I was always intimidated by the idea of making Chinese food because it seemed too difficult. I mean, its nearly impossible to get good Chinese take-out where I live so how could I possibly do better? But alas, I was forced to face my fears when we spun the globe and my daughter’s finger landed on Guiyang in the Sichuan province of China. So I popped open my laptop and was delighted to discover that one of our favorite Chinese dishes, Mapo Tofu could be on the menu. I grew up eating a version of this dish that is a fusion of Chinese and Korean cuisine. Korean Chinese cuisine was created by the ethnic Chinese population who lived in the Korean port city of Incheon and is for most Korean’s the only style of Chinese food they know. I am happy to report that the family thought this dish was in fact much better than what we find in the local Chinese joints around us. I double this recipe for our family and have a little leftover. It is super fast to make.
1 package of tofu, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 oz ground pork or beef (not lean)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons gochujang (korean chili paste)
1 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 teaspoons water
4 scallions, chopped
Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Dissolve cornstarch in water and set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat and pour oil into the wok, pouring it down the side and swirling it to coat the bottom and side. Stir-fry the garlic and ground pork and brown the meat. Then add in black bean sauce, stock, soy sauce, gochujang, tofu and a pinch of salt. Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer, gently stirring until combined, about 1 minute. Stir in scallions and simmer for another minute. Serve with steamed rice.