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Pictorial: Ma Po Tofu

Chinese Vegetarian

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100 replies to this topic

#31 stephenc

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 12:57 PM

I would ditch the hoisin sauce and replace it with more chili-bean sauce (do-ban) or hot oil/bean paste. But that's because I like my mapo tofu to be swimming in a pool of red.

Oh, I also like to use medium tofu and cut the tofu into smaller cubes, but that's just a style thing.

Edited by stephenc, 08 December 2005 - 01:01 PM.


#32 hzrt8w

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 01:43 PM

[...] I made this last thursday and have been loving my leftovers.[...]

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Lovely! Thanks for sharing your picture, OnigiriFB.

Do you like firm tofu better? I like the silken soft tofu to increase the texture contrast between the minced meat and the tofu.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#33 torakris

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 02:56 PM

I just wanted to let you know that this is officially daughter Julia's favorite dish.

Yesterday for her birthday dinner (she turned 8) she requested "that mapo tofu just like you made last time....." :biggrin:

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#34 OnigiriFB

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 10:55 PM

[...] I made this last thursday and have been loving my leftovers.[...]

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Lovely! Thanks for sharing your picture, OnigiriFB.

Do you like firm tofu better? I like the silken soft tofu to increase the texture contrast between the minced meat and the tofu.

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Oops... I must have missed this post or just plain spaced replying to you. Sorry! I like firm tofu since thats what I'm used to. I really wanted to try it with silken since thats what you had posted, but I couldn't find it at my local asian market :blink: wierdly enough. Next time I was thinking of trying a different asian market that caters to more korean/japanese food since I know they have it there. When I do I'll try to remember to post the differences and which style I think I prefer more.

#35 hzrt8w

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 01:28 AM

I just wanted to let you know that this is officially daughter Julia's favorite dish.

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That's my ultimate compliment, Kris. Thank you. Even better than my MIL saying "okay". :biggrin:
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#36 alvis

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 11:18 PM

Hi hzrt8w, great thread



Being inspired, I made mapo tofu minus the meat today. Instead of vinegar, I added some ketchup to it for color and taste along with la tobanjiang and tobanjiang. It definitely hit the spot.:biggrin:
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#37 hzrt8w

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 11:28 PM

[...]  Instead of vinegar, I added some ketchup to it for color and taste along with la tobanjiang and tobanjiang. It definitely hit the spot.:biggrin:

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Wow! Looks great! Why didn't I think of that? :smile:
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#38 jhirshon

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

Great thread - thought I'd add my recipe to it as well, which includes some finely diced Szechuan preserved vegetable for added flavour, among others. :)

cheers, JH

____________________________

The Hirshon Ma Po Dofu


1/2 pound ground beef

2 Tbsp soy sauce

Pinch of cornstarch

Pinch of 5 Spice

1 tablespoon Korean Kochujang or hot Szechuan bean paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon pureed or very finely minced ginger

1 Tbsp peanut oil

2 Tbsp. hot chili oil

2 Tbsp black beans, mashed to a paste after having been rinsed

3/4 pound dofu (firm preferred), chopped into small cubes

4-5 tien tsin peppers, sliced (or use fresh red fresno chiles)

2 Tbsp. finely chopped Szechuan Preserved Vegetable, previously washed

1 Tbsp chicken stock

1 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine (or use dry sherry)

1 teaspoon sweetened black vinegar (or balsamic, if unavailable)

1 teaspoon sesame oil (Kadoya brand preferred)

1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, lightly toasted and then ground

5 green onions, sliced thinly crosswise, white and light green part only

Take the beef and mix it with the soy sauce, cornstarch, and 5 Spice. Let sit at least 20 minutes (can refrigerate overnight). Heat wok to high heat. Add the peanut oil. When it shimmers, add the chili paste and garlic. Fry about 30 seconds until it releases its smell. Add the beef and cook thoroughly. Drop heat to medium and add the bean sauce, the peppers, and the tofu. Cook about 8 minutes until the tofu picks up some color. Add broth, wine, vinegar, ginger, garlic, preserved vegetable, chili oil, sesame oil and the ground peppercorns and then stir well. Adjust heat to taste with more chili oil, if desired. Add green onions. Serve over rice to absorb sauce, if desired.

