A Little Bit Spicy Vegan Mapo Tofu
A spin on tradition, my A Little Bit Spicy Vegan Mapo Tofu recipe uses minced and sliced mixed mushrooms and silky eggplant instead of pork mince in this beautifully spicy and full-bodied Sichuan dish
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper corns
- 300 grams silken tofu
- 2 - 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 300 grams mixed mushrooms I used 200 grams shiitake and 100 grams Swiss brown
- 1 medium eggplant sliced in to large cubes
- 3 spring onions cut in to 2cm batons, the green parts finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ inch thumb of ginger grated
- 1 tbs shaoxing wine or brandy
- 1.5 tablespoons Korean chilli paste
- 375 ml vegan chicken-style stock or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon soy or tamari
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon potato starch or corn flour
To prepare the peppercorns, dry fry them over a low heat for 1–2 minutes until light brown and aromatic. Crush lightly in a mortar and pestle.
Cut the tofu into large cubes and set aside to drain on an absorbent towel.
Take 100 grams of mushrooms and pulse them in a food processor to a rough "mince." Slice the remaining mushrooms in half.
Place a wok over medium to high heat. Add the oil to heat.
Add the mushrooms and eggplant and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the the rice wine and the chilli bean paste and cook for 1 minute until the mixture is aromatic.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and season with soy sauce and sugar. Cook for a minute before reducing the heat to a simmer.
Gently add the tofu and stir carefully trying not to break up the tofu too much. Simmer for 6-7 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and the eggplant is soft.
Combine the potato starch with 1 tablespoon of water and mix into the sauce. Cook for a further 2 minutes until thickened.
Add the spring onion batons and stir. Remove from heat.
Serve sprinkled with Sichuan pepper, sliced green spring onions and steamed rice.