Friday, June 8, 2012

Mapo Tofu

As I prepared to make Mapo Tofu, I realized I had some Sichuan peppercorns in the pantry and decided to add them to this recipe as called for.  The peppercorns really added a huge step of spiciness, such that I could only eat a small bowl of this before my mouth and tongue were burning and starting to feel numb.  Make sure to have plenty of rice to eat with this to calm the heat.  This also went well over a bowl of noodles.

Mapo Tofu
serves 4-6

1 lb soft tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 oz ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, sliced with white and green parts separated
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup dried Shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
2 1/2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons toasted Sichuan peppercorns, ground
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsp white sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 3 Tbsp cold water

  1. Place Sichuan peppercorns in a dry skillet on medium-high heat.  Stir and toast peppercorns for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Remove from heat and grind.
  2. Pour oil into a large wok or frying pan over high heat.  Add ground turkey and stir fry until the meat is no longer pink.  Turn heat to medium and add bell pepper, Shitake mushrooms, garlic, and the white portions of the sliced green onions.  Cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes.  Add chili garlic sauce and ground Sichuan peppercorns.  Stir well.  Add chicken stock, sugar, and soy sauce and continue stirring until well mixed.  
  3. Carefully add the cut tofu into the pan.  Stir carefully so that tofu will keep its shape.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes until tofu is heated through and sauce boils and thickens.  Pour cornstarch mixture over tofu, stir thoroughly, and remove pan from heat.  Serve with rice or noodles.  Garnish with the green portions of the sliced green onions.

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