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Ma Po Dofu for All! Many of you have expressed concern and/or outright puzzlement concerning Episode #2 and its manifold references to the Chinese dish Ma Po Dofu.  For edification and satiation we are including the following recipe - Gerard

MA PO DOFU

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic or to taste
3 teaspoons hot bean sauce (or chili garlic sauce)
3 teaspoons black bean sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 pound fresh soft bean curd (or medium or firm) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped scallions, including half of the green tops
Salt and ground Szechwan pepper to taste

(IMPORTANT NOTE: the Szechwan pepper tree, in China, has, in recent years, been infected with a canker of some kind, and the ban on importation of this beautiful spice has only recently been lifted.  As a result, do NOT roast the pepper, as is required in many recipes (because the pepper now has to be heat-treated before it leaves China.).  It can be added (and should be finely ground) to recipes, but usually near the end, or, at the very least, unroasted.)

Directions:
In wok over high heat, heat the oil.  When hot, add meat, stir fry until lightly brown (2 minutes).
Add ginger, garlic, hot bean sauce and black bean sauce to taste.
Add rice wine and stir fry for 20 seconds.
Pour in stock, bring to boil.  Simmer, stirring frequently 3 to 4 minutes to blend flavors.
Add cornstarch and cook, stirring slowly until thickened (about a minute.)
Fold in bean curd and green onions. 
Heat gently, seasoning with salt.
Transfer to warm bowl, season generously with Szechwan pepper and serve immediately.


Category:Battersea Confidential -- posted at: 8:47am PDT