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Mapo Doufu

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

8 ounces mung bean noodles or rice noodles

1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

3/4 cup beef stock

1 1/2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped

1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 red Fresno chile, seeded and finely diced

12 ounce ground pork

1 to 2 tablespoons chili bean sauce

1 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry

1 pound firm fresh tofu, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Sea salt

Ground white pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 large scallions, sliced

Directions

  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and toss with 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil to prevent sticking. 
  2. In a small saucepan or wok, heat the beef stock to a simmer and then keep warm on low heat. 
  3. In a small frying pan set over medium heat, dry-toast the peppercorns until fragrant. Remove from the heat and crush in a mortar and pestle, place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or use a spice grinder. 
  4. Heat a wok over high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the garlic, ginger, chili and 1 tablespoon of the ground peppercorns and stir-fry a few seconds. Add the pork and chili bean sauce and continue stir-frying. As the pork browns, add the rice wine. When the pork has browned, add the tofu and mix gently. Season the stir-fry with soy sauce, black rice vinegar, the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, salt and ground white pepper. 
  5. Add the hot beef stock to the pork and tofu and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water, then stir into the sauce to thicken. Stir in the scallions and remove from the heat. Serve over the noodles and sprinkle with the remaining peppercorns.

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