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Indonesian Mapo Tofu (Mun Tahu) Recipe

Indonesian Mapo Tofu (Mun Tahu) Recipe

Indonesian Mapo Tofu (Mun Tahu) Recipe

I first learned to cook Mapo Tofu when I was 13 years old. On a sunny Saturday in Indonesia when my grandfather was supposed to be spending a quiet afternoon with me at home while my parents were out, he decided that we were going to eat at his favorite Chinese Indonesian restaurant in town, The Mandala Restaurant. Famous for its Chinese influenced Indonesian cuisine, it was a hole-in-the-wall eatery that only locals frequented. That afternoon, my grandfather taught me the subtleties of a great Indonesian Mapo Tofu. How the tofu should be silky soft, how the hint of heat from the chili pepper and white peppers should barely tingle the back of the palate and how just a touch of aromatic sesame oil was needed to round out the delicate flavors of the dish.

Ingredients :

    • 21/2 tablespoons oil
    • 8-12 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger,
    • 1/2 teaspoon dry ground red chili pepper (optional)
    • 3/4 lb (350 g) ground pork
    • 1 lb (500 g) firm tofu, drained and cubed
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup (125 ml) cold water
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 2 green onions (scallions), sliced

Method :

    1. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and ground red chili pepper (if using) until it is lightly browned and fragrant.
    2. Add the pork and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the cubed tofu, gently stir-frying until well mixed. Lower the heat to medium high.
    3. Add the soy sauce, white pepper, and sugar; simmer for about 5 minutes.
    4. Mix the cornstarch with the water and add a few tablespoons to the tofu mixture. Sauté gently, making sure to lift and fold the tofu over instead of mashing it with the spatula. Turn off the heat, and add the sesame oil and green onions. Toss together and serve.