As I was re-watching Angel Beats! last night, I was reminded that I hadn't done a mapo tofu recipe on Tasty Time. I got up first thing this morning to prepare this recipe for breakfast! This particular recipe is a little sweet compared to traditional mapo tofu. A Japanese flair to this classic Chinese dish. As always, this recipe is vegetarian, but there's no stopping you from substituting actual ground beef if you prefer it.
8 Thai chili pepper, dry
1 tbsp prickly ash peppercorns, dry
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 cup Quorn veggie grounds, thawed
2 tbsp minced zha cai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zha_cai)
2 boxes silken tofu
1 jalapeno minced
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1/2 cup water
1.5 tbsp cornstarch
For the sauce:
2 tbsp chili sauce
1 tbsp black bean paste
1/2 cup vegetable stock (use chicken stock, if you like)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Shao Hsing cooking rice wine
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp honey
- Mise en place. Gather and prepare all the ingredients.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and set aside. Be sure to whisk thoroughly so you do not end up with chunks of black bean paste.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the sesame and canola oil on high heat. When you start to see wisps of smoke from the oil, at the Thai chili pepper and prickly ash peppercorns and turn the heat down to medium high.
- Fry the peppers for about a minute until you smell the spices. You may choose to discard the peppers at this point, if you don't want to have crunchy peppercorns in your mapo tofu. Be careful to retain all the oil.
- Brown the veggie grounds in the oil. While the grounds are browning, cut the tofu into large cubes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and zha cai to the grounds and saute for a minute or so.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer (turn heat to high).
- Carefully add the tofu and let it simmer on medium high heat for about 5 minutes.
- While the tofu is simmering, combine 1/2 cup of water and 1.5 tbsp cornstarch. Mix thoroughly. You'll use this to thicken the sauce.
- With a spatula, carefully stir the mapo tofu while you drizzle the cornstarch solution over the top.
- Once the sauce has thickened, take the mapo tofu off the heat and add the minced jalapeno.
- Serve immediately in a large plate, top with chopped scallions. Enjoy!