Who doesn’t love Chinese food? But authentic dishes often call for some hard to find ingredients. Luckily, you can still make fast, easy, Chinese-style dishes with everyday ingredients. This Mapo Tofu recipe is one that I found in a magazine two decades ago, and quickly grew to love. The tofu melds with the other ingredients to take on an almost cheesy quality. And even Tony, who isn’t a big tofu fan, really likes it. It has a family-friendly, “Hamburger Helper” vibe to the taste.
Special Diet Notes: Family-Friendly Mapo Tofu
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, and peanut-free.
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (3/4-inch) piece ginger, minced, or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ pound ground beef or pork
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 to 3 tablespoons black bean sauce, to taste
- 12 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, trimmed and sliced
- 1 to 2 small chile peppers, diced or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 cups cooked brown or white rice
- Sesame oil (optional)
- Chili oil (optional)
- Preheat the oil in a wok or pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ground meat and stir fry until lightly browned and crumbly.
- Stir in the chicken broth and bean sauce. Add the tofu and zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add the bean sprouts, green onions, and peppers (if using) and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Divide the rice between 4 plates or bowls and top with the mapo tofu. Serve with the sesame oil and hot chili oil for drizzling, if desired.