Mapo Tofu (vegetarian)
1 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon sesame oil
4 medium cloves of garlic (or 4 garlic scapes), minced
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 leeks (white and green part), minced
2 carrots, diced
3/4 cup of chopped green beans in 0.5 cm pieces (you can use frozen peas instead)
2 tablespoon black bean paste (many grocery stores carry it in their asian isle)
1 teaspoon ground pepper (Sichuan pepper is even better if you have some)
4 teaspoons doubanjiang (chili bean paste) or hot chili paste
2 x 14 ounce block of silken tofu, drained and cut into 3/4” cubes
A bit of scallions or green part of fresh onions, chopped, for garnish (optional)
1. Mix the vegetable broth, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar to a small bowl and stir to combine.
2. Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger and green onions and stir-fry with a spatula until fragrant. Add the carrots and stir-fry for 1 min. Add the black beans and Sichuan pepper and continue stir-frying for 1-2 min.
3. Add the doubanjiang and stir to distribute. Add the green beans and stir fry 1 min.
4. Add the tofu, and gently toss to mix (if you stir it, the tofu will lose its shape). Continue cooking until tofu is hot (approx. 5-10 min)
5. Give the stock mixture (from step 1) a good stir and then pour it over the tofu. Toss to coat, then boil until the sauce thickens.
6. Garnished with the green parts of the green onions, then serve with hot rice.
Pairs Well With
Featuring: Leeks, carrots, garlic, and green beans.
This is a vegetarian version of Mapo Tofu which often uses both ground pork and tofu. This is a quick recipe that I make when I just don't have much time for dinner. It is best with soft tofu (I personally like La Soyarie's silken tofu which is organic and local) but you can also use firm tofu.