Friday, September 16, 2011

Ma Po Tofu, Asparagus and Jasmine Rice

One of my favorite dishes to get when I go out is Ma Po Tofu. Never knowing what the sauce was made of, I thought making it at home myself would be the best way to learn. Turns out, it is not made of much but what is there is bursting with sweet and salty flavor.

Firm tofu marinated in sweet soy sauce, sesame oil and shallots then tossed in a thick ma po sauce with black bean paste, garlic and chili paste. Serve with asparagus and rice for a great meal.

Ma Po Tofu
3 tbl sweet soy
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbl rice wine vinegar
1 tbl cornstarch
1 tbl grated shallot
1 lb extra firm tofu, pressed for 1 hour, medium size pieces

Combine all of the marinade ingredients and whisk until smooth. Coat in tofu and marinate for at least 1 hour to 3 hours. Toss every 20 minutes so all of the tofu marinates evenly.

Ma Po Sauce
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbl sweet soy sauce
2 tbl black bean garlic paste (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1 tbl cornstarch
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sambal chili paste
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbl canola oil
marinated tofu
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
jasmine rice

Combine the broth, soy sauce, black bean paste, cornstarch, black pepper, sambal, garlic and ginger. Saute the marinated tofu in oil until crispy and golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
Pour over the tofu and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Toss with scallions.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and boil for 4 minutes until tender crisp. Drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve with jasmine rice.

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