Quick Mao Pao Tofu
Mao pao tofu is definitely one of those dishes that brings me back to my childhood. My mom would make them all the time, although I don’t think they were completely homemade. The Korean grocery stores sold the sauce packets in these thin little boxes and all you needed was the tofu and meat. But after making this quick mao pao tofu dish, I don’t understand why my mom couldn’t make this from scratch. It’s a simple one pot dish made with ingredients that you usually have on hand. And because it’s completely homemade, you get to control the fat/salt content, making it a much healthier alternative than store-bough mao pao tofu.
Now if you’ve never had mao pao tofu before, now is the time to try it. It’s a dish filled with cubed tofu with some ground meat swimming around in such a flavorful sauce with a spicy kick to it. Serve it with some brown rice and there you have one of the most healthiest meals ever.
Now who still wants those ready-made sauce packets that look like they should be eaten in outer space?
Quick Mao Pao Tofu (adapted from La Fuiji Mama):
Yields 3-4 servings
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Brown rice, for serving
In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sherry and pork; set aside.
Heal oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry for 3 minutes. (Be gentle with the tofu or they’ll start to break up.)
Add the pork mixture and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the green onions, ginger, chili paste, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon sherry and chicken broth until well-combined and heated through, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water; add to the tofu mixture and cook, stirring often, until slightly thick, about 1 minute.
Serve immediately over brown rice, if desired.