Thursday, March 1, 2007

My Chinese Version of Hamburger Helper

Last night I got the craving for one of my favorite quick and easy Chinese dishes, Ma Po Tofu. I may be way off base from typical taste buds, but the tofu in this meal seems to have a cheesy quality about it in both taste and texture. My husband, who is in no way shape or form a tofu fan, really likes it. Though I have yet to trial it with little ones, it does seem like a dish I would have loved as a kid.

As a shortcut, I purchased Soga's pre-cubed extra-firm tofu. It turned out to have less tofu in the package, but the convenience was nice. Since I didn't have a zucchini on hand, I used some thickly sliced mushrooms. They worked equally well, but the zucchini does add nice color to the dish.

I apologize for the lack of a picture. We are still on the hunt for a digital camera that my husband feels is the best quality and value (so far the ones he has picked are perpetually out of stock). Deperate to start clicking, my grandma has offered to lend me hers. So hopefully I will have some photos up soon!

Ma Po Tofu

Serves 4
  • 1 piece ginger (3/4 in section) or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 green onions
  • 4 garlic cloves (or equivalent crushed garlic)
  • 12 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon extra light olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground beef, pork, or turkey
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2-3 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 small chile peppers diced or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Sesame Oil (optional)
  • Chili Oil (optional)
  • Hot Rice


Peel ginger and mince. Remove root end and any wilted parts from the green onions, rinse the rest and cut into rings. Peel garlic and mince. Cut Tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat oil in a wok or pan, add ginger and garlic and saute for 1 min. Add ground meat and stir fry until lightly browned and crumbly.

Spoon bean sauce in and stir, pour chicken broth in and heat. Add Tofu and zucchini to the mix and heat for about 5 minutes. Add green onions and bean sprouts, heat for 2 min.

Serve over hot brown or white rice

Serve with sesame oil and hot chili oil alongside for drizzling as condiments.

Note: I cheated a touch, the black bean sauce did have wheat in it from the soy sauce. So this dish isn't 100% gluten-free. I hope to find a wheat-free version soon, or else I will be hunting Asian markets for fermented black beans.

1 comment:

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