Mapo Tofu can be found in nearly any Chinese restaurant around the world with hundreds of variations adapting the piquant original to suit local tastes. This dish can also be called the Mapo Doufu. Mapo Tofu is a traditional Sichuan Cuisine Dish, is consisted of tofu set in a spicy sauce, typically a thin, oily, and bright red suspension, based on douban (fermented broadbean and chili paste) and douchi (fermented black beans), along with minced meat, usually pork or beef. Variations exist with other ingredients such as water chestnuts, onions, other vegetables, or wood ear fungus.
"Ma" stands for "ma-zi" (Chinese: mázi, 麻子) which means pockmarks. "Po" is the first syllable of "popo" (Chinese: 婆婆, pópo) which means an old woman or grandma. Hence, mapo is an old woman whose face is pockmarked. It is thus sometimes translated as "pockmarked grandma's beancurd".
Legend has it that in Qing Dynasty, there was an old woman named Chen Po, who runned a tofu business. She was so good at making tofu and therefore had a flourishing business that other tofu makers and restaurants owners envied her and made her a discriminative name "Ma Po". Chen Po is aware of their slander, but she decided to focus on her business. One day she accidently invented a new way of cooking tofu, and the dish was so delicious that it became so famous over the place.
|silken tofu block||14 ounce|
|soy sauce||2 teaspoon|
|potato starch||1 teaspoon|
|sugar||= 1 teaspoon|
|sesame oil||1 tablespoon|
|minced garlic||2 medium cloves|
|minced ginger||2 teaspoons|
|minced green onions (white part only)||2|
|Sichuan peppercorns||1/2 teaspoon|
|doubanjiang (chili bean paste)||2 teaspoons|
|low sodium chicken broth||1/2 cup|
1. Add the chicken stock, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar to a small bowl and stir to combine.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions and stir-fry until fragrant. Add Sichuan pepper and continue stir-frying for about 30 seconds. Add the doubanjiang and stir to distribute.
3. Add the tofu, and toss to mix (if you stir it, the tofu will lose its shape).
4. Give the stock mixture a good stir to incorporate anything that may have settled, and then pour it over the pork and tofu. Toss to coat, then boil until the sauce thickens.
5. Garnished with the green parts of the green onions, then serve with hot rice.