Mapo Tofu

 
 

MAPO TOFU

INGREDIENTS: 

8 CUPS SILKEN TOFU, DICED INTO LARGE SQUARES

1 POUND MINCED PORK

1 CUP MINCED BEEF FAT, PREFERABLY AGED

1 CUP DOUBANJIANG

1/2 CUP TOMATO PASTE

3 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK

2 TBSP MUSHROOM POWDER

1 TBSP SALT

1 TBSP TURBINADO SUGAR

3 TBSP KOREAN HOT PEPPER POWDER

3 TBSP SICHUAN PEPPER POWDER, GREEN

3 TBSP SICHUAN PEPPER OIL

1 CUP GRAPESEED OIL

1/C CUP MINCED GARLIC

1/2 CUP MINCED GINGER

1 CUP CORNSTARCH DILUTED WITH EQUAL PARTS COLD WATER

FOR THE MAPO TOFU:

IN SALTED WATER, SIMMER THE TOFU, TAKING CARE NOT TO BREAK THE CUBES. THE SALTED WATER HELPS FLAVOR THE TOFU AND THE POACHING PROCESS HELPS THE TOFU RETAIN ITS STRUCTURE. 

IN A WOK OR LARGE POT, HEAT THE OIL OVER HIGH HEAT. ADD MINCED BEEF FAT AND COOK TO GOLDEN BROWN. ADD PEPPER POWDER, STIR, THEN IMMEDIATELY ADD TOMATO PASTE. COOK UNTIL OIL BECOME A DEEP RED HUE AND THE TOMATO PASTE BEGINS TO DARKEN SLIGHTLY BUT NOT BROWN. ADD DOUBANJIANG, INCORPORATE, THEN ADD GINGER AND GARLIC. INCORPORATE PORK AND COOK TO MEDIUM RARE DONENESS, ADD 3 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK, SEASON WITH MUSHROOM POWDER, SALT AND SUGAR. BRING TO A BOIL, TASTE FOR SEASONING. THIS SHOULD BE SPICY, SALTY, SLIGHTLY SWEET AND UMAMI IN THAT ORDER. THICKEN WITH CORNSTARCH SLURRY TO THE CONSISTENCY OF A LIGHT GRAVY. STRAIN POACHED TOFU, TAKE CARE THAT IT IS COMPLETELY DEVOID OF EXCESS WATER. ADD TOFU TO SAUCE, STIR GENTLY.

FINISH WITH CHILI OIL, SICHUAN PEPPER, GREEN SICHUAN PEPPER, TO TASTE. GARNISH WITH MARIGOLD PETALS. ENJOY WITH STEAMED RICE.

Danny BowienMind of a Chef