Sichuan tofu in 'mapo' sauce with mushrooms & bok choy

30 MIN
Masterclass
Vegetarian

INGREDIENTS:

Serving amount:
  • 1 firm tofu pack
  • 1 jasmine rice sachet
  • 1 light soy sachet
  • 1 Chinese cooking wine sachet
  • 1 five spice sachet
  • 1 doubanjiang paste tub
  • 2 bok choy pieces
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small brown mushrooms bag
  • 1 ginger bag
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 spring onion bunch

Allergens: Wheat, soy, garlic, onion, fish, shellfish, sesame 

Pantry staples: Cooking oil, boiling water

Specialised equipment: Slotted spoon

Chef's note: Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish from the Sichuan province. Typically served with pork mince we have made a vegetarian version. Essential to this dish is a chilli paste called “doubanjiang” made from fermented beans and chilli. * 2 pax use half ginger.

Method:

1. Prepare the ingredients

Wash the vegetables. Finely chop the mushrooms, reserve the stems. Finely chop the garlic and ginger*, reserve the skins. Cut the spring onion into 5mm rounds, reserve the roots. Thinly slice the bok choy stem on the diagonal and halve the leaves, reserve any scraps. Mix the doubanjiang paste with an equal amount of oil. 

2. Make the stock

Place all the vegetable scraps with 1/3 cup of water per person in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve over a bowl. Keep the stock and discard the solids. 

3. Prepare the tofu

Meanwhile, cut the tofu into 1.5-2cm pieces. Place into a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over the tofu. Leave to warm through for 10 minutes then gently drain the water off the tofu.

4. Make the five spice starch slurry 

Place the five spice starch in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix well to combine. This will be used later to help thicken the mapo sauce. 

5. Cook the bok choy and rice

Place the rice in a bowl and wash with cold water 3 times. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Boil the bok choy for 1 minute and remove with a slotted spoon. Put the washed rice in the boiling water. Boil for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Stir halfway through to stop the rice from sticking. When cooked strain through a sieve.

6. Cook the mushrooms and mapo sauce 

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the mushrooms. Heat another splash of oil and add the solids from the doubanjiang mix, garlic and ginger*. Reduce heat and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the slurry, add more if desired. Add a pinch of sugar, 1 teaspoon of soy and 1 teaspoon of Chinese cooking wine or to taste. 

7. Add the tofu to the mapo sauce

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the tofu to the sauce then gently stir through the mapo sauce. Add the mushrooms and the tofu to the sauce and stir together gently.

8. To serve

Divide the mapo tofu between serving plates, top with the bok choy and spring onions. Drizzle the reserved doubanjiang oil. Serve with the rice.