Recipe: Ma Po tofu with button mushrooms
A classic dish from China’s Sichuan province
This dish is a classic from China’s Sichuan province, says Bonnie Chung. While its peppery heat hits you right between the eyes, it is actually a delicate recipe that celebrates tofu’s panna cotta-like texture. Serve with fluffy steamed rice.
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 spring onions, green parts only, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste
- 2 tbsp finely chopped or grated garlic
- 2 tbsp peeled and finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
- ½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 100ml water
- 600g firm or soft tofu, drained for 20 minutes and cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 10 small button mushrooms, kept whole
- 2 tsp potato flour or corn flour
- to serve (optional): coriander
- 2 pinches of crushed Sichuan peppercorns
- steamed rice and greens
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, then throw in the spring onions, chilli bean paste and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Stir in the ginger, white pepper and water.
- Place the tofu carefully into the pan and stir the sauce around it, reduce the heat and add the mushrooms.
- In a small bowl, mix the potato flour with 1 tbsp of water until smooth, then pour this mixture into the pan while stirring gently, to thicken the sauce around the tofu and mushrooms.
- Serve immediately scattered with coriander and Sichuan pepper, if you like, with steamed rice and greens.
Taken from Tofu Tasty by Bonnie Chung, published by Pavilion Books at £14.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £13.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk