Spicy Tofu & Sweet Tofu

Authors: Go Chengdu

2014-12-16

Originated in ancient China, tofu, also called bean curd, is a protein-rich food coagulated from an extract of soybeans and used in various Chinese and Western cooked foods.
Mapo Tofu (Chinese Cooking)
Mapo Tofu is a popular Sichuan cuisine noted for being hot, spicy, fresh, tender and aromatic. Here is a recipe of Mapo Tofu provided by Chengdu Daronghe Restaurant.

What you need:
Minced beef, 50g
Chinese tofu (moderately hard), 400g; drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
Cooking oil, 30g
3 cloves garlic; minced
Dried fermented black beans, 1 tbsp; rinsed, patted dry & mashed with a fork
Rice wine, 1 tbsp
Chili sauce, 40g (preferably Pixian Douban)
Ground Sichuan peppercorn, 1/2 teaspoon
2 stalks of green onions; cut to 1cm length
Hot chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Water starch, 1 tbsp water mixed with 1/2 tbsp starch
Water, 1 cup
Light-colored soy sauce, 30ml

The process:
Put tofu cubes into hot water till the water is boiling (about 2 minutes); add 1 tsp soy sauce; remove the cubes and set aside to drain;
Heat oil, stir fry garlic and fermented black beans for 1 minute;
Stir fry the minced beef in the hot wok for 2 minutes;
Add Pixian Douban to the meat and stir fry for 1 minute;
Add rice wine and continue to stir fry for half a minute;
Add water starch, water and Sichuan pepper powder; bring it to a boil;
Add tofu cubes and cook on lower heat for 3 minutes, taking care not to break the tofu cubes.
Thicken with water starch until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Pie (Western cooking, adapted by Kimberly Dallas)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tofu Pie is a dessert I tried because I was looking for a more healthy alternative to regular Western dessert and also something I could feed my Vegan guests. I also like to incorporate tofu in many dishes I make in China because the tofu is so fresh and plentiful. This recipe is loaded with lots of great protein and no sugar! You can also change the recipe slightly if you are not a vegan.
Note: For this recipe I used U.S. measurements. If you are used to cooking with metric measurements see this website to help you convert the recipe: http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking
What you need:
Crust:
1 cup digestive biscuits, crushed (Carrefour and Metro carry these.)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil spread or any non-dairy spread or Butter (if you do not mind this recipe not being vegan), melted.
Combined crushed digestive biscuits, sugar and melted olive oil spread in a bowl. Once combined press into a 9- inch pie pan (I used the glass Chinese serving dishes.) and bake for 10 minutes on 180 degrees C.
Filling:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Carrefour or Sabrina’s carry these.)
12 oz firm tofu
1 cup pure maple syrup (Sabrina's and Metro carry this.)

The process:
Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir chocolate, and heat 30 seconds more. Repeat heating and stirring until chocolate is just melted. Set aside.
Combine tofu and maple syrup in food processor, and blend 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add peanut butter, and process until smooth. Add melted chocolate, and process once more until smooth.
Pour peanut butter-chocolate mixture into pie crust, smoothing the top; refrigerate until set.

Kimberly Dallas, from the US, is a long-time resident of Chengdu and was the cheesecake baker of Mike's Pizza Kitchen and once a member of CIWC (Chengdu International Women's Club).

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