Mabo Dofu (MapoTofu)

Last weekend, we were supposed to go to The First Ramen Yokocho Festival in Torrance.  We made it there before the gates opened but the line was probably two miles long with hordes of people still coming.  It was breezy and all and was fine but the thought that there are hundreds of people in front of you who will be served first before you is not promising for people who haven't had a bite for breakfast.  We chickened and decided we’d go to the Lobster Festival instead.  But we have a more urgent matter to attend to- our empty stomachs so we had to go to the nearest ramen house to have lunch.  Torrance and Gardena are ramen house havens but still it took a good hour before we were seated at the one we chose.  And then another ten to fifteen minutes wait for our food maybe made me more ravenous that the Mabo Dofu I ordered tasted like the best in this planet.  

Mabo Dofu is the Japanese version of Mapo Tofu which is a very popular Chinese dish from the Schezuan province.  Of course each place will have its own version to fit their taste.  While the original has a reddish sauce, this one is gravy-like in color because of the difference in the ingredients. I just thought and it tasted so comforting and delicious after that long walk from the line to the parking lot.  That’s basically the reason why I had to make it at home.  I was craving for it so that's our dinner tonight.  

My version has more ground meat which my best friend prefers but I prefer more silken tofu on mine.  I think I'd make it with less meat next time.

MABO DOFU (Mapo Tofu)
Recipe adapted here  

2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 lb lean ground pork
2 pkg silken tofu, cut into cubes
4 stems green onions, sliced thin
2 tbsp doubanjiang with chili
4 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp miso
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high and saute garlic and ginger until fragrant.  
Add the meat and break it up with a wooden spoon
When the meat is cooked, add the sauce mixture
Stir to combine then add the tofu.  Cook until tofu is heated through.  Try not to mash up the tofu too much. 
Stir in the green onions just before taking it off the heat
Serve with warm steamed rice


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