Spicy Ma Po Tofu with Turkey 麻婆豆腐

Ma po tofu is a Szechuan dish 四川菜 that is widely popular in Asia and other countries. Although the ingredients and cooking methods are slightly different from one food culture to the other, but the concept is always the same:  tofu cubes, ground pork, and lots of spicy aromatic flavor. Traditionally people like to use peppercorn to spice up the dish at the end. It is very hot and aromatic. Ma po tofu 麻婆豆腐 is one of Szechuan’s top cuisines.

The old style of ma po tofu was complicate to make and hard to understand. It required too many ingredients and special technique. I put my own personal spin on this dish. It is easier to make and healthier to eat. The level of spiciness is quite flexible. This version is pretty easy, even Lynard can make it. We love this simple family style ma po tofu 麻婆豆腐. You can use ground pork, beef or turkey, whatever you like.

 

Spicy Ma Po Tofu with Turkey 香辣麻婆豆腐

 Add 1/2 teaspoon salt in boiling, add tofu, wait 3 minutes until water looking milky, drain, set aside.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt in boiling water, add tofu cubes, cook 3 minutes until water looking milky, drain well.
Broad bean chili sauce is very spicy and salty, don’t use too much. Don’t add too much salt in the dish.

 

Spicy Ma Po Tofu with Turkey 香辣麻婆豆腐

  • Servings: 4 to 5 | Recipe by Leslie at Soups Ahoy
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Spicy Ma Po Tofu with Turkey 麻婆豆腐

1 pack firm tofu, cut in cubes, cook in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, drain well
1 tray pack (12 to 16 oz) ground turkey (okay to use pork)
1 small yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 small zucchini, chopped
1 tablespoon broad bean chili sauce  (紅油郫縣豆瓣醬 the best choice)
1/2 tablespoon fermented black beans, 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth, mix with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil, add to dish last
3 green onions, chopped, add to dish last, garnish
Optional:  Add a tiny bit of ground peppercorn at the end, spicy

 

Season turkey with garlic salt and black pepper, 1 teaspoon sherry wine and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.

In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, cook until hot. Add turkey, pan fry until light brown on both sides, break up large pieces. Add onion, garlic and fermented black beans, stir, stir. Add broad bean chili sauce, continue to stir and cook until fragrant. Add tofu and (zucchini, optional.) Add salt and sugar if needed, stir and cook 1 minute.

Add 1/4 cup cornstarch chicken broth, mix and cook until boiling. Add green onions and sesame oil, stir, stir, done. Also add a pinch of ground peppercorn for more aromatic flavor. It is deliciously spicy and flavorful, perfect to serve with rice.

Tips:  Broad bean chili sauce is very spicy and salty, don’t add too much salt.

 


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Ma Po Tofu’s History and Changes

麻婆豆腐流傳與變化

此菜大約在清同治初年(1874年以後),由成都市北郊萬福橋一家名為「陳興盛飯舖」的小飯店老闆娘陳劉氏所創。因為陳劉氏臉上有麻點,人稱陳麻婆,她發明的燒豆腐就被稱為「麻婆豆腐」。早期的烹飪手法是先在鍋中將一大匙菜油煎熟,然後放一大把辣椒末,接著下牛肉,煮到乾酥爛時再下豆豉。再來放入豆腐,稍微加水並鏟幾下調勻,最後蓋上鍋蓋用小火將湯汁收乾,起鍋前再灑上花椒末。

麻婆豆腐廣受歡迎,流傳各地,做法也有許多不同。最大的改變之一,是陳興盛飯鋪自己所調整,亦即將材料的牛肉改為豬肉,以便不吃牛肉的食客也能品嘗,但若干老食客對此改變評價不一。該店後來又改回專用牛肉,但以豬肉為料的作法也已廣為各地廚師和食客接受。其次則是增加了豆瓣醬,乃至於公認以郫縣豆瓣最佳。當代麻婆豆腐講究麻、辣、鮮、燙、嫩、捆(豆腐完整不爛)、酥(牛肉末酥香)等特色。

台灣在1960年代製作此菜時,油必用花生油,肉則不拘牛豬。肉炒熟後,加入豆瓣醬、豆豉、紅椒粉、醬油、鹽、糖,爆香後再加入豆腐片、高湯,滾煮後加入蔥、薑、蒜,以水調太白粉勾芡,起鍋前加花椒粉和麻油。作料與程序已有若干變化,強調麻、辣、燙、鹹。( 聰明提示:  煮之前最好將豆腐切成小塊,在熱水中加少許鹽,將豆腐浸泡在沸水中約 3分鐘,然後撈出瀝乾水分。這樣可以去掉石膏味,也能夠使其定形,以免煮時變碎。)

此外,也有使用豬腦或牛腦代替豆腐的變化做法,製作過程相同,稱為麻婆腦花。但因當代人對膽固醇的顧忌,此變化作法並不常得見。

在日本,最初是由四川宜賓出身的廚師陳建民將本菜傳入,並針對日本人的口味稍作變化。日本式的麻婆豆腐主要是不用花椒 (或只用少量),而另外使用牡蠣油和紹興酒,甚且有使用甜麵醬或八丁味噌為醬料者。近年來日本也流行使用花椒的四川口味,稱為「四川麻婆豆腐」或「陳麻婆豆腐」。

現有變化組合吃法: 麻婆豆腐麵(分乾拌及醬汁較多兩種)、麻婆豆腐包子、炸麻婆豆腐餅和麻婆豆腐蓋飯,還有少見之以熱麻婆豆腐拌涼麵等。

麻婆豆腐廣受歡迎,已成為世界的川菜名餚。這道菜不同地方做法也有不同,但烹調的步驟也是差不多一樣,先下牛肉或豬肉碎炒熟,加入豆瓣醬以及其他調味料,再來放入豆腐,加適量清湯煮滾後,加入青蔥,然後淋上麻油即可,做法非常簡單,色澤紅亮,細嫩鮮香。如果喜歡吃辣的話,可以加入花椒粉或辣椒醬調味。一個簡單的麻婆豆腐,就可以吃到麻、辣、燙、滑、鮮等多個層次味道,用來配飯或拌麵也很一流。

小提示:  將豆腐切成小塊,在熱水中加少許鹽,將豆腐浸泡在沸水中約 3分鐘,然後撈出瀝乾水分。這樣可以去掉石膏味,也能夠使其定形,以免煮時變碎。

 

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