Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu 

favorite dish in vegan form

From our
friends at Serious Eats

 

This is a
favorite dish, in a completely meat-free form. Using dried and fresh mushrooms
adds complexity and texture to the fiery dish, making it every bit as good
as—if not better than—the original.

Note: Kombu, shaoxing wine, broad bean chili paste, and chili oil can be found
in most Asian markets. Sichuan peppercorns can be found in Asian specialty
markets, spice markets, or online. Yacai is preserved mustard root. It can be
found in many Chinese grocers either sold by the piece in bulk, or in cans.
Unused portions of yacai can be stored in a sealed zipper-lock bag in the refrigerator
for several months.

 

·        
YIELD: Serves 4

·        
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

·        
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

·        
4 whole
dried woodear mushrooms (about 1/6 ounce)

·        
1/4
ounce dried morel or porcini mushrooms, or a mix

·        
1
(2-inch) piece of kombu (optional, see note)

·        
1 1/2
cups boiling water

·        
6 ounces
white button mushrooms, stems trimmed, quartered

·        
1/3 cup
vegetable oil

·        
1
teaspoon cornstarch

·        
2
tablespoons Shaoxing wine (see note)

·        
1
tablespoon dark soy sauce

·        
2
tablespoons whole Sichuan peppercorns, divided (see note)

·        
2 tablespoons
Sichuan peppercorns, one tablespoon left whole, the other toasted and ground in
a spice grinder or mortar and pestle

·        
2 whole
dried chinese hot chilies

·        
3 garlic
cloves grated on a microplane grater

·        
1
tablespoon fresh ginger grated on a microplane grater

·        
4
scallions, whites finely chopped, greens thinly sliced, reserved separately

·        
12 chinese
chives or regular chives cut into 1/2-inch segments

·        
3
tablespoons minced yacai(Chinese preserved mustard root, see note,
optional)

·        
2
tablespoons fermented chili broad bean paste (see note)

·        
2
tablespoons roasted chili oil (see note)

·        
1 1/2
pounds medium to firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

 

Directions:

1.      
Combine
dried mushrooms and kombu (if using) in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup
and cover with water. Place a paper towel or kitchen towel directly on surface
of water to keep mushrooms mostly submerged. Set aside for ten minutes to
rehydrate.

2.     
Meanwhile,
place button mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped
into rough 1/4-inch pieces, about 6 to 8 one-second pulses. Combine chopped
button mushrooms and oil in the bottom of a large wok. Heat over high heat,
stirring constantly, until mushrooms are shriveled and well browned, 6 to 10
minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer set over a small saucepan.
Transfer fried mushrooms to a medium bowl and return oil to wok.

3.     
When
dried mushrooms are rehydrated, strain through a fine mesh strainer set over a
small bowl. Discard kombu. Discard all but 3/4 cups soaking liquid. Add cornstarch,
wine, and soy sauce to liquid. Transfer drained mushrooms to a cutting board.
Remove and discard hard central stems from woodear mushrooms, then finely chope
all the mushrooms. Add to bowl with fried mushrooms.

4.     
Add
whole Sichuan peppercorns and both chilis to oil in wok and return to high
heat. Cook until fragrant and peppercorns have stopped sputtering. Do not
overcook, or they will burn. Immediately strain through a fine mesh strainer,
discard peppercorns and chilies, and return oil to wok.

5.     
Heat oil
over high heat until lightly smoking. Add garlic, ginger, scallion whites,
chives, and yacai (if using). Stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add
chopped mushrooms and stir-fry to combine. Add fermented chili broad bean paste
and stir until all the vegetables are well coated. Stir mushroom liquid mixture
to incorporate cornstarch, then add to wok. Cook, storring constantly, until
lightly thickened and reduced, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add tofu and carefully fold
in, trying not to break it.

6.     
Cook
until tofu is heated through. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with chili
oil, and top with scallions and ground Sichuan peppercorns. Serve immediately
with white rice.

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