Saturday, April 26, 2008
Ma Po Tofu is a very common item you see on most Chinese menus. This classic from the Szechuan cuisine of China is usually made with minced pork and some meat stock in addition to the tofu. It is flavored with chillies, zippy and numbing Szechuan peppercorns and hot bean paste (made with fava beans and chillies and sold in jars). For a vegetarian version, I eliminated the pork and used vegetable stock.
The base recipe I used is from Fuschia Dunlop’s ‘Land of Plenty‘, a book about the cooking of the Szechuan province. To give it some body and more flavor I fried diced eggplant and used it instead of the pork. I garnished it with fried ginger threads and some more chilli paste. It worked wonderfully and the end dish was as addictive as the non-vegetarian original.