Mapo Tofu

麻婆豆腐má pó dòu fu


10-14 oz firm tofu

1/3 lb ground beef

1/2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn

2 hot peppers

1 tbsp minced ginger

2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp Sichuan bean paste

1 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup water

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

2 green onions

Bake Peppercorns and Peppers

  1. Preheat oven to 285° F.

  2. As a general recommendation, when handling hot peppers, some people may feel burning hot on their hands, wear food gloves to protect your hands and fingers from having direct contact with the spice.

  3. Add Sichuan peppercorns and hot peppers (you can use any hot pepper - I used jalapeños) to a small bowl, add 1/2 tsp olive oil, and stir to mix the ingredients well. Let spices stand for 5 minutes.

  4. Cover a baking sheet with foil and pour the spices onto the sheet. Bake for 6 - 8 minutes.

  5. Remove the baking sheet from oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

  6. Grind the peppercorns - you can use a mortar and pestle or you can wrap them in foil and roll with a rolling pin.

  7. Mince the peppers - keep the seeds for extra heat. Mix with the peppercorns and give it another fine chop.

Boil Tofu

  1. Boil about 4 inches of water in a large pot.

  2. Cut the tofu into first into 8 pieces.

  3. Cut each piece in half for a total of 16 tofu pieces.

  4. Once water is boiling, add in 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp olive oil, and tofu. Boiling the tofu will help firm it up so that we can easily saute it later.

  5. Let the tofu boil for 1 minute, then turn off the stove, and strain the tofu out.

Cook Dish

  1. Mince ginger and garlic.

  2. Chop up only the dark green parts of the green onions.

  3. Chop up the Sichuan bean paste on top of a piece of foil on your cutting board. Chop the paste into tiny pieces.

  4. Heat pan over medium high heat.

  5. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, ground beef, ginger, and Chinese cooking wine to the pan.

  6. Stir until the beef absorbs all of the liquid in the pan.

  7. Add Sichuan bean paste, 2/3 of the Sichuan peppercorn and pepper mix, dark soy sauce, sugar, and a dash of salt.

  8. Continue to stir for another 1-2 minutes and fry the bean paste.

  9. When oil turns red, add 2/3 cup cold water and stir.

  10. Once the sauce is boiling, add the tofu in gently and let simmer in low temperature for 3 minutes.

  11. Mix 1/2 tsp cornstarch and 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl and then drizzle into the pan.

  12. Gently flip the tofu to cover with the sauce.

  13. Mix 1/2 tsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp cold water in the small bowl and drizzle into pan. Gently stir.

  14. Mix 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp cold water in the small bowl and drizzle into pan again. Gently stir.

  15. Add minced garlic and stir for another minute

  16. Turn off stove, transfer to plate and top with green onion.

  17. If you want some more heat, add the rest of the Sichuan peppercorn and pepper mix on top.