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Ma-Po Tofu


For sauce

1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons hot bean paste
*1 teaspoon fermented black bean, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Additive-free kosher salt to taste

1 lb regular or soft (not silken) tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons corn, peanut, or canola oil
1/2 lb ground pork shoulder (used organic ground Turkey)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons Japanese sesame oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon toasted Sichuan-peppercorn powder (used cayenne powder)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion

Make sauce:
Stir together broth, bean paste (2 tbsp. Lau Gan Ma chili oil added to 1 tsp. fermented black beans), soy sauce, and kosher salt. Set aside.

2 tbsp. Lau Gan Ma chili oil added to 1 tsp. fermented black beans

Poach tofu:
Slide tofu into a saucepan of simmering water and keep at a bare simmer while stir-frying rest of dish.

The technique of poaching the tofu, prior to stir-frying, is to freshen and tenderize it.

Stir-fry pork:
Heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat until hot and add 1 1/2 tablespoons corn oil, swirling to coat. Add pork and stir-fry, breaking up lumps and adding remaining 1/2 tablespoon corn oil if meat sticks, until no longer pink. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry over moderate heat until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Finish stir-fry:
Stir reserved sauce, then add to pork and bring to a simmer. Drain tofu in a large sieve and slide into sauce, stirring gently.

Stir cornstarch mixture and add to stir-fry. Bring to a boil, stirring gently, and cook until thickened and glossy, about 15 seconds.

Turn off heat and sprinkle with sesame oil, Sichuan-peppercorn powder to taste, and 2 tablespoons scallion. Stir once or twice, then serve sprinkled with remaining tablespoon scallion.

*This was the first time I tried cooking tofu with ground turkey…oh boy I’m missing out a lot. After eating this dish I though to myself, if you don’t try it you will never know. Both my husband and I can’t stop eating it. I had it the next day for lunch with quinoa, it was even better. This is a keeper…enJOY!!!

Source: Epicurious