Updated: Sep 26, 2021
i need to get this out of my system. Why do search engines not allow an apostrophe? It's sooo annoying. Why do I ask? Well, so many cooks call this wonderful Chinese invention Mapo Tofu? The correct name is Ma Po's Tofu - Ma Po was the Chinese lady who invented the dish and she deserves all the credit. But she isn't getting the credit because search engines don't allow apostrophes. It's such a shame!
Ok, now that's off my chest, I can tell you more about the recipe! Ma Po's Tofu is a Sichuan dish which in its traditional form is quite oil and very spicy. I've eaten the dish in Sichuan and I have to say it was both too oily and too spicy for me - old Ma Po was clearly made of strong stuff! My take on Ma Po's tofu is therefore less oily. (In fact, the recipe uses only 1 tbsp of oil) and less spicy - this way you enjoy all the flavour of the meal (and it is still plenty spicy) but without the extreme heat and the extra calories. Putting the dish together is quick and pretty simple - just make sure you buy a firm (cotton) tofu that you can cut easily. Using a firm tofu also means it won't disintegrate when you mix it into the other ingredients. I used shaoxing chinese cooking wine in the recipe but at a pinch you can use a tbsp of sherry instead. Once you've made your Ma Po's Tofu, just plate up your rice and ladle the tofu mix over the top. I have a feeling this might convert a few people - if you're one of them - let me know!
You can find the written recipe just below and for the youtube tutorial Ma Po's Tofu or scroll to the bottom of the page.
happy cooking and kudos to old Ma Po! kurumi XXXX.
Ma Po's Tofu
(makes 2 servings)
2 servings of cooked rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp of grated ginger or ginger puree
150g minced pork
1 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine (chinese cooking wine)
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce (toban djan)
1/2 soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp miso paste
1 packet of firm tofu (approx. 340g)
a little sesame oil
3 spring onions
2 tsp corn flour + 1 tbsp water
slice & mince the garlic and grate the ginger
chop the spring onions and set aside
cut the tofu into about 1.5cm cubes
heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, add & fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds
add the minced pork and fry for 2-3 mins
add the water, shaoxing cooking wine, chilli bean sauce, soy sauce, tomato ketchup, miso paste and stir
add the tofu in, take care not to break the tofu and cook for 2-3 mins, then add a dash of sesame oil
combine the cornflour with water and stir in until the sauce begins to thicken
lastly add the spring onion and mix
your Ma Po's tofu is ready - serve with a bowl of rice