I was asked if I could make Grandma’s Bean Curd. My reaction... "Ehhhh… I don't know how your grandma makes bean curd, buddy!". No! that tofu dish you get at the Chinese takeaway shop. GRANDMA’S bean curd!
Note to self – must Google Grandma’s bean curd.
After searching around I got this gist of this infamous dish. Also known as Moa po tofu, this is a Szechuan speciality. Obviously everyone has their own version of it, but basically it’s silken tofu, minced pork with a chilli sauce served over hot rice. Admittedly I didn't have many ingredients needed (such as 20 different types of chilli/hot sauce – I exaggerate), so I sort of “winged” it as I do. I call it fusion as I didn't have Chinese black bean sauce – so I used fish sauce. I also served with fresh coriander and fried shallots. Apparently it was pretty close so success for the first attempt. Will definitely do this again – perhaps more tofu than pork, and more chilli, however the method seems sound. This dish is super tasty – I even had leftovers for breakfast!
This recipe serves about four and the flavouring volumes are approximate. So depending on your likes you can adjust accordingly. For the vegetarians out there, you can substitute the pork with mushrooms or eggplant – finely diced, and the vegetarian version of the fish and oyster sauce.
200 to 300g minced pork
3 tbspn soy sauce
2 tbspn fish sauce
2 to 4 tbpsn oyster sauce
2 tspn sesame oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
pepper, to taste
1 tspn ginger, minced (or powder)
1 to 2 tspn chilli sauce
3 tspn shallots, finely chopped
1/2 tspn chilli flakes (optional)
dash of oil
For the gravy
1/4 to 1/3 cup water (tap water is fine)
2 tspn corn flour
1 tspn powdered vegetable stock
1/2 tblspn soy sauce
1/2 tblspn oyster sauce
2 dashes of fish sauce
For the dish
600 to 900g silken tofu (I prefer Fortune Brand, for those living in Australia) – diced into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes
1/2 large onion (1 small to medium onion), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pepper to taste
chilli flakes to taste
Freshly chopped coriander (garnish)
Fried shallots (garnish)
1. Marinate pork – in a medium bowl add all ingredients listed under “pork marinade”. Mix well and set aside. The more time you have it set aside, the better. If you're going to cook it the next day, then best to cover and refrigerate. If you're time poor, you can still marinate the meat first before preparing everything else and cooking the rice.
2. In a little bowl – mix the ingredients for the gravy together. Set aside. Make this just before you're about to cook.
3. Heat a large fry pan, under high heat. Add oil to coat the base of the pan. Add 3/4 of the onions. Stir and allow to sweat. You'll have to move quickly. If its too fast for you and you're finding the onions started to burn, turn the heat down to a more manageable level. Add marinated pork and half the garlic. Keep stirring to break up the mince and allow to cook through.
4. Once pork is cooked through, add tofu and gravy. Gently stir through (or toss pan if you're confident). Be sure not to break the tofu. Reduce heat to medium and cover for about 2 minutes, to allow tofu to be heated through and the flour to cook.
5. Serve immediately over hot rice with chilli flakes, coriander and/or shallots. Any blanch, steamed or stir fried Chinese greens makes a great accompaniment to this dish.