I remember first tasting this dish in a run down Szechuan restaurant in San Gabriel about two years ago. It was so flavorful and probably the spiciest dish I've had thus far (and yes, I withstand spiciness pretty well). So, I've set out to mimic the dish. I have, for the most part, succeeded, except I do not add as much chilies as the restaurant's chefs, for my own sake. I highly recommend you add as much chilies as your tastebuds can take though, as it is a dish meant for its intensity.
麻婆豆腐 (Mapo Doufu)
· 1 block soft/silken tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
· ¼ lb ground pork (I try to get the 80 - 90% lean)
· 1 tbsp of 豆瓣酱(chili bean paste/sauce)
· 2 cloves of minced garlic
· ¾ inch knob of ginger, minced
· 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
· 2 tsp of black fermented beans
· 2 tsp soy sauce
· 2 tsp of cayenne pepper powder(add more if you can stand the heat)
· 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
· 1 tsp of crushed Szechuan peppercorn (the dish will turn out pretty well without this, although it really does add a certain flavor to the dish that makes it very distinctive)
· Drizzle oil in a large wok on high heat and stir fry the ginger and garlic for 1 minute.
· Add the chili bean paste to the pan and cook for another minute. Add the pork, along with the chili powder, Chinese five spice, and soy sauce. Break up the pork and mix well with all the sauce ingredients. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until pork is cooked.
· Add the black beans, crushed Szechuan peppercorn and ½ cup of water. Mix well.
· Slide the tofu into the wok; lightly mix until it is covered in the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes until it is completely heated through and the sauce has simmered down a bit.
· Add the onions in and lightly mix it one last time. Serve with rice.