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Thursday 7 July 2011

Sluttishly Savoury: Ma Po Tofu

If I called this Pock Marked Old Lady Tofu, it wouldn't sound half as exotic or appetising, but that's what Ma Po Tofu translates to! Legend has it that the dish was created by an old lady with leprosy. Don't let that put you off though.

This is a simple version that's easy to knock up in a wok. Despite being a tofu dish, it does contain meat and, being Szechuan, it's spicy enough to make you sweat. Don't do what I did and rub both eyes after cooking this dish. You'll regret it, trust me.

I got my chilli bean paste from a local Chinese supermarket. If you can't find any near you, try Wing Yip.

Ma Po Tofu (serves 4)

You'll need:

  • 425g pork mince
  • 375g firm tofu
  • 3tbsp chilli bean paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed 
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 3tbsp water
Make it!
  • Start by pressing the tofu to make it firm for frying. Put a couple of sheets of kitchen roll on a board, then put the tofu on top. Cover the tofu with another couple of sheets of kitchen roll and another chopping board. Rest a couple of cans of beans, or anything moderately heavy, on top to squeeze the water out of the tofu. Leave for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fry off the pork in a wok until it's cooked through and starting to brown. Remove from the wok and set aside
  • Peel the kitchen roll off the tofu and cut it into bitesized pieces.
  • Heat some oil in the wok and stir fry the tofu pieces for around 5 minutes, until they are starting to go golden.
  • Add the garlic and stir fry for a minute more.
  • Add the pork, chilli bean paste, soy and water, and stir to heat through and distribute the sauce.

1 comment:

  1. Just to point out you can get 2 main types of tofu, most places only sell the cauldron stuff which I think tastes like cardboard. The stuff you want for this is silken tofu which can be found in Asda and (usually) any decent health food shop.

    Otherwise, thanks for the recipe, I always forget howw easy it is to cook and how much I love it :)


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