Ma Po Tou Tu (Bean Curd with Chili Sauce)

Ma Po Tou Fu is Sichuan's well known characteristic dish. Tradition has it that during the Tongzhi years of Qing Dynasty, there is a small inn at the WanFu (Innumerable Blessings) bridge outside the north gate of Chengdu, Sichuan. The woman owner Chen is pretty good at cooking. She uses bean curd, tiny sliced beef, hot pepper, Chinese prickly ash, thick bean sauce and other ingredients to cook. The dish tastes hemp (a unique flavor from the Chinese prickly ash), spicy, fresh, fragrant, and it is delicious, it is extremely well received by the people around the town. At that time there was no official name for this dish. Because Chen has pockmarked face ("ma" face with "ma" happens to be the same character as the "ma" or "hemp" flavor from the Chinese prickly ash), people then started calling it "Ma Po To Fu". "Po" in this case means woman, wife. So to translate accurately it means "wife of pockmarked face Tou Fu". From then on it became well-known around the entire nation. It is now a world-renowned Chinese cuisine 100 years later. All the Sichuan restaurants must have this dish. Along with the development of Sichuan cuisine, most of the overseas Chinese restaurants (Sichuan style or not) all carry this famous dish. Not too long ago, the Japanese merchants even imitated Sichuan "Ma Po Tou Fu" and produced canned "Ma Po Tou Fu" which sell quite well around the world.

Characteristics of the dish: light yellow, tender with gloss, tastes hemp, spicy, fragrant, fresh, and hot. The surface of bean curd is covered with a layer of light red spicy oil, which keeps the heat inside the bean curd so it won't get quickly lost. It always tastes better when you eat it hot, the unique hemp smell comes from the Chinese prickly ash greets the nostrils and that enhances the overall flavor. It is considered the best delicacy for cold winter season.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cakes of bean curd
  • 120g (4.2 oz) ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup (100cc) soup stock
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
Method:
  • Pour hot water over bean curd, drain and cut into bite sizes.
  • Chop green onion, ginger, garlic and red pepper. Heat oil, fry and add meat.
  • Add bean curd gradually into pan. Stir and pour in soup stock. Simmer over low heat.
  • Thicken with corn starch diluted with water and add to ingredients. Serve hot.
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
    Nutritional information:
    Yield: 4 servings
    Each serving provides:
    Calories: 198.5
    Protein: 13.6 g

    Note: You may freely republish this recipe as long as author bio and active hyperlinks are kept intact. Thank you.

    Jacklyn Chen - Webmaster of news-blogs.com. She is a full time mom who works very hard to make living with multiple web sites. For more information and articles about fine living, visit fine-living.news-blogs.com.

    In The News:

    100 of Our Best Chocolate Recipes  The New York Times
    Our most popular summer recipes  Gourmet Traveller
    Slow cooker bolognese recipe  Telegraph.co.uk
    Salt and Pepper Fish  Bon Appetit
    Cockle flatbread recipe  Telegraph.co.uk

    Teas from Wild Plants and Their Benefits

    All these teas (unless specified) are brewed with one teaspoon... Read More

    Shrimp Scampi Recipes

    Many people have different ideas on how to prepare great... Read More

    Low-Carb Pastry Pizzazz

    This delicious treat adds only 1.9 grams of carb for... Read More

    Whats So Great About Slow Cooking Anyway?

    As I walked through the grocery store aisles a few... Read More

    Weight Loss Recipe: Whole Fish In Ginger Sauce

    Lean protein is your diet is essential to weight loss... Read More

    The World According To Penne

    Penne pasta is a product of Naples, Italy. The pasta... Read More

    Straight Talk from a Comfort Foodie - Simpler Times

    When it was unfolding, I never thought I lived in... Read More

    Weight Loss Recipe: Apricot Chicken

    Just because you are watching your weight, doesn't mean the... Read More

    Fortunate Lemon Chicken

    A delicious chicken meal for you to prepare at home.... Read More

    Crockpot Cooking - Advantages and Disadvantages

    In my 'un-biased' opinion, the crockpot / slow cooker is... Read More

    Ground Turkey Recipes

    Our family has recently made the switch from ground beef... Read More

    So, You Have A Crockpot - Now Youll Want Crockpot Recipes

    To those of us that don't know, crockpot recipes are... Read More

    Sicilys Great Eggplant - Tomato Stew

    I ran into a friend yesterday, who tells me that... Read More

    Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

    You will need:1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mixFrostingSprinkles or... Read More

    Spanish Food - How To Make Spicy Gazpacho Soup.

    Home-made soups are so good for you - all that... Read More

    New York Style Cheesecake Recipe

    New York style cheesecake recipes are made with a combination... Read More

    Cooking Roast Prime Rib on the Grill

    Love the taste of prime rib? Love the taste of... Read More

    Chinese Dumplings on Chinese New Year

    One of my fondest childhood memories is the celebrations around... Read More

    Weight Loss Recipe: Chicken Tikka

    Long term weight loss isn't about hunger, misery and crash... Read More

    Weight Loss Recipe: Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

    Just because you are watching your weight, doesn't mean the... Read More

    What Wise Guys Eat

    When I lived in the North End of Boston, in... Read More

    5-Minute Strawberry Jam

    Nothing tastes better than fresh picked strawberries. For many people,... Read More

    Cucumber & Pork Soup

    Due to the fact that cucumber is rich in all... Read More

    Chicken Mushroom Marsala ? Easy and Elegant for the Amateur Gourmet

    If you are having company and want to make something... Read More

    Limes

    Limes were originally grown in Asia,introduced by the Arab traders... Read More