...Mapo Tofu

Tofu is one of those staple foods in Asian cuisine and if you grew up eating it, you know just how amazing tofu can taste.  Tofu is made the same way cheese is made; soybean milk is coagulated and pressed to form the blocks of different firmness you can find in your grocery store.  Tofu, being very mild tasting, can take on any flavour you choose whether you steam, deep fry or stir fry it.  One of my favourite ways to enjoy soft tofu is in dessert form.  You can find dessert tofu in Chinese restaurants and in grocery stores.  The tofu is submerged in a sweet syrup, my personal favourite being coconut flavoured syrup.  

Mapo tofu is traditionally made with ground pork, but here we've used ground beef.  Variations of this popular Chinese recipe are common, ours is just a guideline.  The main thing to remember in order to achieve that spicy flavour is the combination of chili oil, oyster sauce and XO sauce.

Ingredients  (4 generous servings)
-1 package of firm tofu
-1.5 lbs lean ground beef
-1 bunch of chopped green onion
-1 white onion chopped
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-1 tbsp sugar
-3 tbsp oyster sauce
-3 tbsp XO sauce
-1 tbsp chili oil


1. Marinate your ground beef in soy sauce, corn starch, sugar for at least a half hour.

2.  Cut up your tofu into small cubes, chop the onions and green onions.

3.  In a large skillet, fry the onions they are translucent and soft.  

4.  Add the ground beef and cook until the ground beef is browned.  Then add in the tofu and cook for another 5-8 minutes.

5. Add oyster sauce, XO sauce, chili oil into the mixture.  At this point, taste it and see if it needs more flavourings.  If the sauce is not thick enough, you can add a slurry of cornstarch to thicken it.

6.  Add green onion and just when they begin to wilt, the dish is ready to serve over a bed of steamed white rice.



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