Chinese Mapo Doufu (Spicy Tofu)

I think I did a dance around the kitchen when I finally figured out how to replicate this Chinese dish so that it actually tasted authentic. SCORE! It’s a tad on the salty and oily side, but it’s sooooo good.

Ingredients for two portions: 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil, about ¼ lb ground beef or ground pork, dried chili pepper flakes to taste (or red chili paste), 1 tablespoon of black bean garlic sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, one fresh package of extra-firm tofu, a little bit of broccoli (optional), and 4-5 green onions (scallions).

In a medium-sized pan, heat the oil and cook the ground meat over low-medium heat. Mix it with the chili pepper flakes or paste, the black bean garlic sauce, and the soy sauce.

Meanwhile, cube the package of tofu and slice the green onions (and broccoli, if you’re using it). When the meat is completely cooked, add the tofu.

After 3-4 minutes, add the broccoli (if you’re not using it, then, well… don’t add it).

Let the tofu mixture cook for almost 10 minutes. If some of the tofu cubes crumble, that’s OK. Near the end of the cooking time, everything should be hot and at least some of the tofu cubes should be a little crispy or browned. In the last minute or so of cooking, toss in the green onions.

Turn off the heat and serve right away with white rice. Mmmmmmmmm… it brings me right back to China.

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