Edited by jhirshon, 31 December 2005 - 09:34 PM.


#39 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 10:07 AM

I made this dish last night with a few variations. I used ground turkey instead of beef or pork, firm tofu since I had a senior moment when I was in the store and couldn't remember which kind I liked, and added shredded lettuce at the end. No pics, since my camera decided to misbehave last night.

My husband said it was the best meal ever. Since he's been saying that for the past few days, I took for face value. I'm very critical about my own cooking, always looking for improvements, and I liked this dish a lot.

Thanks again, Ah Leung for the pictorial.
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#40 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 11:27 PM

My husband said it was the best meal ever.  Since he's been saying that for the past few days, I took for face value.  I'm very critical about my own cooking, always looking for improvements, and I liked this dish a lot. 

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Thank you, Karen. You should have a few more good eat recipes "under your belly" to please your spouse. :biggrin: :laugh: :laugh:
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#41 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 09:18 AM

My husband said it was the best meal ever.  Since he's been saying that for the past few days, I took for face value.  I'm very critical about my own cooking, always looking for improvements, and I liked this dish a lot. 

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Thank you, Karen. You should have a few more good eat recipes "under your belly" to please your spouse. :biggrin: :laugh: :laugh:

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:laugh:
Karen C.

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#42 Sencha

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 01:55 PM

I have really enjoyed this recipe for mapo tofu! I have prepared it about five times since you posted it! Thank you! :biggrin:

#43 eje

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:08 PM

Ah Leung,

Made your version for dinner tonight, and it turned out really well.

One of the tastiest meals we've had in a couple weeks.

Thanks!

-Erik
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#44 hzrt8w

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:46 PM

Thank you for your kind words, Sencha and Erik. I recently made this dish again and this time with firm tofu instead of silken ones. The texture is sure different. I think I like it both ways. I would probably alternate in the future. :biggrin:
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#45 prasantrin

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 09:50 PM

This may have already been asked, but my search turned up nothing.

Can mapodofu be frozen? Even just half a recipe will make much too much for me, so I was thinking of freezing leftovers in lunch-sized portions. But if that won't work, I'll have to quarter the recipe.

#46 hzrt8w

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 11:18 PM

[...]Can mapodofu be frozen? [...]

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I don't see why not. For the meat and sauces, definitely no problem. If you were to freeze tofu, you probably want to cook this dish with firm tofu which would stand the freezing process a bit better than the soft or silken tofu. The tofu texture would be changed just a little bit, but I don't think it's a big deal.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#47 prasantrin

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 12:01 AM

I don't see why not.  For the meat and sauces, definitely no problem.  If you were to freeze tofu, you probably want to cook this dish with firm tofu which would stand the freezing process a bit better than the soft or silken tofu.  The tofu texture would be changed just a little bit, but I don't think it's a big deal.

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Okey smokey! I'm going to use the mapodofu tofu, which is available here in Japan (or at least in my area of Japan). I think it might be an extra firm tofu, which would help with the freezing. Sunday will be my cooking day for the week!

#48 racheld

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 11:36 AM

This site---all of it, every page, every dish---always makes me feel like I've walked through the Dorothy-door into a beautiful realm of colors and flavors I'm just learning about.

Caro will make us mapo tofu tonight, after she awakes. She worked last night, is off for two days now, and it's snowing fast and furious. I'm glad she's home for more reasons than one, and this will be the perfect night for all the hot/sweet flavors. Just the scents as she cooks are wonderful. :wub:

Looking forward to more of your beautiful dishes (and to tonight's dinner, thanks to you!).
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#49 blurby

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 09:15 PM

Well, I suppose this will be my first post :)

I'm planning on making a batch of this in the next couple of days. I have two questions first regarding the ingredients:

1. I could not find brown bean paste. I did find broad bean paste and when I asked the clerk he said they were the same thing. The only ingredients are "beans" and "salt" so it's a fairly simple product. Was the clerk right?

2. I could not find the ground szechwan pepper. I did find whole dried szechwan pepper however. Will this work if I just grind it up or do I need to toast it first?

