Mapo tofu is one of those dishes that make a regular appearance at our dinner table. It is cheap and easy to cook and it goes so well with rice! But recently, I discovered that you can bring it to the next level by using Pixian Dou Ban!
In the past I was using chilli dou ban jiang which is easily available from the supermarket. Then I discovered Pixian Dou Ban which has official trademark of geographical indication. That means that in order for the sauce to be called “郫县豆瓣”(Pi Xian Dou Ban) it has to fulfill some stringent criteria eg where it is made, where the chilli is sourced etc. You can read more about it here.
Pixian Dou Ban is still not widely available but thankfully you can easily order it online together with all the other ingredients for Mapo Tofu! Don’t you just love the convenience of online grocery shopping?
Use the right Tofu
We are spoilt for choice when it comes to tofu. A common mistake when making this dish is to use silken tofu instead of the pressed tofu. Silken tofu is great for soups or simply on it’s own with soy sauce, pork floss and creamy century egg, but I digress…
For mapo tofu, you want to use pressed tofu which is firmer and won’t crumble when you stir it in the wok, yet it remains fairly soft and silky. Do not use tau kwa as it would be too firm for this dish.
Pressed Tofu x 1
Block Minced pork 150g or Pork Collar 150g
Chopped Ginger x 2 Tbsp
Garlic x4 cloves chopped
Spring Onion (white part) x2
Pixian Dou Ban x 1.5 Tbsp (chopped)
Fermented black beans x2 tsp
Light Soy sauce to taste
Dark Soy sauce (for color)
Sichuan Peppercorn (ground)
Spring onions (green part) (chopped) x2 tsp
1. Cut tofu into 1.2cm cubes and simmer for 5mins.
2. Fry ginger, garlic, and white part of spring onions till fragrant.
3. Add minced pork and fry till fully cooked
4. Add some oil to the wok and fry the Pixian dou ban till the oil turns red
5. Add fermented black beans and 1 cup water
6. Drain tofu and add to the sauce and simmer
7. Thicken with cornflour slurry
8. Garnish with spring onions and sprinkle with Sichuan peppercorn powder
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