This recipe is inspired by Danny Bowien’s (also happens to be one of my favorite instagrammers) recipe for Mapo Tofu, but made my own by simplifying it, adding crab, water chestnuts, and a hit of lemon at the end. Danny’s version includes sauces that he makes himself,this version is the “for dummies” version so I purchased mine at the Asian Market, once purchased these items become pantry staples and this dish comes together quickly and easily. Chili crab is another popular Szechuan dish so I guess this would be a mix of the two. If you ain’t into spicy, this one may not be for you, but if you want a little heat in your life, in the word of Nike “Just Do It”.
You will need:
2 T. chili black bean sauce
1 T. oyster sauce
1 tablespoon garlic black bean sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon porcini mushroom powder, I found mine at an upscale grocer, you can order it online if you can’t source it locally
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 block medium tofu, diced into large pieces
1 cup lump crab meat, picked of shells
4 green onions, sliced thin, green tops reserved for garnish
1/4 cup diced water chestnuts
2 Thai chilies, sliced thin.
1 tablespoon plus a drizzle or two more of Chili oil
1/2 lemon cut into wedges for garnish
Blanch tofu in salted water for 4 minutes, drain set aside. Mix sauce ingredients together with two tablespoons of water, mix the remainder of the water and cornstarch together separately and set aside, this will be for your slurry at the end. Using a wok or large pan, heat chili oil over high heat, add the white parts of green onions, and Thai chilies, making sure not to inhale while doing so, as it can spice your face off, so proceed with caution. Cook for a minute or two, add water chestnuts. Add sauce mixture and tofu, reduce heat to medium,making sure the tofu is well coated. Add crab. Pour slurry of cornstarch and water to pan and let it bubble and thicken for two minutes. Top with a squeeze or two of lemon, green onions, and a bit more chili oil. Serve hot with rice.