Chef’s Recipe: Japanese Style Mapo Tofu

October 09, 2018

As part of our Chefs focus feature we bring you a tasty recipe for Japanese Style Mapo Tofu

This recipe comes from Naoko, our friend, Japanese food artist and teacher over at Naoko's Kitchen is in Truro Cornwall, where she teaches authentic Japanese home style cooking and children’s baking.

Our Mapo Tofu is incredibly flavourful but less spicy than Sichuan style. This dish would be delightful meal for your family.
<Ingredients (Serves 4)>
500g Pork mince
4 cloves Garlic (grated)
1 tsp Ginger (grated)
1/2 Leek (chopped)
700g Tofu (silken type)
3 heaps Tbsp Sichuan Peppercorns (ground)
2 Tbsp Sesame oil
Sea salt
    <For a sauce>
    1-2 Tbsp Chilli Garlic Sauce  or Toban Djan
    2 Tbsp Black bean Garlic Sauce (Fermented black bean paste)
    2 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
    2 Tbsp Sake
    1 tsp Golden caster sugar
    1 tsp Sea salt
    300ml Water
      <For thickening>
      20g Corn starch/Potato starch
      60ml Water

      1 stalk Chive

        1. Preparation Combine all ingredients for a sauce in a bowl. Slice the chive half lengthways and tear off using your fingers. Soak the fine chives into a cold water for 5 minutes and let them curly shape. Drain the tofu carefully and cut into 2-3 cm cubes.
        2. Stir-fry the ingredients Put the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, leek, Sichuan Peppercorns and one pinch of sea salt in a fry pan and stir-fry keeping stirring until the flavour is infused into the oil. Add the pork mince and one pinch of sea salt and heat until the meat is almost cooked breaking up by spatula.
        3. Season Pour the sauce into the fry pan and bring it to a boil. Add the tofu and gently coat the tofu with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes without mashing up the tofu on medium low heat, until it is heated through.
        4. Thicken the sauce Dissolve the corn starch in water and pour over the fry pan. Heat the fry pan immediately on the highest heat and stir frequently until the sauce is thickened.
        5. Make a plate presentation Put the Mapo Tofu into a bowl (glass is better) and put the curly chives on top. Spoon the steamed rice and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Place the Mapo Tofu and the rice on spoon on a flat plate and sprinkle some sea salt for decoration.
        <Tips for plate presentation>
        1. Giving a presentation a three-dimensional effect makes difference; pile the food up high and put the curly chives on top. Make sure not to dish the food up too much!
        2. Use a glass bowl; that is easy way to show your dish special and posh.
        3. Serve the rice on a spoon; it would be nice surprise for your family to look a canapés on their plates!

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