Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mapo tofu

My kids love tofu, I mean love, love, love tofu. I hadn't ever made mapo tofu as it is traditionally prepared with ground beef and yet somehow it is always hiding on the vegetarian menu in chinese restaurants for those not aware of the preparation. Then one day after reading my favorite serious eats writer J. Kenji Alt-Lopez's recipe for mapo tofu, I realized, I make tacos, spaghetti, sloaf, sloppy joes, S.O.S., all with yves meatless ground, why not mapo tofu. I haven't looked back since. This is now a family favorite.

This time I did not have my usual two packages of meatless ground, so I subbed a package of tempeh. It was still good, but it is best with just meatless ground, so I will try to remember to always have two packages. One day I will actually make my own mapo sauce, but for now the House Foods packages are yum, yum, yummy.

tofu, fake meat, onions, celery, carrots, oil, and mapo tofu sauce (tempeh if desired)

drain your tofu (firm organic)

julienne your carrots, mince your celery, chop your onions

saute onions and celery in oil until softened

if you need to use tempeh fry it separately first

stir smeat into onions and celery and cook until browned adding more oil if needed

add carrots

then add sauce and simmer (with the kids we use two mild, one hot, feel free to go all hot)

cube your drained tofu

slowly fold it into simmering sauce (add tempeh also if using)

let simmer until tofu is just warmed through, it should act as a cool balance to the spicy sauce

serve with rice and chili paste

Go tofu!

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