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Dishidrop’s Mapo Tofu with Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Prep time
25 mins
Cooking time
5 mins
Serves
2 people
Dishidrop’s Mapo Tofu with Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Mapo tofu is a popular spicy and aromatic dish from the Sichuan province of China.

Some cooking notes...

*Toasting Sichuan pepper - We tend to use half and half of the green and red Sichuan pepper. It should be very gently toasted in a dry pan for 4 minutes and it’s best to grind it immediately whilst still warm. The grind level is purely a personal preference.

**Pixian Chilli Bean paste - This is readily available at Asian stores and is an essential element to this dish. Ensure that you see the words “Pixian” (pronounced pee-shan) somewhere on the packaging for the best, and most authentic, flavour.

***Shiitake soaking - Always lift the mushrooms out of their soaking water. This will allow any tiny impurities to drop to the bottom. You can then pour off the water you need, leaving any residue behind.

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 400g tofu of your choice, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1.5g sichuan pepper, toasted and ground*

Sauce

  • 25g rapeseed oil
  • 6 Facing Heaven chillies (or other medium dried chillies)
  • 20g Pixian fermented chilli bean paste**
  • 10g black beans (you can find these fermented beans in Asian stores)
  • 15g garlic, finely chopped
  • 15g fresh ginger, grated
  • 10g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 80g water***
  • 60g beer (any type)
  • 1g white pepper, crushed
  • 5g potato flour, mixed with 15g cold water
  • 35g Dishi chilli oil, or a chilli oil of your choice

To serve

  • 150g purple sprouting broccoli, cooked

Equipment

  • Wok or large sauté/frying pan
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Slotted spoon
  1. Bring a pan of water to a simmer, add a dash of salt and gently slide in the diced tofu. Turn off the heat and leave to one side.

  2. Lift the shiitake mushrooms out of their water (save the water) and dice into 2cm pieces, discarding the stalks.

  3. Heat your wok. Add the rapeseed oil and warm until just shimmering, then lower the heat. Drop in the chillies and turn over with a slotted spoon for ten seconds, remove them from the oil and set to one side.

  4. Add the chilli bean paste to the pan. It should only just sizzle - this isn’t a hot stir fry situation. Gently stir and coax the flavour out of the chilli paste for two minutes. You will begin to see the colour bleed out into the oil.

  5. Now add the black beans. Push them gently with the back of your spoon to break slightly and cook for a minute or two. They should be fragrant.

  6. Nudge up the heat a touch and add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are sizzling and give off their wonderful aroma.

  7. Add the diced shiitake to the pan and allow to sizzle for one minute.

  8. Whilst the shiitake cooks, remove the tofu from the water with a slotted spoon, then gently ease into the wok. Do not stir.

  9. Add the mushroom soaking water and beer to the wok, along with the white pepper. Simmer for a minute.

  10. Mix the potato flour water into the sauce, turn up the heat and allow the sauce to thicken. It should cling to the tofu. Add more potato flour until it has the desired consistency or preferred texture.

  11. Push the tofu into the sauce gently and allow it to just simmer, then add the whole chillies back to the pan.

  12. Transfer to a serving bowl, add the purple sprouting broccoli and sprinkle with the Sichuan pepper. Drizzle with the Dishi chilli oil and enjoy with plenty of steamed rice.

by Now Then Sheffield

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