Mapo Tofu is a dish that needs no introduction to most food aficionados. This humble dish of minced pork and tofu originated from Sichuan province and the spicy, numbing sensation that hits your palate is the signature profile flavor you can’t miss.
Instead of using ground pork, I’ve chosen plant-based ground meat as the protein. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with plant-based meat and am quite pleased with the results.
The amount of spice and chilli oil is highly adaptable. The measurement below is an entry level guideline. My family is wuss when it comes to chilli so please feel free to adjust to your liking.
Oh, plant-based meat usually has some light seasoning in it so I would suggest going easy on the soy sauce. You could always add more during cooking if required.
200g plant-based ground meat (I’m using Beyond Beef)
250g silken soft tofu
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 small knob ginger – minced
1 red chilli – chopped finely
3 to 4 shiitake mushroom – slice thinly
1 cup chicken stock or water
1 ½ tsp corn starch + 2 tsp water (mix together)
3 stalks spring onion – chopped (garnish)
1 ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder (or more if you like)
1 tsp fermented bean paste (Dou ban jiang)
1 tsp chilli oil (I’m using lao gan ma brand)
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark vinegar
In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce together.
In a wok or large pot, heat up oil and sauté garlic, ginger, chilli and half portion of the spring onion until fragrant.
Add in the plant-based ground meat and shiitake mushroom. Stir fry for 1 min until lightly browned.
Pour in the sauce and toss well.
Add in stock or water and tofu. Stir gently to prevent breaking the tofu. Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.
Bring to boil and simmer for 5 mins.
Pour in cornstarch solution and stir gently. The sauce should thicken slightly but not too much.
Garnish with remaining spring onion and serve warm.