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Feb 13, 2013 09:15 AM

Vegan Mapo Tofu - greatly loved by an omnivore )

I made this last night and absolutely loved it. Will be making it over and over again. (May have to add some meat occasionally for Bob.) Of course, you can adjust the spice level. Like so many Asian dishes, I could get everything prepped and then then it all came together in minutes. I used Chinese noodles rather than rice so it actually was vegetarian not vegan. Highly recommend.

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    1. CO, if you liked the Serious Eats recipe you'll Love Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbooks. She has many tofu recipes with and without meat. I've made them all and each is fantastic. Also, you may know that Andrea Nguyen has her own book all about Tofu. Tonight it's Tofu and Broccolini from Qttolenghi's first book for dinner...

      7 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Joe, thanks a mil! I have Dunlop's Land of Plenty and just checked it out. Also a couple of ANs. I've already had a tiny snack this morning. As you may know, I'm attending Andrea's Asian Dumpling class in SF in April. She's also doing a tofu class. Maybe next time.

        1. re: c oliver

          Great... You'll enjoy it tremendously! I wonder if AN knows her "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen" was our COTM Sept. 2008. You might also want to search the the reports thread for LOP and Tofu recipe reports.

          1. re: c oliver

            I would try the mapo doufu recipe from LoP (just substitute some chopped shiitake for the pork), or else try the vegetarian variation of it from her new cookbook (Every Grain of Rice, which, incidentally, is about 60-70% vegetarian or vegetarian optional). Either should be a bit more authentic than the one above.

            Steeping the tofu in salted hot (but not boiling) water (which is in her method in the new book) really seems to work well.

            I would avoid using sambal oelek in mapo doufu. If you want more spice, either finish with chili oil, or add crushed Chinese red chilis to cook with the aromatics.

          2. re: Gio

            I think Will is referring to Bear Claw Tofu in "Every Grain of Rice".. Plus, I agree with everything he's said, CO. I've made the Bear Foot Tofu in Dunlop's "Revolutionary Chinese Cooking". It's virtually the same vegetarian recipe as in EGOR and is absolutely delicious!

            ETA 1 hour later: I misspoke...the bear claw tofu I made is in Land for Plenty

            1. re: Gio

              No, I'm referring to the vegetarian mapo tofu in Every Grain of Rice.

              The bear claw tofu is deep-fried, not soft, and is much closer to 'home style' tofu than 'mapo' tofu.

              1. re: will47

                Will, the Bar Claw variation in Land of Plenty Is Without Meat and Not deep-fried! It's shallow stir-fried with just a little bit of oil. It is her varioation of Home Style Bean Curd... I'll have to take a look at the recipe in EGOR. I wonder why Ms Dunlop changed the recipe when she wrote Every Grain of Rice...The vegetarian mapo tofu Is wonderful...


                Just to go one further, here's a link to my bear claw report from RCC (also vegetarian):


                1. re: Gio

                  Correct - the bear paw one is also vegetarian; I was just clarifying which recipe I was talking about. And, whether deep-fried or shallow-fried, the texture is very different from mapo tofu, which relies on a smooth texture. I haven't compared the recipes between the two books (IIRC, it's listed as a variation of home-style tofu in LoP?)

                  I assume she just did the vegetarian variation of mapo tofu in Every Grain of Rice to fit in a bit more with the focus of that book, as well as to make it slightly different from the version in Land of Plenty. I kind of did a version that was a combination of the two.

          3. my goodness, that looks fantastic! thank you for sharing!!

            1. Great meal idea. You can sub in frozen corn instead of the peas as well!

              1 Reply
              1. re: scoopG

                Like the corn idea. I usually have either/or peas/corn in the freezer.

              2. Glad it worked out. Have this bookmarked in my tablet blog reader. Definitely looking forward to trying it out.