Mabu Dofu/Mapo Tofu
1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I use peanut)
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ginger, or to taste, grated or chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup red pepper, diced
1 Asian eggplant, chopped, optional
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound soft, medium or firm tofu, according to preference (I like soft), cubed
1-1 1/2 cups textured vegetable protein, reconstituted with an equal amount of boiling water or chicken flavor broth
1/2-3/4 cup water
1/8-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/2-1 1/2 teaspoons Thai sweet chili sauce (my preference)
1-3 teaspoons cornstarch or flour
1/4-1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1-2 tablespoons tamari or Bragg's liquid aminos
1 teaspoon black bean sauce, optional
2-3 green onions, chopped
handful fresh bean sprouts
rice, to serve
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Saute ginger, garlic and onion in oil for a few minutes. Add red pepper, onion and eggplant, and cook until eggplant softens, about 5-10 minutes. If using medium or firm tofu, add to wok or pan, and saute for a few more minutes.
2. Add textured vegetable protein to mixture. In a bowl or container with tight fitting lid, put water, soy sauce, cornstarch, chili sauce, sesame oil, as well as rice vinegar and black bean sauce, if using.
3. Whisk or shake until well mixed, then add to pan. Stir and simmer a few minutes for flavors to blend. Add bean sprouts and green onions. If using soft tofu, add now and break into chunks with spoon. Serve over rice with toasted sesame seeds on top.
This is Asian comfort food that can be made according to your own taste or preference. It's good with snow peas or broccoli or steam some bok choy on top, at the last minute.