Mapo Tofu - one of my favorite dishes.
1/4 cup dried Tianjin chiles or chiles de árbol
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup chili oil
1/2 cup tomato paste
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 cups dry white wine
2/3 cup fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla)
1/2 cup fermented black beans (from one 4-ounce can, rinsed, drained)
1/2 cup pepper oil
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 1-inch cubes
BRAISE AND ASSEMBLY
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems plus more chopped for garnish
3/4 cup red Thai chiles
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup grated peeled ginger (from two 4x1-inch pieces)
1/4 cup sliced scallion (about 1)
1 8x4-inch piece kombu
2 pounds soft (silken) tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
Scallions, sliced thinly on a diagonal
9 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 600 Fat (g) 34 Saturated Fat (g) 6 Cholesterol (mg) 70 Carbohydrates (g) 19 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 31 Sodium (mg) 2820
View Step-by-Step Directions
Stir first 8 ingredients in a large dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 4–5 minutes. Let cool. Discard bay leaf; finely grind remaining toasted spices in spice mill. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in salt and sugar. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Heat 2 Tbsp. chili oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste; stir until mixture turns brick red, 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add broth and next 4 ingredients; stir, scraping up any browned bits. Add pork; stir to coat. Cover and chill overnight.
BRAISE AND ASSEMBLY
Process 1/4 cup cilantro and next 5 ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped; add chile mixture and spice blend to pot with pork. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve spice mixture. Add kombu; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low; braise until pork is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Uncover pot. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is thickened and reduced by half, about 1 hour longer. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold. Cover; keep chilled. Rewarm before using.
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add tofu and poach for 2–3 minutes (tofu will firm up a bit). Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Add tofu to pork. Simmer until completely warmed through, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper oil. Garnish with chopped cilantro, scallions, and chili oil.
Chinese Food, Dinner, Entrees, Mission Sichuan Recipes, Pork Recipes, Sichuan Food, Spicy Food, Tofu Recipes, trail_12062013
RECIPE BY Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco CA
PHOTOGRAPH BY Alanna Hale
Advice from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen