When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Archive for February 12th, 2009




Tofu with Spicy Meat Sauce

A family favorite! Otherwise known as “Mapo Tofu” . When living in NYC , I could always call any Chinese delivery restaurant and ask for it even when it wasn’t on the menu. It made me feel the comforts of home. Extra delicious when served over a bowl of steamed rice.

1 package firm tofu (14 oz. or 16 oz.)
½ pound fresh lean ground pork (8 oz.)
2 scallions, including the green top
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil (for cooking in a non-stick wok or a fry pan)
1 teaspoon dried crushed red chili peppers

2 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tablespoon rice wine or cooking sherry wine
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce*
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons pure sesame oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Rinse the tofu block with cold water. Cut into ½ inch cubes. Wash and trim the green onions, finely chop. Crush, peel and finely chop garlic. In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together thoroughly and set aside.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown onions, garlic and chili peppers for a few seconds. Add the ground pork. Stir-fry for approximately 2 minutes. Add tofu cubes to wok. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Stir the sauce, add to tofu and ground pork mixture. Stir-fry for another minute. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

*Hoisin sauce is a sweet brown sauce made from soybeans.  Sold in jars or bottles at the Asian section of most supermarkets.  After opening, it can be stored for several months in the refrigerator.

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