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Mapo Doufu - Sichuan Spicy Tofu and Beef Mince

Once you have tried this dish you will start to cook it regularly it is so wonderful. It has that great sichuan kick to it that is quite addictive, and the mince fills it out while the tofu adds a delicacy.
Is now a great fall back midweek meal plus a perfect adult moment too amongst the family meals.
Pictured: Mapo Doufu 

600 gm firm tofu cut into 3cm cubes, or silken tofu in 2cm cubes
150 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine – see note
2 tsp soy sauce
3½ tbsp hot chilli broad bean paste – see note
2 tsp fermented soy beans, finely chopped – if too tricky to find you can omit this – see note
Pinch of chilli powder, or to taste
1 tsp cornflour
60 ml/¼ cup vegetable oil
200 gm minced beef
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, dry-roasted until fragrant (20-30 seconds), crushed in a mortar and pestle
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 gm/ 2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
½ bunch garlic chives cut into 3cm batons
Start by prepping the ingredients ready for a speedy cook –
If using firm tofu - bring a pan of water to a simmer over medium heat and cook tofu until warmed through (5 minutes), drain well and set aside.
In a jug - combine stock, Shaoxing wine and soy sauce.
In a bowl - combine hot chilli broad bean paste, fermented soy beans and chilli powder.
In a small bowl - mix cornflour with 1 tsp water in a small bowl to form a paste.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add beef and stir-fry until browned (2-3 minutes). 
Add bean paste mixture and crushed Sichuan pepper and stir-fry until starting to caramelise (1-2 minutes). 
Reduce heat to medium so it won’t burn the next ingredients - add garlic and ginger and stir to combine (1-2 minutes). 
Add firm tofu at this stage, then stock mixture and bring to the simmer. 
Carefully stir in cornflour paste and sugar, bring to the simmer until the sauce thickens (3-4 minutes). 
Stir in chives and silken tofu at this stage if using.
Serve hot with steamed rice, plus an optional extra prepared Sichuan Peppercorns sprinkled on top.

Serves 2

Note - Shaoxing wine, hot chilli broad bean paste (also known as doubanjiang) and fermented soy beans (aka black beans) are available from Asian grocers. If hot chilli broad bean paste is unavailable, substitute chilli soy bean paste.