© Constantine William Spyrou
I think that one of the reasons I love cooking so many different kinds of food is that I have a plethora of different ethnicity in my blood, and enjoy eating and cooking all of those cuisines and more. My main cultural background is Chinese, so that is the food I tend to make the best. My personal favorite Chinese dish is Ma Po Tofu- a spicy yet savory combination of soft tofu and ground pork. I've made tons of different variations of it- a version with ghost pepper sauce, combined with dried Chinese sausage, placed into an Asian-inspired casserole- but I always use the same base recipe at first, which is what I'll be posting up today. I've found that even people who don't enjoy tofu will like this dish, as usually it is broken down to a point that the textural oddities are hard to point out. The pork is the main star usually in this dish, so its flavor and texture are very dominant.
Recipe will serve up to 6 people
1 pound ground pork
1 pound soft/silken tofu, chopped up into small cubes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili oil (spicy sesame oil)
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 splash of Mirin (Rice wine vinegar)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/8 cup Sriracha hot sauce (this can vary depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. I personally like quite spicy)
1/8 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Season the ground pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place it into a hot pan with the canola oil and crushed garlic, and cook about 75% of the way through.
- When the pork is mostly cooked, add in the tofu and mix into the pork.
- Add the soy sauce, ground ginger, sesame oil, and chili oil, and stir. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add in your Mirin and chicken stock, and use it to deglaze the pan.
- As the chicken stock starts to reduce, add in the Sriracha sauce. Reduce the liquid by about half.
- Before the dish comes out of the pan, add in the fresh green onion, stir well, and then plate it.
This dish goes really well with steamed Jasmine rice, and can be altered in tons of different ways. My personal favorite was combining it with dried Chinese sausage and adding a little curry powder, but you can use it however you like! Let me know if you make your own variation! Enjoy!