food for thought

by michelle

mapo tofu

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Mapo Tofu (Grandma’s beancurd) is a favourite of mine. In this version I cook 500g of minced beef in a hot pan, making sure it’s broken up into small pieces to form the basis of the sauce. No oil is necessary as the meat first loses it’s water content and then fries in it’s own fat, intensifying it’s flavour. Next comes the onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a knob of ginger, all finely diced. These are cooked with the meat for 3-5 minutes before adding up to 2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes (according to personal  taste), ½ a teaspoon of ground roasted szechuan peppercorns, a pinch of five spice and a liberal sprinkling of ground white pepper. After another minute or so, a splash of Chinese cooking wine (this step is optional), then 2 cups of stock, 2 tablespoons of thick soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and ½ a teaspoon sugar. I use cornflour to thicken the sauce, about 2 tablespoons mixed into cold water, added bit by bit until it reaches the right consistency. Now the diced soft tofu is heated gently in the sauce. Delicious served on fluffy white rice.

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Written by michelle picker

January 2, 2011 at 1:03 am

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