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Chen Mapo Tofu 
Szechuan Bean Curd

Old Pock-marked Mrs. Chen's Bean Curd (Tofu)

Serves 4 - 6

MaPo Tofu
Ma-Po Tofu is an authentic Szechuan dish. Enjoyed by Chinese on top of a bowl of white rice, it's spicy heat makes it a favorite to warm up from the cold. The Chinese say "Ma-Po-Toe", leaving off the last syllable. I once had such a craving for Ma-Po Tofu that I visited 14 Chinese restaurants in Tucson, AZ - one every night for two weeks - to see who had the best! This dish can be made with or without the pork.
1 14 ounce pkg. bean curd
1 Tablespoon chopped green onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
2 ounce ground pork
1 Tablespoon hot bean paste
1 Tablespoon cooking wine or sherry
11/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup water with 1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed in 1 Tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoon fresh garlic or green onion (diagonally cut into pieces)
1/4 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn powder

  1. Cut the bean curd into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Heat the wok then add 3 Tablespoon oil.
  3. Stir-fry green onion, garlic, and ginger until fragrant
  4. Add ground pork and hot bean paste; stir to mix.
  5. Add sherry, soy sauce, 1 cup salted water, and bean curd.
  6. Bring to a boil then turn heat to low;
  7. Cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken; stir.
  9. Add sesame oil
  10. Sprinkle the pieces of garlic and Szechuan peppercorn powder over the bean curd.
  11. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

More hot bean paste may be added, to taste. Szechuan peppercorn powder may be omitted.

If soft bean curd is used, reduce water in to 2/3 cups.