Destination Flavour China: Episode 7 

Mapo Tofu

This spicy sichuan specialty is famous for its spicy meaty sauce with soft tofu cubes that cuts through the spice, Mapo Tofu is delicious and easy to make, as Adam Liaw demonstrates.

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Speaker 1:           Fuchsia and I are going to make a bit of lunch. A Sicuanese classic, Mapo tofu. But this is your specialty.

Speaker 2:           I've made it quite a few times.

Speaker 1:           I'm in good hands. I know.

While Mapo Tofu is often made with pork, in Sichuan the original recipe calls for beef, as well as fermented black bean, some ground chili, Sichuan pepper and, of course, Mr Chen's chili bean paste. I start by minting the beef by hand and Fuchsia cuts the tofu into cubes. The chili bean paste is also chopped to a smoother consistency, and then we chop some garlic, leek and ginger.

Speaker 2:           Okay. I'm going to put the water on to steep the tofu before we begin. So it's a lightly salted hot water and it warms it up and makes it better to receive the flavors of the sauce, and it also refreshes the flavor. Then the important thing with the beef is, you want to break it up with the wok scoop so it's a really small grain. So, keep turning it around.

Speaker 1:           Are we fairly good there?

Speaker 2:           Yeah. Okay. Medium heat, I think, here?

Speaker 1:           Yes.

Speaker 2:           So, let's have the chili bean paste in first. You can see the oil is going red. And let's have the lovely beans and chilies in now. Ginger and garlic. Quickly, let's have the tofu in.

And I'm going to put in a bit of liquid here, and you can actually use water and it'll still be pretty delicious. For the beef go in too. And this is to simmer it to [foreign language 00:01:22] to send in the flavor. Okay. Do you want to put the leaks in now? So a little bit of starch and water and we'll add it in three stages. The important thing is not to have too much the first time because gloopiness is one of the big crimes in Chinese dishes. So, just a little bit in the middle. Okay. Just the last little token bit. Okay. Here's a serving bowl.

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