I don’t think I have ever tried Mapo Tofu before. This dish has such a depth of flavor, promise you’ll love it.
Mariano’s hosted a Phoenix Bean tofu virtual cooking class, but my Cooking Club was the same night so I wasn’t able to attend.
My friend Amanda sent me the recipe and at first glance I was like “one cup of minced garlic?!” I also left out the onions.
Next, I watched another video and took aspects of both recipes to come up with mine.
Guaranteed my version may not be authentic, but it’s so good!
Chili oil is so good. I thought I added chili oil from Mariano’s to my grocery cart, but when I got home, it wasn’t in my bag OR on my receipt. Not sure how that happened! So I made it from scratch (1 cup oil mixed with 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper, cooked for five minutes, then cooled. You can store in a jar for up to four weeks.
Szechuan peppercorns can be found at places like World Market, or possibly Whole Foods. All the rest of the ingredients were found at Mariano’s, so I can assume that you will be able to find these ingredients in your local grocery store. The black bean garlic sauce is so good! I am kicking myself for not trying this dish sooner.
- 1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cups mushroom broth
- 1 cup chickpeas (drained from one can)
- 1 pound firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (or black peppercorns)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons black bean chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Korean chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon mushroom broth
- In a mortar and pestle, grind the peppercorns. Heat a skillet, and toast for one minute. Set aside.
- Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of the mushroom sauce, set aside. (The Slurry)
- In a large skillet, add the chili oil. Add the mushrooms and chickpeas. Saute for five minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute. Stir in the mushroom broth. Add in the chili powder, crushed peppercorn, black bean paste and Korean chili sauce. Cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and slurry and cook 3-4 more minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Add in the tofu, stirring to coat.
- Plate with cooked rice, and garnish with fresh cilantro.
And if you live in Chicagoland, try Phoenix Bean tofu. In 2016 I also quit my job. However, back then it was just a whim – I literally had no plan and figured life would work out. That summer I spent working farmers markets, sometimes racking up 150 miles in a day driving from my house, to the shop to load up my car, driving to the market, back to the shop, and them back home. Whew!
My schedule was four days a week: Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I had to get up at 3:45 a.m. to drive the hour to the shop. We sold frozen veggie burgers – I know it sounds weird but they were delicious. It just so happened that my Saturday market placed me right next to Phoenix Bean Tofu, and it was love at first bite. At the end of the shift I would make the workers of the tent two veggie burger wraps (we also sold food) and they would trade me with tofu. #winwin
It was a fun summer, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t enough money, and six months after I quit, I took another job at a downtown law firm. The one I just quit from four years later! It’s weird how life works. This time I have a plan, I am earning a pretty good living and I don’t regret my decision to do what I love for a living.
If you try this tofu dish – let me know!