Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐) is one of those dishes that is almost always universally loved. It’s flavorful but simple, it’s got some meat but isn’t a meat dish and it’s spicy but not uncontrollably so. Recently, I learned mom has a go-to, quick-fire recipe she uses when she has a package of tofu in the fridge and some ground pork in the freezer*, which is about 97% of the time.
Unfortunately, the day I decided to make this dish, mom was out of town. So I asked her to email me the recipe and she did. But in true mom fashion, her version was missing the ingredients list, ingredient amounts and a couple steps. But never fear, I was able to fill in the blanks and create a dish that the hubs is now obsessed with.
*Pro tip: Always keep ground pork in the freezer – it can be used for a million trillion Chinese dishes.
- 1 pkg tofu (medium or soft)
- 1/4 pound ground pork
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 3 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp spicy red bean sauce
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chili oil
- Cooking oil
- 1 tsp Chinese peppercorn powder
- Cut tofu into dice-sized cubes. Then let them sit for 15 min to drain some water out.
- Sautee minced garlic with oil in a hot pan, add ground pork and fry until it’s dry/crumbly and a little brown.
- Add red spicy bean sauce, chili oil and tofu. Stir well.
- Mix corn starch with water, pour into tofu mixture to thicken.
- Serve over rice with a sprinkle of Chinese peppercorn powder.