Mapo Tofu


I’m wondering who out there is sick of me posting stuff on tofu already. Haha! I can’t help it. Tofu is such a great alternative to meat, packed with plenty of protein. I get it fresh at the Sunday’s farmer’s market, giving me only a few days to eat it up or else it’ll go bad. With the weather turning cold in recent weeks, it’s only appropriate to start writing more on food that’s spicy and/or comforting to the soul. Such is the case for Mapo Tofu, spicy enough to ignite your tastebuds once again. I came across Shiok’s Mapo Tofu recipe last year and it hasn’t done me any wrong. I’ve tweaked it in a few places because I don’t care for certain ingredients, so I hope you’ll enjoy!

For three servings, you’ll need:

    • One box of firm tofu
    • 1.5 tbsp chili bean paste (dou ban jang)
    • 3 bird’s eyes chilies
    • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    • Cornflour water (1 tsp cornflour plus 1 tbsp water)
    • 1 stalk green onion

Method:

1. Remove the tofu of the preserved water and gently pat dry to eliminate any excess liquids. Cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes.

2. Cut up the bird’s eyes chilies into very thin rounds. Do not discard the seeds for extra spiciness.

3. Turn the heat to medium-high and add 1 tbsp of cooking oil into the pan and give the pan a swirl. Add the chili bean paste and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Add the bird’s eyes chilies and cook for approximately another minute. Add the vegetable stock and soy sauce into the pan, then gently add the tofu into the mixture. Ensure that most if not all of the tofu pieces are engaging with the vegetable stock. Allow the stock to boil and then turn the heat to medium to cook the tofu for another 5 minutes.

4. While the tofu is simmering in the pan, chop the green onion into small rounds for garnishing and prepare the cornflour water.

5. After the 5 minutes of simmering and if you find the vegetable stock to be relatively soupy, add the cornflour water in and allow the stock to thicken. Then dish up, garnish with the green onion and serve hot.

Notes:

    • Chili bean paste can generally be found in your Asian supermarket. However, if impossible to find it, it’s okay to replace the paste with some Sriracha instead.
    • Bird’s eyes chilies are essentially fresh mini peppers. If you can’t find them, it’s no problem to use dried chilies.
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