu. Mapo Tofu (or Mapo Doufu) is a classic of Sichuan cuisine and is one of the most popular dishes in China. Anyone who has ever tried Mapo Tofu, will know why. The variety of flavors, strong seasoning and, typical for Sichuan Province Focus are just mega and will probably convince even the biggest tofu muffle them that well cooked tofu is a treat.
What is MaPo Tofu
MaPo Tofu (Má pó doufu, 麻 婆 豆腐) is one of those meals with many spellings and translations. Fuchsia Dunlop is translated in her book “Sichuan Cookery” as “beans cheese pockmarked Mother Chen”. It should be named after the disfigured by pockmarks wife of Restaurateurs of the Qing Dynasty. They say they have this spicy, aromatic, oily dish cooked for traders who had their cargoes unloaded on the way to the markets of the city with her on edible oil and come noon.
Mapo Tofu is probably one of the most famous dishes and symbolizes the culinary culture of Sichuan with its fiery-sharp farmhouse kitchen and all the action in the private restaurants. Worldwide there are countless imitations, but this is “the real thing” – as taught at the Sichuan Provincial Cooking School and is also offered in the restaurants named after “Old Mother Chen” in Chengdu.
How to make MaPo Tofu
The Sichuan pepper conjures up a pleasant tingling sensation on the lips, and the delicate tofu slides down the throat. It is plentiful and warm – a perfect winter dish. This recipe uses a traditional swing minced beef, which is unusual in the szechuan kitchen where pork but is most commonly used. Sometimes the meat is pre-fried and, only in the last minute of the preparation to the main course, so its crunchiness is retained.
The traditional vegetable is green garlic, Sichuan Suan Miao (蒜苗), in other parts of China qīng Suan (青蒜) called, but with spring onions it works.
The amount of oil can be reduced (at least 3 tablespoon!), But it is traditionally so that the dish is served with a good charge of chili-red oil. For the deepest ruby color genuine Sichuan chili bean paste and ground Sichuan chilli must be used.