Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu is a quintessential Szechuan dish.  Chris, normally not a big tofu fan, loves this dish.  The tofu is a soft silky vehicle for the spicy, garlicky, salty, flavors of the sauce.  For those who do not like tofu, but love spicy food, this could be the one tofu dish you will come to love.  Have it with a large bowl of rice and an ice cold beer.  Nothing else needed!

1 package of fresh tofu (bean curd) - I buy the soft tofu, less tofu flavor, soft silky texture
1/4 cup ground pork
1 tbsp hot chili paste
1 tbsp minced scallion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
 - combine the above ingredients in a small bowl, except the tofu

1 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp sugar
cornstarch and water thickening agent

Cut tofu into 1/2" cubes, set aside.  In your wok with a little bit of oil, add the ground pork mixture and fry until fragrant.  Add in the water, soy, cooking wine and sugar and mix well.  Then gently add in the tofu and flip a few times to combine.  Bring to a boil and let simmer over low heat for a few minutes.  Thicken with the cornstarch mixture and serve with some fresh sliced scallions sprinkled on top.  Skip the pork if you want to go veg.  It will not make a huge difference, though it does add nice flavor to the sauce.  Do not, however, skip the tofu.  It will surprise you.

On another note.. to our fellow piggy lovers, check out this article in the NY Times.


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