Foodie Friday: Ma Po Tofu

by Fawn Rechkemmer on November 1, 2013

Ma Po Tofu

As someone who loves to cook and eat, I’m incredibly excited to be putting together the weekly Foodie Fridays feature here at Missouri Women Bloggers.

If you read the name of this recipe and thought But, I don’t like tofu, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this dish. It’s a great introduction to tofu, because it has tons of flavor, and the addition of ground pork means that it’s not a completely meatless meal.

In other words, it just might be the starting point for your journey to loving – or at least liking – tofu.

Before we get started, here are a few rules I always follow when using tofu in a stir fry:

1. Choose an extra firm tofu.

2. Drain it well. (This is huge!) Place it between several layers of paper towels and set something heavy on it. I usually use a large can of peaches or refried beans. You’ll probably need to replace the wet paper towels with dry ones at least once.

3. When it’s time to sauté the tofu, make sure it’s crispy and golden brown on all sides.

Ma Po Tofu

1 (1-pound) package reduced-fat firm tofu
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 to 4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
8 ounces lean ground pork
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Drain the tofu using the method above. When finished, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tofu; cook 4 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Add broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

Serve tofu mixture over rice. Sprinkle with onions.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

What are your thoughts on tofu? Like it, love it, hate it? Do you have a favorite tofu recipe?

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Do you have a favorite Missouri restaurant, coffee shop, or bakery that you’d like to share in this space? Do you know about an interesting farmers’ market, food festival or foodie event? What about a small Missouri specialty farming operation? Email me or leave a comment, so we can schedule your Foodie Friday post.

Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout November 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

Mmm… that sounds great! Next time I hit up a great foodie place (which is not that often with a newborn, but one can hope!), I’ll be sure to take some pictures for a Foodie Friday feature!

Shana Norris November 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Great idea, Sarah. You can write a Foodie Friday feature, and I’ll get to try it out next time in the area visiting my college girl!

Tamara November 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I love tofu and I’m not at all a vegetarian so I love that this recipe incorporates both. I feel like you don’t see that a lot! I like tofu in chinese cooking or grilled or friend..I have been known to eat it raw and cold too. Not sure why I love it so much!

Shana Norris November 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I’ve never had it grilled, Tamara. If you have any good tofu marinades to pass along, I’d love to see them.

Tamara November 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Fried, not friend! Sorry!

Stacey November 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

Oh geez! You know I trust most of your recommendations and I am a healthy eater but I just can’t get behind tofu. Perhaps this would help me but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try!

Shana Norris November 2, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Well, I do love this recipe, Stacey, but I won’t hold it against you if you don’t try it :) Of course, if you DO, let me know!

Debbie November 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I love using tofu–/Hubs not so much:). Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely be giving it a try. I schedule the FF posts for ARWB. We need to share ideas! I’m always looking for suggestions.

Shana Norris November 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm

My husband is such a lovely good sport. He’ll eat anything I put in front of him. Except seafood. I’ll be in touch, Debbie. I’d love to share ideas!

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