Ma Po Tofu
- 1 350-gram block silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 250 grams ground pork
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon doubanjiang, (broad bean chili paste)
- 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, mashed and chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon potato starch, or corn starch
- sliced scallions, to garnish
Pre-cook the tofu
- Cut the tofu into half-inch cubes.
- Boil about four cups of water and stir in a teaspoon of salt.
- Slide the tofu cubes into the boiling salted water, wait for the water to boil again then count one minute to cook the tofu.
- Drain the tofu and set aside.
Toast the Sichuan peppercorns
- Spread the Sichuan peppercorns in an oil-free pan and toast until you can smell them.
- Grind the Sichuan peppercorns until powdery.
Brown the ground pork
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok.
- Spread the ground pork in the hot oil, sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt and all of ground black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned.
- Scoop out the ground pork leaving behind the oil and rendered fat.
Saute the spices
- Reheat the oil and fat in the wok.
- Saute the garlic and ginger until aromatic.
- Add the doubanjiang and continue sauteeing for about half a minute.
- Add the fermented black beans and continue sauteeing until the solids start to separate from the oil.
Cook your ma po tofu
- Add the browned ground pork and stir to coat with the sauteed spices.
- Pour in the broth, stir and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the chili paste and sugar.
- Add the drained tofu cubes and stir gently.
- Sprinkle in half a teaspoon of the ground Sichuan peppercorns.
- Pour in the soy sauce.
- Set the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer everything together for a few minutes.
- Dissolve the starch a two tablespoons of water, pour into the pan and stir until no longer cloudy and the sauce is thick.
- Ladle your ma po tofu into a serving bowl.
- Sprinkle in the sliced scallions and serve your ma po tofu with rice.
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