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  • Spicy Pork Mapo Tofu

    Pork Mapo Tofu
    Mapo Tofu - Chilli Fried Pork Mince with Tofu
    By Barry Horne
    This is a classic dish from the Sichuan region in China, spicy fried pork with a fermented chilli paste sauce and tofu for some really nice textures. Barry suggests using the Lee Kum Kee brand of Toban Djan and chilli oil (Chiu chow) but you can use any good one you can get your hands on.
    Serves 4
    Ingredients:
    - 500g pork mince
    - 350g tofu (either silken or firm)
    - 20g garlic
    - 20g ginger
    - 1 bunch spring onions
    - 1-2 tbsp (depending on how hot you like it) of Toban Djan (fermented chilli paste)
    - 1-2 tbsp (depending on how hot you like it) chilli oil
    - 500ml chicken stock
    - 1-2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns (ground)
    - 1 tbsp cornflour
    Method: 
    Start by chopping up the garlic, ginger and spring onion - it's a very quick dish, so you want everything ready for when you start cooking. Finely chop the garlic and ginger and slice the spring onions finely - you're going to use the white part to cook with and the green part to finish the dish, so reserve for later.
    Get a wok on a medium high and add the pork mince, break it up in the pan and cook until you get some good colour on it. When nicely browned, add the garlic, ginger and white spring onion and cook for a further 2 mins, stirring occasionally.
    After 2 mins, add the Szechuan peppercorn powder, Toban Djan and the chilli oil and cook for 2-3 mins to release the oils and flavour them all. Add the firm tofu at this stage (if using silken then you're better off putting this in at the end).
    Add the chicken stock and cook for 5-6 mins to allow all the flavours to merge and for the pork to fully cook through.
    When cooked, add some water to the cornflour and add to the pan in order to thicken your sauce, this will happen pretty much instantly but you want to cook out the cornflour for a further minute.
    Finish with the green spring onion and serve with some steamed rice.
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