Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish that originates from the Sichuan province, known for its spicy and numbing flavors. It is a staple in many Chinese restaurants around the world and has become a favorite among food enthusiasts.
The name “mapo” comes from the old woman who created the dish, whose face was pockmarked (“ma” in Chinese). The dish was named after her, and the term “mapo” has since become synonymous with this flavorful and satisfying dish.
What’s in it?
The dish is made with tofu, ground pork or beef, Sichuan peppercorns, chili bean paste, garlic, ginger, scallions, and other seasonings. The dish is known for its bold flavors, thanks to the use of Sichuan peppercorns, which give it a unique numbing sensation.
How it made?
To make mapo tofu, start by cutting the tofu into small cubes and setting it aside. In a separate pan, cook the ground pork or beef until it’s browned, then add in the garlic, ginger, and scallions. After a few minutes, add the chili bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns, stirring everything together until it’s fragrant.
Add the tofu to the pan and mix everything together gently, taking care not to break up the tofu. Add some water to the pan to help the ingredients come together and simmer everything for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened and the tofu is heated through.
The dish is traditionally served with steamed rice and garnished with some chopped scallions or cilantro. You can adjust the spiciness level to your liking by adding more or less chili bean paste or Sichuan peppercorns.
To sum it up, mapo tofu is a delicious and satisfying dish that’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. With its bold flavors and comforting textures, it’s easy to see why it has become such a beloved Chinese classic.