Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐

Mapo Tofu (Stewed Tofu with Minced Pork in Pepper Sauce)
Style of cooking: Sichuan cuisine
Flavor: spicy and hot
Mapo Tofu is a most distinctive dish with local flavor in China and also is popular all over the world. This dish has a history of more than a hundred years and is the delicacy of the “Chen Mapo Tofu Restaurant” in Chengdu since its opening.
Mapo Tofu was created by Chen Senfu’s (Chen Fuchun as another story tells) wife Liu. Liu and Chen Senfu were the owners of a small restaurant in Wanfu Bridge, in the northern suburbs of Chengdu in the first year of the Emperor Tongzhi’s reign in the Qing Dynasty. Liu’s face was pitted, and thus she was called Chen Mapo (pitted woman). The braised tofu created by her was called “Chen Mapo Tofu” and her small shop was called “Chen Mapo Tofu Shop”. In the Handbook of Chengdu published in 1909, this shop and “Chen Mapo’s Tofu” as well as Zhengxingyuan Restaurant and Zhong’s Rice Dumpling Shop etc. were listed as the 22 “famous food shops in Chengdu”. The Chengdu Ancient Folk Songs with Love as Their Main Theme and the Record of Chengdu Stories etc. recorded that Chen Mapo created Mapo Tofu. The Mapo Tofu is so popular that it has spread all over China and has been introduced into Japan and Singapore and other countries.
This dish is made by braising the tofu. The brownish red minced beef and glossy and green garlic sprouts decorate the snow-white and tender bean curd and are surrounded by a circle of bright chili oil. The dish looks like a jade with amber and has a unique flavor. It is spicy, pungent, hot, tender, crisp, fragrant and fresh.
Characteristics: hot, spicy and fragrant; a dish of Sichuan cuisine
Ingredients: 2 pieces of tender tofu, 100g of lean beef, 50g of green garlic, 100g of vegetable oil, 50g of thick broad-bean sauce, 8g of chili powder and 8g of soy sauce, 20g of cooking wine, 20g of Sichuan salted black beans, 8g of MSG, 20g of starch liquid, 15g of soup, 1g of Sichuanese pepper powder, 10g of scallion and 10g of ginger.
Cooking method:
1. Chop the beef and the salted black beans. Dice the scallions and ginger. Clove the green garlic and cut it into segments. Cut the tofu into slices of about 1.5cm, and then soak them in boiled water.
2. Pour oil into the wok and heat the oil; then put the beef in and stir-fry the beef until the water has evaporated; then put in the thick broad-bean sauce, diced scallion and ginger as well as the salted black beans in the wok and fry them until they are crisp. Put the Sichuanese pepper powder in and fry until its color changes; then pour the soup, the soy sauce and the cooking wine in, and put the bean curd in; braise it on gentle heat until the bean curd is flavored; then put the MSG in and thicken the sauce with the liquid starch; then scatter green garlic and Sichuanese pepper powder, and serve the dish.

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