Occasionally I search blogs and instagram for inspiration, I found the best way for me is to search non vegan blogs and then veganise the recipe.. which is exactly what I did for this version of Mapo Tofo, a very popular Chinese dish.
Mapo tofu is essentially tofu that is cooked and served in a delicious, spicy, umami rich sauce, topped with Sichuan pepper which leaves a spicy, slightly aniseed sensation in the mouth.
As well as being super tasty, if you have all the ingredients its very quick to put together and can be served with your favourite rice or noodles.
Let me know how you enjoyed the recipe in the comments section!
Vegan Mapo Tofu
250g block of semi-firm tofu
1/2 cup seitan (chopped small)
25g / 1 tbsp grated ginger
4 large cloves grated garlic
1 tbsp korean chilli flakes
30g / 2 tbsp tamari
25g / 1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste (optional)
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp panela
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
Chinese garlic or spring onion
Salt (to taste)
*Chinese garlic looks like a long, thick chive and is sold in Chinese supermarkets.
1. Mix the starch and the 2 tbsp water together in a cup and set aside.
2. Heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan, add the tofu and the seitan and cook until both are nicely caramelised then take it all out of the pan. Add another tbsp of oil along with the garlic and ginger… cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the chilli flakes, cook for 1 minute and then add the tofu, seitan tamari, miso and tomato paste, followed by the water. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
4. 2 minutes later add the starchy water, stir, cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
5. The sauce should now be nice and thick. Finish with Sichuan pepper, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, sesame oil and finely sliced Chinese garlic (or spring onion). Serve with steamed, fluffy white rice.
I hope you enjoy the dish as much as I did!