Ma-po tofu, the classic Sichuan dish of simmered tofu and ground pork, is intensely flavorful and very quick to make. Serve it over brown rice or toss it with brown rice noodles or whole wheat spaghetti. Just remember that the dish takes only 20 minutes to prepare and cook, so start your rice or noodles first thing.
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes, or to taste
- 4 ounces ground pork
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine, just drain their juice)
- 12 ounces firm silken tofu, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Put the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic, ginger, and chile flakes and cook just until they begin to sizzle, less than a minute. Add the pork and stir to break it up; cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses most of its pink color and begins to crisp, 3–5 minutes.
Add the scallions, tomatoes, and stock. Cook for a minute or two, scraping the bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits of meat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring once or twice, until the tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the soy sauce; taste and season with salt and more red chile flakes if you like. Garnish with cilantro and serve.