Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bite me: 麻婆豆腐 Mapo Dofu

Is there an English name for this dish? Yes. Do I want to tell you it? Not really. So if anyone asks, it was social media pressure from you guys, ok? Here goes. Pock-marked old woman beancurd. Legend claims that the original chef had such a face, but after eating this dish a couple times, I'm more inclined to believe that it the appearance of the tofu after its cooked because, depending on its quality, most of the surface will be marked with dips and valleys.

This dish is main part of Sichuan cuisine so you shouldn't be surprised to hear that it contains chili pepper 辣椒 and prickly ash pepper 花椒 or as I am now learning is also called Sichuan peppercorn. But the main layer of flavour comes from broad bean sauce 豆瓣 usually made with the pepper and salty beans . In the very red, oily sauce of the dish itself, you will find chunks of fresh, soft tofu and minced meat but I have even had mushrooms sometimes. Someone was obviously in a rebellious mood.

According to a certain resident on the final word of Chinese everything, an authentic Mapo Dofu must be spicy, hot, fresh, crispy, tender, fresh and live. Did you guess that the spicy meant chilli pepper? Great. Do you think you can guess the source of the other features from the picture. I'm going to give you chance.
Comment below on what you think the answers are and whoever has the most correct responses will win a feature about their country and a special dish...Chop Chop Chop