Mapo Tofu- a spicy Szechuan dish
Mapo tofu (má pó dòu fǔ 麻婆豆腐) is the most famous and easiest kind of Sichuan food and also the spicy taste also makes it very popular.True Mapo doufu is powerfully spicy with both conventional "heat" spiciness and the characteristic "mala" (numbing spiciness) flavor of Sichuan cuisine. The feel of the particular dish is often described by cooks using seven specific Chinese adjectives: numbing(má 麻), spicy hot(là 辣), hot temperature(tàng 烫), fresh(xiān 鲜), tender and soft (nèn嫩), aromatic(xiāng 香), and flaky(sū 酥). These seven characteristics are considered to be the most defining of authentic Mapo doufu. The authentic form of the dish is increasingly easy to find outside China today, but usually only in Sichuanese restaurants that do not adapt the dish for non-Sichuanese tastes.It is said that Ma Po bean curd introduced to Japan after the bags were made of fast food, "Mapo tofu."
Story about Mapo Tofu
The name Ma Po Tofu is roughly translated as “pockmarked grandmother beancurd,” named for the old woman who supposedly invented the dish Xianfeng in the Qing Dynasty, a person called Chen Chunfu in Chengdu North Bridge Wan opened the door, "Chen Xingsheng Fanpu" generally sell rice and vegetables. A smallpox as a child because of her, leaving pock in the face, so she said it was Chen Mapo. The couple's male waiter, kitchen hand woman, with very understanding. Fan Pu near the large grain and oil storage, porters to transport grain and oil to be at this for almost a meal in the rest here. Chen Mapo porters that are hot to eat, Ma eat, and eat hot, with more pepper, chili bean burned, Ma made tofu, spicy, hot and tender, Shannon. Red bean curd on the side ...
Her business thrived for inexpensive price and good taste. After the woman died, people named her specialty "Mapo Tofu" to remember her, which literally means tofu made by the freckled woman. The name has lasted untill now and becomes a common dish found everywhere, and it is favored by foreigners as well.
How to cook Mapo Tofu?
1 block silken tofu (19 oz box)
1/4 lb ground pork
3 tablespoons Sichuan spicy bean paste (辣豆瓣酱)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons chili oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns (roasted and ground to powder)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon fermented black beans (rinsed and pounded)
2 stalks of leeks or scallions (chopped into 1 or 2-inch length)
2 gloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
Cut the tofu into small pieces, drain the water from the tofu and set aside.
Heat up a wok and pour in the cooking oil and chili oil. Add the chopped garlic, ground pork, spicy bean paste and stir-fry until the pork is half-done.
add in chili powder, soy sauce, fermented black beans and stir-fry until aromatic.
Add in the tofu and water; stir gently to blend the tofu (don’t break them) well with the sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3-5 mins or until the sauce thickens.
Add in the roasted Sichuan peppercorn powder and chopped scallions. Gently stir and blend well. Dish out and serve hot.
1.To tone down the numbing spiciness of this dish, use less roasted sichuan peppercorn powder, chili powder, and chili oil. Adjust them to fit your palate.
2.The Ma Po Tofu served at Chinese restaurants in the US has been adapted to appeal to local taste–the level of numbing spiciness is largely toned down.