Vegan Mapo Tofu
Numbing, spicy and savory all in one bowl.
This classic dish is probably one of the most well known and most ordered in Chinese restaurants. The dish was originally made with ground pork, in which I substituted with the beloved TVP(texturized vegetable protein) along with fermented black beans, broad bean paste, red pepper, numbing Sichuan peppercorn and the mouth melting silken tofu that is simmered slowly before it goes on top of warm rice!
Vegan Mapo Tofu
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6 servings
1 cup TVP soaked in warm water
15 ounce block of silken or soft tofu
4 tbsp oil
3-4 small dried hot red peppers
1 tbsp fermented spicy broad bean paste a.k.a doubanjiang
1/3-2/3 water or vegetable broth
2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1tsp sesame oil
1-2 teaspoon finely ground Sichuan pepper
1 tbsp corn starch and 3 tbsp cold water
Green onion, for garnish
3-4 servings of cooked rice
Soak TVP in hot water for 5 minutes and drain and set aside.
To toast the red peppers. Heat a wok or small saucepan over low heat. Add 2 tbsp of the oil and throw in the dried peppers. Stir occasionally and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes, make sure that the peppers don’t burn. Remove and set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the ground Sichuan peppercorns and stir occasionally for 30 seconds. Add ginger and followed by the garlic. Turn the heat to high and add the pre-soaked TVP and cook until mixture is combined well.
Add spicy bean sauce and soy sauce to the mixture and mix well. Add broth or water to the wok and stir. Let it simmer. While simmering, pat tofu dry and cut into square. Mix corn starch and water well in a small bowl and set aside.
Add corn starch mixture to sauce and stir. Let it cook until the sauce starts to thicken.
Add chili oil from step 2. Stir the oil into the sauce, and add tofu. Gently toss the tofu in the sauce to coat. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add the sesame oil and sugar (optional)
Top with scallions and serve on top of rice.