The original version used mince beef with tofu. The dish is so versatile that it has morphed into many variations.
I use mince pork and add tomato and fresh shitake mushrooms to the tofu. The tomato and mushrooms add texture and flavour. These two vegetables also provide a lot of vitamins to make this a much healthier dish.
1 silken tofu, 300 grams, diced
100 grams mince pork
1 tomato, diced
5 shitake mushrooms, diced
1 tsp hot bean paste
(Or 1 tsp salted soya bean paste and 1 teaspoon chilli paste)
1 tsp sugar
1 egg, beaten ( for thickening the sauce and for flavour)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
|silken tofu, 300 grams|
A dash of sichuan peppercorn
Spring onion for garnish
In a wok or pan, heat the oil on medium till hot
Toss in the garlic and hot bean paste and fry till fragrant
Toss in the pork, saute till cook
Toss in the tomato and mushroom
Add half a cup of water and saute for about 2 minutes
Add the egg last and sprinkle a dash of peppercorn
Serve with spring onion
(Note: Chicken stock can replace the water for more flavour)
History of Ma Po Tofu
Do you know how ma po tofu got its name? During the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1871-1908) of theQing Dynasty (1644 -1911), a woman named Wen Qiaoqiao pitted from pock-marks in Chengdu City was married to an owner of an oil refinery. Unluckily, after 10 years of marriage her husband died in an accident while carrying oil. After her husband's death, Qiaoqiao and her sister in-law were left poorly off. Her husband's former laborers and her neighbors often took rice and vegetables to assist them. There happened to be a tofu shop and a beef shop on either side of their residence. One day, Qiaoqiao put the ground beef and the tofu together to be stewed into a dish and found it tasted delicious. Then, she asked the neighbors to taste it and almost all of them felt it nice to eat. Thus, she and her sister in-law changed their house into a small restaurant, front part of which was the restaurant and the back part the living quarter. They mainly served the patrons with the stewed tofu with ground beef and built up a good business due to the tastiness of their signature dish and its affordable price. Later, Qiaoqiao hadn't remarried and lived on her small restaurant all the time. After she died, people named the stewed tofu with ground beef as ma po tofu (pock-marked grandmother) to remember her and the name has been used ever since.
A short 4 minute video on how to cook ma po tofu
Another 5 minute video on mapo tofu
This is a 5 minute video on hot and sour soup. Tofu, shitake mushroom, vermicelli, chicken stock, beaten eggs are seasoned with sugar, dark soy, pepper, rice vinegar and sesame oil for this soup.
Another version of mapo tofu, 10 minutes