Tofu (Japanese name for Bean Curd, Chinese name Dou Fo) is high in protein, inexpensive and blends very well with many types of foods. This is a Japanese and Chinese Sichuan style recipe with shrimps and Chinese garlic chives. This recipe was modified from Iron Chef Chinese-Chef Chen’s Mapo Tofu by Rinshinomori Iron Chef Chinese - Chef Chen's Mapo Tofu (http://www.food.com/recipe-finder/all/296880)... which is more of a Japanese Mapo Tofu recipe.
- 1 tablespoon black beans (Chinese salted black beans)
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry (substitute Harveys Bristol Cream, sake)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 ounces ground pork (substitute ground beef, turkey or chicken meat)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3⁄4 cup chicken stock (substitute other types of stock)
- 2 tablespoons bean sauce (Amoy Sichuan Spicy Noodle Sauce)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon chili paste with garlic (Chinese)
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (substitute cornstarch)
- 15 ounces tofu (FIRM Japanese or Chinese)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3⁄4 cup chives (Chinese Garlic Chives, substitute spring onions, scallions)
- 1⁄2 lb shrimp (medium size, remove the shell, devein & split half way)
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- In a cup add the salted black beans (rinse briefly in water to remove some of the salt) and then add 1-2 tablespoon dry sherry or substitutes. Then add grated ginger, chopped garlic and soak for 15 or more minutes, set aside.
- In a bowl add the ground meat and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and mix, set aside.
- In a cup add stock, Amoy Sichuan Spicy Noodle Sauce, chili paste with garlic, set aside.
- In a cup add the 2 tablespoons tapioca starch and 4 tablespoons water, mix and set aside.
- Cut up the FIRM tofu into bite size cubes, place in a pot of low boiling water, add 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 7 minutes, drain and set aside.
- For the Chinese Chives, discard the buds/flowers (some like to use this), wash the Chives and then cut into small 1 inch pieces ( ¾ cup), set aside, (or if using spring onions/scallions, wash and clean then cut into small pieces).
- Place the cleaned shrimp in a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vinegar, toss and let sit for about 15 minutes, set aside.
- COOKING DIRECTIONS.
- In a wok (or Teflon pan) add the peanut oil and when hot add the salted black bean mixture, stir for 1 minute.
- Add the ground pork (or other meat) and stir to break up the pieces for about 1 minute.
- Next add the stock mixture, stir and bring to a boil.
- Add the tofu, chives and gently toss (try not to break up the tofu), cover and let cook for 2 or more minutes, remove the cover and gently toss again, cover and let cook for 1 more minutes. (Further, if substituting spring scallions in place of chives, add at the same time the sesame oil is added).
- Mix the tapioca starch and water, remove the cover and then add ½ of the mixture and at the same time stir gently until the sauce becomes thick (add more of the tapioca mixture as needed).
- Add the shrimp (discard liquid), toss gently and cook until it has a pink coloring (do not over cook).
- Add sesame oil, briefly toss gently… now you are almost finished.
- In individual plates add some white rice and then the shrimp/black bean tofu sauce on the side or on top.
- This recipe is fairly mild in taste. However, you can add chili oil, chili peppers or other hot spices to taste.
- The Amoy Sichuan Spicy Noodle Sauce (fermented salted soybean, chili, garlic) is a great ingredient for this spicy dish or use other types of bean sauces (like Japanese miso paste, Chinese brown bean sauce) found in Asian food stores.
- Serve with white or other rice of your choice.