Ma Po Tofu Sichuan Recipe

by admin on September 23, 2012

It feels like months since I last updated my blog and prior to giving birth I used to update my blog every week or so, but recently I’ve spent a lot of time working towards my new illustrator business, setting up a website for it and most importantly working on my portfolio. While I have still been cooking in recent times, with both Chris and my workloads we don’t really have time to sit down and eat elaborate meals so we’ve been eating fairly simply.

One thing I have felt though is a bit lost for not having time to cook. I’m due to go back to working in the same restaurant I worked in before part-time and I do actually miss the feeling of cooking properly. I also spent roughly two years working on this website so it’s upset me a litle not being able to update it.

Just recently as well, Chris has been incredibly busy with his photography business so he hasn’t had the time to photograph any dishes for me and we’ve both been really sick with baby flu which Amelia picked up at nursery. Seriously, if you haven’t had a baby, be warned(!), baby flu is literally 10 times worse than adult flu.

So to get back into the run of my blog, I had a re go at cooking and photographing one of my original recipes from this website, Ma Po Tofu. Here is the orignal blog with the story behind this dish and the recipe. I hope you will like it. :)

麻婆豆腐) Ma Po tofu is a well known dish from Sichuan. The creator is a lady who has pockmark on her face and pockmark is Ma in Chinese and Po is a respectful form for a old lady. Ma Po had this small restaurant in Chengdu city and the most of her customers were porters. They usually bought some tofu and mince to ask Ma Po to cook them something to eat. After a long time, this tofu dish got more and more popular and famous, so people named this dish after Ma Po’s name. That’s how we called this dish Ma Po tofu.

I also know of a British chef called Fuchsia Dunlop who is a so called expert on Chinese food after she learnt some Chinese and spent some time at a cookery school in China. The way she pronounces this dish in Chinese translates to “Pock-Marked Mother Chen’s Bean Curd” but if you ever go to a Chinese restaurant in Sichuan or Sichuan restaurant in Taiwan and China . ” Ma Po Tofu “ is the proper way to call this dish.

I went to the original site of Ma Po’s restaurant in Chengdu when I was 14 year-old. But this restaurant was burned down in 2005. Many people felt really sad about this as Ma Po’s restaurant plays an important part in the history of Sichuan cuisine. So, the Sichuan government rebuilt it again at another address in Chengdu city.

Here is one of the cooking methods for Ma Po tofu which was taught to me by my grandpa. My grandpa originated from Sichuan and was a really excellent cook and some of my happiest memories are of the time I spent with him in the kitchen learning to cook many different delicious dishes.

 

Ingredients:

600g Tofu
230g Pork mince or Beef mince. I used pork mince in this recipe.
2 spring onions chopped really finely
2 cloves garlic chopped really finely

 

Seasonings:

1 ½ tablespoon chilli bean sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 cup of chicken stock
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper powder

 

Procedures:

  1. Remove the hard edge of Tofu and cut it into 1.5 cm cubes. Place it into a plate with kitchen napkin to suck the water from tofu.
  2. Heat your wok with two tablespoons of oil and sauté pork mince. Add spring onion, garlic and chilli bean paste in. stir it constantly for another 20 seconds. Season it with soy sauce, salt, sugar and add tofu cubes into it, gently mix everything together but do not damage the shape of the tofu.
  3. Pour a cup of stock to reduce it down. This way can make tofu suck all flavour from sauce and stock.
  4. After reducing the stock, place it into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle a little bit of chopped spring onion on top to garnish it.

Ma Po Tofu Recipe

Ma Po Tofu recipe

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Debs @ The Spanish Wok September 24, 2012 at 7:47 am

This is a dish I’ve been wanting to try for so long, but never seem to get around to it. Thanks for the reminder.

Reply

Julia September 26, 2012 at 1:01 am

I don’t cook tofu a lot, which is why I always bookmark recipes with tofu for my future projects :). Looks delicious!

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janet October 20, 2012 at 5:30 am

I found this recipe on interest and I’m so glad I did. Ma po is one of my favorite dishes. And I’m so glad this is an easy way to make it. Thank you

Reply

Zoe May 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

OMG love this recipe for not using a lot of oil! going to try it for sure! :) thank you!!

Reply

Little Cooking Tips July 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

Thank you for sharing. Also, AMAZING photography!!!

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