Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Makeshift Ma Po Tofu

I love this dish, especially the way my mom makes it. The directions below are not the traditional way of making Ma Po Tofu, so please know that this is an alternative to the standard dish you see in restaurants. My mom doesn't like spicy but I like a little, so I added some spice to this. She also uses pork:


Serves 4
  • 1 block soft or medium-firm tofu (about 1 pound), drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (in place of Canola or peanut oil)
  • 1 pound ground turkey (in place of pork or beef)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tabasco sauce (in place of chili paste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ( in place of ground Sichuan pepper)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon  rice wine 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons  granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
Optional garnish: 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
1. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Add the turkey and stir-fry until  starting to brown but not yet dry, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, then add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the black bean paste and mix with meat. Add the tabasco sauce and black pepper and stir-fry for about 1 minute. 
3. Pour in the stock and stir well. Mix in the drained tofu gently but don’t stir too much or the tofu may break up. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the tofu has absorb the flavors of the sauce.
4. Add the cornstarch mixture, mixing well, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Garnish with optional scallions, and serve hot and with rice.

Enjoy! - Minna

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