A famous Szechuan recipe - the name Ma Po Tofu is roughly translated as "pockmarked grandmother beancurd," named for the old woman who supposedly invented the dish.
- Marinade for Ground Pork:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tapioca starch (can substitute cornstarch)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 pound ground pork
- 1 pound regular tofu (medium firmness)
- 1 leek or 3 green onions
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Chinese salted black beans (fermented black beans, also called Chinese black beans), or to taste
- 1 Tbsp chili bean paste, or to taste
- 3 Tbsp stock (chicken broth)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- Freshly ground Szechuan pepper
- 2 - 3 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, as needed
Mix marinade ingredients. Marinate pork for about 20 minutes.
Cut the tofu (bean curd) into 1/2 inch (1 cm) square cubes, and blanch (drop into boiling water) for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and drain.
Chop leek or green onions into short lengths.
Heat wok and add oil. When oil is ready, add the marinated pork. Stir-fry pork until the color darkens. Add salt and stir. Add the salted black beans. Mash the beans with a cooking ladle until they blend in well with the meat. Add the chili paste, then the stock, bean curd, and leek or green onions.
Turn down the heat. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
While cooking, mix cornstarch, water, and soy sauce together. Add to wok and stir gently. Serve with freshly ground Szechuan pepper.