If you are looking for a legit Mapo Tofu then you my friend…are in the wrong place.
I suggest you check out one of the following sites if you want a Mapo Tofu recipe that a Chinese Grandmother would be proud of…
If, however, you don’t care for authenticity then check this recipe out! It’s just as delicious!
What makes mine so different?
- I kept my tofu in brick form: I like silken tofu for its almost custard-y mouthfeel. Keeping it whole keeps me from breaking it into 184,462 pieces when I’m mixing it with the sauce.
- I didn’t mince my pork too finely: I like the “chew” that contrasts the silkiness of the tofu.
- I didn’t use Szechuan Peppercorns: cause I’m a baby when it comes to heat and I want to taste my food.
How can this still be considered Mapo Tofu?
- It has the same flavors (minus that mouth numbing heat).
- The appearance slightly resembles the authentic ones…kinda.
- Simply because I didn’t know what else to call it and Mapo Tofu was easier to say than “Silk Tofu Block Topped with Spicy Minced Pork and Chili Oil”…I hope you forgive me.
I’m not here to tell you about the origins of this dish. Marc Matsumoto explain it here if you care to know. I’m here to tell you about this version came into existence. It was a cold and stormy night when I was hit by this unrelenting hunger. I needed something with a bit of heat and…Naw, just kidding. I had spent the first 10 hours of my day trying out recipes (most of which will end up in my fails gallery) and found myself sugared out (I was baking…unsuccessfully).
I was hoping for something healthy and decided to have tofu for dinner. Admittedly, this recipe didn’t come out healthy but I’m not complaining. My Mapo Tofu recipe was birthed by sugar fatigue, a left over pork chop and a pack of tofu that was nearing its expiration date. Yeah, the truth is never as glamorous but “it is what it is” and what it is…is silky spicy savory scrumptiousness! Did you get that? I had to reread that several times to make sure I said what I wanted to say. Just try it…It’s worth every bite!
Before I let you go, for this recipe you will need something called Doubanjiang. To all my non Chinese viewers, I challenge you to say this word. Haha, it’s a hard one. I mentioned this because I don’t want this ingredient to deter you from giving this recipe a try. You can find this ingredient in any decent Asian market. This is the brand I use…
I can’t recommend any other brand because I haven’t tried another one. If you have and prefer another brand then please let me know!