China: 31/52

Mapo Tofu

This is one of the rare PineappleSushi posts where both E and S have both previously had and love the dish we made. Mapo Tofu is not that well known in the states, but any Chinese restaurant has it. It’s a dish that makes you fall in love with tofu… really. This was a fun and easy meal to make – so much so in fact that we made it again a few days after the first!

The Dish

NYC has one of the world’s biggest Chinatowns, so S headed there one afternoon on an epic quest for Black Bean Sauce, Chili Bean Sauce (Doubanjiang), and Szechuan peppercorns. After 30 minutes of wandering and confusion around a Chinese grocery store, a nice store employee helped S out and lead him to the bounty.

The recipe is pulled from PBS (the authority on Chinese cooking?). It’s a simple recipe of silken tofu, beef (usually pork, but we opted for beef), scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, black bean sauce, doubanjiang and szechuan peppercorns.

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Everything but da beef

The Verdict

Absolutely delicious! The Mapo Tofu that we made tastes just like those we’ve had at Chinese restaurants in the states. The Szechuan peppercorn adds a uniquely spicy, almost numbing sensation that’s strangely satisfying and fun to eat. We had ours served with a side of rice and topped with some extra doubanjiang — move over siracha, we have a new favorite hot sauce in our fridge.

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