Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bittman's Ma-Po Tofu

The Amazing Race's pit stop in China
and Mark Bittman

  • 1 tablespoon peanut or other oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, green part only
  • 1/2 cup stock or water
  • 1 pound soft or silken tofu, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Minced cilantro for garnish, optional

  1. Put oil in a deep 10-inch skillet or wok, preferably nonstick, and turn heat to medium-high. A minute later, add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, and cook just until they begin to sizzle, less than a minute. Add pork, and stir to break it up; cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses most of its pink color.
  2. Add scallions and stir; add stock. Cook for a minute or so, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon if necessary to loosen any stuck bits of meat, then add tofu. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce; taste, and add salt and red pepper flakes as necessary. Garnish with cilantro if you like, and serve.

Notes: We are moving in a few weeks, and I am trying to use up items in my freezer and pantry. This recipe fit the bill, as I had ground pork and a lot of rice on hand. Apparently this recipe isn't very authentic (due to the lack of black bean paste and Sichuan peppercorns), but it was quick and tasty. Tim loves the combination of ginger, garlic, and scallions, as do I. Next time I might try a more authentic recipe. Meat lovers may want to use 1 pound of ground pork and 1/2 pound tofu. We used 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes and didn't find it very spicy.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8/10

Next week on The Amazing Race: China (again). Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

I am always looking for ma-po tofu recipes!

WeezerMonkey said...

Haven't watched yet. Do you know where in China they're going? With all the different provinces, you can make something specific to the area they'll visit!

Elyse said...

Mmm, I adore tofu. I love it's versatility. I'm so glad you've given me another great tofu recipe to try out!

Joelen said...

This looks wonderful and I've been curious about this recipe from Bittman too! Thanks for sharing!

KMAYS said...

I love ma po tofu. It's one of my favorites!

Kerstin said...

Looks delicious, I love tofu and this looks super flavorful! Lovely picture too.

WeezerMonkey said...

Ok, I've watched!

If you're brave enough to attempt them, Guilin is known for zongzi, which are leaf-wrapped packets of glutinous rice. Sooooooo good. They're sort of like Chinese tamales. My mom's are so amazing. If you have a steamer, you can do it!

WeezerMonkey said...

Oh, and these are NOT dumplings! They are fist-sized, semi-pyramid-shaped (or semi-conical) clumps of rice wrapped in leaves. Again, think of a tamale, except with sticky rice instead of cornmeal.

The sticky rice can include savory ingredients like meat and mushrooms or sweet ingredients like red bean.

I prefer savory. :)

Sophie said...

WOW (impressed look). Your version looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

Sophie said...

WOW (impressed look). Your version looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack for mapo tofu so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

cialis online said...

I'd prefer to get these ingredients by steps because it's easier for me, because I'm a little bit clumsy when I'm preparing recipes that's the reason I need a perfect order.m10m