Here's a fast and easy recipe for Chinese classic ma po tofu, using pork mince, rice wine and fermented black beans.
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 200 g minced pork
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp fermented Chinese black beans (see Note)
- 1½ tbsp chilli bean sauce (see Note)
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, plus extra, to serve
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) chicken stock
- 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing) (see Note)
- 500 g silken bean curd, cut into 4 cm cubes
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (see Note), dry-roasted, crushed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 30 minutes
Combine 1 tbsp soy sauce, cornflour and sesame oil in a bowl. Add pork and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
Heat peanut oil in a large wok over high heat. Add black beans, chilli bean sauce and onions, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pork mixture and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add stock, rice wine and remaining 2 tsp soy. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and add bean curd. Cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes or until heated through.
Scatter with Sichuan peppercorns and extra spring onions, and serve.
• Chinese black beans, Shaoxing and Sichuan peppercorns are available from Asian food shops.
• Chilli bean sauce is available from select supermarkets and Asian food shops.
Photography by Derek Swalwell