Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ma-Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

**Note: My mother does not eat scallions due to religious reasons, so I've omitted them when cooking this dish... and we're not fans of spicy foods, so no hot sauce for us. (In case you're wondering why the picture doesn't look like Ma-Po Tofu in the restaurants...)

What you'll need:
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 package of soft tofu
1 cup veggie protein crumbles
soy sauce (or soy sauce alternative)
vegetable oil
water at hand
chinese chili hot sauce (optional)
scallions (optional)

1. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water until soft.
2. Cut the tofu into cubes. (I used soft tofu in this case.)
3. Cut the scallions. Separate the whites and the greens.
4. Set pot on burner and turn on heat to high. Wait until the pot is dry and hot before adding a bit of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
5. Add
shiitake mushrooms and scallion whites. Stir-fry until mushrooms are lightly burnt. Add protein crumbles.
6. Add 1 spoon of soy-sauce (or 2 spoons of Bragg's). Add a bit of water to prevent the crumbles from drying out and burning. (This is also where you add the hot sauce if desired.) Stir.
7. Add the tofu and stir. Add water if needed to prevent from drying. Turn heat to medium. Close the lid and let it sit for about 30-45 seconds before stirring again.
8. Do a quick taste test. If too salty, add a few pinches of sugar. Stir and pour into bowl.
9. Quickly heat the scallion greens into the pot for about 30 seconds. Garnish the dish.

Serve with rice.

Happy eating!

P.S. I might upload a picture of the hot sauce and scallion version if I choose to cook it that way in the future.


  1. Hello! I am ABC, too! and I love Mabo Tofu <3 I am going to follow your blog because it looks interesting, ok? :)

  2. I'm really curious what religion your mom is and the reason for not eating scallions - I have never heard of it before and I found it interesting :) I love learning new things! And your food looks great - I just made the ants craqling on a tree tonight and it was delicious!

  3. Hi, Anonymous!

    Nice to know you enjoyed the dish! My mom is a Mahayana Buddhist who has taken the Bodhisattva Precepts, which has 6 major precepts and 28 minor precepts. One of the precepts forbids the eating of the "Five Pungent Spices" which include garlic, chive, leek, scallions, and onions because it is considered foul and the foods of "anger and passion". It's something that I really don't understand, but I respect her decisions as she respects mine.

    I'm a vegan; my mom is not. She doesn't eat garlic and onions (although she sometimes succumbs easily); I eat them. Each to their own, I guess. I hope this answers some of your questions!

  4. WOW (impressed look). Your version looks so yummy.

    Here I bought a sauce pack for mapo tofu so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.


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