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Ma-Po Tofu

Submitted by: Joseph Wu

Latest update: April 15, 2005

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In Extending the Table, the Japanese version of this recipe is presented, and is included as a festive dish. However, this is an everyday, home cooking, comfort food in China. I've kept the simplicity of the Japanese version, but have made a few changes to make it a little more Chinese.

Adapted from Extending the Table.

Serves 4.

Prepare the fresh seasonings:

  • 2 tsp. ginger, minced (or grated)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground red pepper (adjust to taste)

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a frying pan. Fry the fresh seasonings for 1-2 minutes.

Add 1/2 lb. ground pork (I usually substitute ground turkey to make it more healthy, and this will also work with ground beef), and fry until it is just cooked through.

Mix together the following, and add to the pan:

  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. red miso (or one cube fu yu)
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil

Cut 2 lb. soft tofu into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes and add to the pan. Stir well, trying not to break up the tofu. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add a cornstarch slurry (2 tsp. cornstarch with a little cold water) and cook until thickened.

Serve with rice.