Ma Po Tofu

I love watching anime almost as much as I love cooking. And when I discovered “Shokugeki no Soma” also know as “Food Wars” it didn’t take long until I had to make something from the show.

I settled on Ma Po Tofu. A sichuan dish made by the character Terunori Kuga at the Moon Banquet Festival in episode 38.

Ingredients

Vegitarian: 200g finely chopped mushrooms instead of minced meat. You might need to add a bit more oil and water since mushrooms soaks up liquid.
• 200g minced meat, I prefer pork. You can use any type of meat as long as it chopped into small bits. Great for leftovers.
• 3 tbs minced garlic
• 3 tbs minced ginger
• 1,5 tbs Szechuan pepper corns, crushed.
• Ca 8 tbs chilli oil, home made or bought, up to you
• 1 big or 2 small spring onions, finely chopped
• 1 ca 400 g silken tofu, cut into bite size pieces
• 1 tbs Doubanjiang (fermented chili-bean paste)
• 1-2 ts cornflour (depending on how thick you want the sauce)
• 2 dl chicken broth, vegetarian broth or water.

Directions

Heat ca 2 tbs chilli oil in your wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add your Sichuan pepper corns and stir occasionally. Let them fry very gently. You want to release the flavors without browning the peppercorns.

Once the peppercorns have cooked for 2-3 minutes, add the ginger. Turn up the heat to medium high in order to lightly fry the ginger and the garlic.

Turn up the heat to high and add the meat (or mushrooms if you are making it vegitarian.) Break up the meat and fry it until it’s cooked through. Add the spicy bean sauce to the mixture and stir it in well.
Add 2 dl of water broth to the wok and stir. Let this simmer for a minute or so. Pour a couple of tbs of water in a small bowl with your corn starch and mix it with a fork—make sure all the clumps are broken up, and everything is dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to your sauce and stir. Let it simmer away until the sauce starts to thicken.

Stir the rest of the chilli oil into the sauce, and then add the tofu. The tofu will get a bit broken up while stirring but that is fine. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes.Add the scallions and stir until they are just wilted.

Serve hot with a nice mounded bowl of white rice.