Verdict: Win

All in all, I liked this recipe a lot more than the allrecipes version. I tweaked the original recipe a little bit because I didn't have some of the ingredients. WARNING: add a ton of Sichuan peppercorns only if you want your face to go numb. love.

Mapo Tofu adapted from The Paupered Chef
Yield: Serves 4

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon cold water
1 block soft silken tofu, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 oz ground pork
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 heaping teaspoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon fermented black beans
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (Huy Fong)
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced (optional)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns heated for 30 seconds on high in wok and ground (optional)

Whisk cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Then add rice wine, soy sauce, and chicken stock. Save for later.

Pour some water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the chopped block of tofu. Cook for 1 minute then drain the tofu in a colander.

Pour the vegetable oil into the wok set over medium heat. Add the the 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorns. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often. Then drain the peppercorns, making sure to keep ALL of the oil. Discard the peppecorns.

Return the peppercorn-infused oil to the wok, and turn the heat to medium high. Add ground pork. Stir fry until it is no longer pink. Stir in garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the fermented black beans and chili garlic sauce. Cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and tofu. Stir constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for a few minutes to let flavors meld into the tofu. Then turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

Top with the ground Sichuan peppercorns and the sliced scallions. Serve with hot white rice.


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