Two key ingredients for a good Mapo Tofu is Dou Si (fermented black beans) and toasted ground sichuan peppercorn. This recipe include a small portion of my homemade chili oil which contains dou si. If you do not have my homemade chili oil in hand, you can substitute with 1 tbsp dou si, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp chili oil. Finely chopped dou si and garlic and mix with chili oil. If you want more sauce for this recipe, you can double the slurry.
200g firm tofu, cut into 2cm cubes
120g minced pork, lamb or TVP
1 tbsp Dou Ban Jian (Chili bean paste)
1 tbsp homemade chili oil (optional and if you are not using, add 1/2 tbsp more dou ban jian)
2 tbsp Vegetable oil for cooking
Sugar, salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Light soy sauce
1 tsp Corn starch
1 tsp Sugar
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
A few shakes of ground white pepper
1 tsp corn starch
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 cup water
Freshly chopped coriander
Sprinkle of toasted ground sichuan peppercorn
Mix all ingredients from the marinade in a small bowl. Add your choice of protein and mix until well combined. If you are using TVP, drain excess water from soaking. Set aside.
In a medium frying pan, Heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium high. Sear tofu until lightly golden and slightly firm. Season with salt. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil into the same frying pan, fry minced meat/TVP until brown and slight crisped on the surfaces. Add tofu back into the pan, move the pan around gently to not break the tofu.
Add dou ban jiang and homemade chili oil. Stir to coat sauce with tofu and minced. Add 1/2 cup of water, stir gently to combine, lower heat to medium and let the it simmer to allow tofu to soak up the flavour from the sauce. Once the sauce is evaporated a little, add the slurry, stir to combine. Once the sauce is thicken, remove from heat.
Serve Mapo Tofu on a bed of steamed rice or plain wheat noodles. Garnish with toasted ground sichuan peppercorn and freshly chopped coriander leaves.