A Vegan Remake of a Sichuan Classic
The name of this dish translates as “pock-marked woman’s bean curd”— so-called because it originated with a roadside vendor who was scarred by smallpox. English spellings for the dish vary and include Mapo doufu, Ma po dou fu, and Ma-po tofu.
But however you spell it, Mapo tofu is the best tofu dish. Ever.
Traditionally, Mapo Tofu includes ground beef (sometimes ground pork). These versions are good, but they gild the lily; the meat seems superfluous to me. Classic Mapo Tofu is also oil-laden and fiery hot — not a dish that suits everyone’s digestive system.
My version eliminates much of the oil, tames the heat, and replaces the meat with portobello mushrooms, which pack a flavor punch of their own.
The result is a vegan beauty that your whole family can enjoy. And they probably won’t even realize it’s vegan unless you tell them.