Mapo Tofu “ish” – Quick and Easy

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Mapo Tofu is one of the popular Chinese dishes in Japan. The dish contains Tofu and meat (normally beef or pork mince) quickly simmered in a spicy sauce. It originated from Sichuan province, from which you can easily imagine that the dish is very hot and spicy! Although the Japanese version is much milder, it still has some kick and we love eating it with rice.

It is very easy and quick to cook, well…, if you already have the 2 important ingredients in your kitchen – Doubanjang (fermented broad been and chilli paste) and Dou-chi (fermented black bean paste), which make this dish “Mapo”.

Yes…, I know some Asian stores sell them…, however if you are like me and do not cook much Siuchuan food, these 2 jars will be sitting and doing nothing in the kitchen cabinet for a next 3 months… So I asked myself “Can I replace them with something that I already have to make Mapo Tofu- ish dish??”.

The Answer is YES. In this recipe, I use very common Japanese ingredients – Miso, Soy Sauce, Cooking and Chilli, which gives a depth and spiciness to the dish. I also add a lot of vegetables, so that this will be a complete dish especially when you serve it on rice (like me serving it on brown rice in the picture).

For meat, I like using Kangaroo mince as I love its leanness and sustainability in Australia, but you can use any meat you like. Beef or pork mince will be lovely. Same with vegetables. Although I recommend Daikon Radish (or normal while radish) as the freshness and crunchiness works in this dish well.

If you need something quick, easy, and something different, please try this recipe. Hope you like it.

 

Ingredients (Serving for 4):

350g Kangaroo mince (or any meat you like, such as beef or pork mince)

1 clove of Garlic – minced

1cm cubes of Ginger – minced

1 Red eye Chili (or as many as you like) – minced

1 Onion – diced

1 Zucchini – diced

½ Red Capsicum – diced

200g Daikon Radish – about 10cm long – diced

200g Silken Tofu – cut into about 2cm cubes

1 Teaspoon of Corn Starch or Potato Starch

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

2 Spring Onions – finely chopped

 

Sauce A – combined all together

1 Tablespoon of Miso

½ Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

½ Tablespoon of Sugar

½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder

 

Sauce B – combined all together

150ml Water

1.5 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 Tablespoon of Miso

 

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ list above) on medium/high heat. Stir- fry kangaroo mince, garlic, ginger and red eye chilli, while breaking up the mince with a spatula or wooden spoon. In order to bring the kangaroo’s best flavour, please stir fry it very well. When the mince starts becoming brown, oil from the mince will come out. Even though the mince has become brown and looks cooked, please keep cooking until the oil has disappeared.
  2. Add Sauce A and cook all together for about 1 minute or until the mince is well coated by the sauce. If the sauce starts burning in the frying pan, add s splash of water to it (not included in the ingredients’ list above).
  3. Add onion, zucchini, capsicum and daikon radish to the frying pan. Stir fry them for about 2 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  4. Add Sauce B to the frying and and bring it to the boil.
  5. Place the tofu into the frying pan. Stir and cook the tofu gently in the sauce. Please work gently not to break down the tofu. Simmer it for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Take 3 tablespoons of the sauce out from the frying pan to a small bowl. Add corn starch to the bowl and whisk it until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Add the mixture back to the frying pan and mix it into the sauce gently. Cook it for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce becomes thickened. Turn the heat off and add sesame oil.
  7. Top with spring onions and serve while hot. You can serve it on your choice of rice.

 

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Beef and Green Vegetables Stir Fry with Miso Sauce

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Serving: 4

Ingredients:

250g- 300g Beef Fillet – removed fat and cut into 2cm cubes

1 Onion – sliced

6 florets of Broccoli – cut into 1cm thick

1 Zucchini –sliced into 1cm thick

2 Spring Onions – sliced with angle

¼ Cabbage (for small size of Cabbage. 1/8 for big size of Cabbage) – cut into 3cm chunks

200g Bean Sprout

For Marinade

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

For Miso Sauce

3 Tablespoon of Miso (Red or Shinshu Miso)

3 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

3 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoon of Sugar

1 clove of Garlic

1 small piece of Ginger

Chilli Powder – as much as you like

Method:

  1. Marinade Beef with Cooking Sake and Soy Sauce.
  1. Mix all ingredients for Miso Sauce.
  1. Put a small amount of oil in a wok and heat it with high heat. Once the wok becomes very hot, cook Beef for about 10 seconds r until when the surface of Beef just turned to brown. Do not cook the Beef too long. Remove the Beef from the wok and put it aside.
  1. Add a small amount of oil in the same work and put it back to high heat. Put Onion and Broccoli, and stir fry them. When the Onion turns to clear, add Zucchini, hard part of Cabbage and white part of Spring Onions. Stir fry them until the Spring Onions become soft.
  1. Add a soft part of Cabbage and green part of Spring Onions. When Cabbage becomes soft, add Bean Sprout. Stir fry all together.
  1. Once all vegetables are just cooked, put the Beef back into the work. Add Miso Sauce and cook all together until all ingredients are evenly coated with Miso Sauce. Serve while it is hot.

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Beef and Potato Stew – Nikujaga

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Serving : 2-4

ingredients

150g Beef Mince

4 Potatoes – cut into bite-size chunks

2 Carrots – cut into bite-size chunks

2 Onions – roughly slices

3 Tablespoon of Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Mirin

120cc Water

3 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

Method

1. In a pot, heat 1 Tablespoon of Oil over medium-high heat until it becomes hot.

2. Place Beef Mince into the pot and cook it very well*.

3. Add Sugar and Soy Sauce into the pot and mix with the Beef.

4. Add Onions and Carrots, and stir-fry them until the Onions look cooked and become clear.

5. Add and stir Potatoes for about 1 minutes.

6. Add Water and simmer over low-medium heat for about 20 minutes with a Otoshi-buta on.

7. After 20 minutes, add Mirin and simmer about 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.

8. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. While the dish cools down, the ingredients absorb the flavour.

Note

* If Mince is getting burned on the pot, splash 2 Tablespoons of Water into the pot and mix them well, so that the Mince stacked on the bottom of the pot will come off.

* Cook Mince very well to remove unpleasant smell of Beef. When the Mince starts browned, oil from the Mince will come out. Even though it gets browned at the state, keep cooking until the oil disappears. This helps us to keep only lovely beef flavour.

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