Mapo Tofu

July 21st 2015

New adventures are a part of life, and so many people stay at jobs they don't like, doing things they don't believe in (I'm guilty of this) in order to have "security", don't do it, take the got one shot here on this Earth do as much as you can to find your bliss.Today's recipe is my adaptation of my favorite Chinese dish. Lucky Peach did a great post about it and I have been dying to tweedle with my own version and actually get it right this time. Jarom and I ate Mapo at Kung Food in St. John's (my favorite Chinese restaurant in Portland, thus far), their version is incredible, vegetarian,uses silken tofu and is hard to beat. My version has the ground pork, but feel free to leave it out if you aren't a meat eater.
You will need:
1 block silken tofu, cut into cubes and blanched for 8 minutes in salted, boiling water.
1/2 lb ground pork, optional
1/2 C. petite green peas
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
4 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 C. diced water chestnuts
3/4 C. water
1 T. black bean sauce
1 T. gochujang
1 T. mirin
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. shichimi (Japanese pepper blend)
1 T. Cornstarch
1 T. water
In a hot wok or large skillet place a few tablespoons of cooking oil (I used peanut), add ground pork and onion, cook till pork is browned, add black bean sauce, gochujang, mirin, soy, sriracha, and sesame oil. Cook three minutes. Add water, shichimi, mix cornstarch with 1 T. water to make a slurry, add slurry to pan and simmer five minutes. Add peas and green onions, serve with rice.
Moral to the story: If something scares you butterflies...try it anyway. You got one shot...yeah we all fail, its part of the process of revelation, take opportunities when they arise, get out of your comfort zone. Trust me I fail a got nothing to lose!