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Ma Po (Minced meat) Bean Curd

Source: The Heritage of Chinese Cooking
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  40 Minutes
  Serves 6
The origin of this famous dish is traced to the Qing dynasty, during the reign of the Emperor Tong Zhi (1864-74). A charming story describes how a peasant woman in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan (Szechwan) province, once provided food and hospitality to the weary emperor. Among the dishes this woman devised and served to her noble guest was a humble dish of bean curd and ground (minced) meat. The woman's culinary skill was so highly praised that royal edict pronounced the dish fit for a king and was thereafter to be named in honor of the creator.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
2 cups peanut oil, for deep-frying
6 oz ground pork
1 tablespoon Chinese chili paste (available at Chinese stores)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce (available at Chinese stores)
8 cakes fresh bean curd (available at Chinese stores), roughly diced
For Sauce:
1/2 cup Family Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (available at Chinese stores) or dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns (fagara, available at Chinese stores), toasted and crushed (see Note below)
Other necessary recipes:
Family Chicken Broth
Ma Po (Minced meat) Bean Curd Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
Pour the groundnut oil into a wok and heat until it begins to smoke. Deep-fry the ground pork until it changes color (about 1 minute). Strain off the excess oil.


Combine the chili paste and chicken broth. Add the mushroom soy sauce and the chili paste mixture to the wok and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the bean curd and cook for 3 minutes. Add all of the sauce ingredients, and stir in the scallions.


Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with the Sichuan pepper.


NOTE: Roast the Sichuan peppercorns over low heat in a dry wok, gently stirring until they become "fragrant" (3-4 minutes). Remove and crush them to a "pepper mill" texture (use a coffee or spice grinder), then store them in a screw-top jar.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 6
Calories: 382
Fat. Total: 28g
Fiber: 2g
Carbohydrates, Total: 24g
Sodium: 529mg
% Cal. from Fat: 66%
Cholesterol: 19mg
Protein: 9g
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