Tofu is one of the key protein source for vegetarians. Although I am not a vegetarian myself, for me being Chinese growing up in Hong Kong, we eat tofu a lot and because they are so versatile in cooking, it is hard to get bored of eating tofu.
I love preparing my regular mapo tofu with minced pork but since I didn’t have any in my fridge, I thought I will just modify the minced pork with finely chopped oyster mushrooms, the slight chewiness of cooked mushrooms give a good texture to the dish.
Serves 2-3 when combined with other dishes
- 200 g hard tofu, cut into bite sized cubes
- 100 g or about 2 handfuls oyster mushrooms, brushed and finely chopped
- 1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1-2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 thumb sized ginger, grated
- 1 heaping tbsp chili bean paste (tobanjan), red miso paste, or fermented soy bean paste (磨豉醬）*
- Dash of Shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- Dash of sesame oil
- Pinch of caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
*If you are using miso paste or fermented bean paste in this recipe, you can add 1/2 chopped fresh hot chilis or 1-2 tsp dried chili flakes for heat.
For thickening sauce:
2 tsp corn starch
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp toasted ground Sichuan peppercorn
1-2 tsp chili oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
Heat vegetable oil in wok on medium-high heat. Fry mushrooms and cook until they have shrunk/sweated off half their size and are nicely browned. Set aside.
Add vegetable oil into wok again and fry shallot, carrot, ginger, and garlic with a pinch of salt until soft. Set aside.
Add more vegetable oil into wok and add tofu. Swirl wok and fry slightly. Add cooked mushrooms and other vegetables and stir to combine. Add wine and let it sizzle for 30 seconds, then add sugar and light and dark soy sauce. Stir to combine, being careful to not break up tofu cubes while stirring. Add corn starch and water mixture. Turn heat off and stir everything once again.
Remove wok from heat, drizzle with sesame oil, and stir to coat. Plate mapo tofu in a shallow bowl and drizzle with chili oil. Sprinkle with toasted Sichuan pepper and scallion before serving.