Mapo tofu is a Sichuanese dish - a spicy, thick sauce with minced pork served over cubes of silken tofu. You can garnish with a bunch of other stuff, but that’s mapo tofu at its essence.

Those who know me know that I cannot stand spicy at all, but this stuff is not really that spicy, despite how some Chinese restaurants make it. I love it served over a bed of rice and think it’s really comforting and easy to eat. I sort of equate it to having a nice bowl of warm stew. BUT, on occasion, I do modify my mapo tofu to make it even less spicy…hence, me eating it like a bowl of warm stew. That being said, the recipe I am giving today should be more of a “normal level” spiciness - meaning probably that there will be some heat, but you won’t need to go and down a glass of milk right after either.

####Silken Tofu

Like I alluded to, this dish is very easy to modify and very easy to make. You can add as much or as little spice as you want. You can probably also put it together from start to finish in about 20 minutes, which I love. The hardest part is really getting all the ingredients together, and I have made it pretty easy by breaking down the ingredients into stages. From there it’s a matter of mixing together the sauce in a cup, browning your meat, adding in your tofu, and mixing everything together. Three - two - one, easy.

###Directions

####1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl or cup. Set aside.

####2. On medium heat, add in vegetable and sesame oil. Fry garlic, ginger, and scallions for about a minute.

####3. Turn heat up to medium high. Add in ground pork and cook for several minutes until pork is done.

####3. Add in tofu and gently toss to mix.

####4. Finally, pour in sauce. Bring mixture to a boil until sauce thickens.

####5. Garnish with scallions or chilies.

Ingredients

(Makes 4-6 servings)

For Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black bean paste (or Korean fermented bean paste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For Pork:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 3 stalks scallions, minced
  • 1/2 pound pork

Tofu:

  • 14 ounce block of silken tofu, drained and cubed