Sichuan cuisine is a type of Chinese cuisine that is known for its bold flavors and use of spicy and numbing ingredients like Sichuan peppercorns. Here’s a recipe for a classic Sichuan dish that you can try at home:
- 1 block (14 oz) soft tofu, cubed
- 1/4 lb ground pork
- 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons chili bean paste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 scallions, sliced
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Toast the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the ground pork and cook until browned and crispy, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks.
- Add the minced garlic and chili bean paste to the pan and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add the cubed tofu to the pan and stir gently to coat with the sauce. Be careful not to break up the tofu too much.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, and water to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the pan and gently stir to thicken the sauce.
- Sprinkle the crushed Sichuan peppercorns over the top of the mapo tofu and garnish with sliced scallions.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.
Enjoy your homemade Sichuan-style mapo tofu!