Many thanks; this looks delicious!

#50 trillium

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 05:47 PM

Your broad bean paste will be just fine. I like making my ma po with just broad bean/chilli bean paste from Sichuan (do ban jian), even when I am making the Cantonese version, which is the style of recipe from hzrt8w. And I never add hoisin sauce, whether I'm making the original Sichuan or the Hunan or Cantonese variations. So you have a lot of flexibility.

If your Sichuan peppercorns have not already been toasted, then you should toast them first and then grind them, but only the amount you'll use. Using whole ones that you grind yourself will always be tastier.

good luck!
trillium

#51 msphoebe

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 10:17 AM

Made this today for Easter Dinner and it was wonderful. I did use ground turkey as I found no ground pork in my freezer. Turned out great.

Thanks for sharing your recipe, hzrt8w!

#52 SheenaGreena

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 01:03 AM

I made this the other day and seeing as how I had no ground pork in the house, I just threw some pork belly in the food processor and used that. I also changed a few things like using ketchup, gochujang, dwaengjang, mirin, and some gochugaru. it turned out delicious and I will definitely try it again and maybe next time I'll stick with using more chinese ingredients
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#53 Peter Green

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 06:41 AM

I like the gochujang in it. It helps to get the flavour back up to the original burn. I'm counting on my fresh peppercorns to turn the corner on this.

#54 kourou

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:53 AM

hm recipe comes out less like my thinking for mapodoufu. I think may be a more guangdong-style of doing something hot and fiery such like sichuan mapodoufu - where it origininates! Actualy Alvis's picture looks like more what you will find in the sichuan restaurants here in China, but more red hot oil! And in Chengdu often you see much huajiao peppers crushed all over the top! VERY HOT

#55 Peter Green

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 11:29 AM

Here's a couple of my shots from the Ma Po Tofu place across the street from Sichuan University in Chengdu.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Lots of oil. Think of a tanker crashed on a reef made of tofu.

I'm getting hungry again.

#56 AzianBrewer

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:47 PM

I made this the other day and seeing as how I had no ground pork in the house, I just threw some pork belly in the food processor and used that.  I also changed a few things like using ketchup, gochujang, dwaengjang, mirin, and some gochugaru.  it turned out delicious and I will definitely try it again and maybe next time I'll stick with using more chinese ingredients

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Gochujang in tofu?? Isn't that soo-dobu?

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#57 Sony

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 01:33 PM

Hi all....since Szechuan peppercorns aren't available in my neck of the woods, is it worth trying to make the dish without them? Anything that can possibly substitute in?

My block of tofu eagerly awaits your response :smile: .

#58 Toliver

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 04:27 PM

Hi all....since Szechuan peppercorns aren't available in my neck of the woods, is it worth trying to make the dish without them? Anything that can possibly substitute in?

My block of tofu eagerly awaits your response  :smile: .

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I am sure others will chime in, but from what I understand about Szechuan peppercorns is that their tongue-numbing effect makes them unlike "normal" peppercorns...meaning there's not really a good substitute for them.
This will be too late for your tofu, but szechuan peppercorns can now be ordered online at websites like Penzeys:
Szechuan Peppercorns from Penzey
The government has recently lifted their ban on the peppercorns making them once again available in the US.

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#59 Sony

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 08:43 PM

The government has recently lifted their ban on the peppercorns making them once again available in the US.


Every place I've asked, they've said it's an illegal import, even though I too thought the ban was lifted in 2005 (?)
I'm going to Columbus this weekend, so I'm hoping I will be able to make it to the Penzey's there. If not, I suppose I'll have to order more than just Szechuan peppercorns, just to make the shipping costs worthwhile. :wink:

#60 Dejah

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:27 AM

Hi all....since Szechuan peppercorns aren't available in my neck of the woods, is it worth trying to make the dish without them? Anything that can possibly substitute in?

My block of tofu eagerly awaits your response  :smile: .

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Definitely mapo tofu can be made without szechuan peppercorns. I like the numbing but not the flavour, so mine is always made without Szechuan peppercorns. :rolleyes:
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