Its no surprise that I’m a big fan of anime. I mean the nerd just oozes out of me, so it wouldn’t have been hard to guess. The good messages behind anime, the style of drawing, the powers and of course the fact that the creators get over it when you just get really into it and you are forced to read the manga, because you need to know what happened. What’s not to love about it?
Food and anime go hand in hand. They are always eating something, more like shovelling stuff in their mouths, while starting a budding friendship. This recipe is inspired by Angel Beats, and Kanade’s (angel) comfort food, super hot mapo tofu. Out of all the comfort food in all the world, mapo tofu is my favourite as well. When I moved out of my parents house my dad would stop over with some fresh vegan mapo tofu. The heat and the flavour explosion really spoke to me. Top that with tofu, my favourite thing ever and you have a winner of a meal. Food is the way to a persons heart and tofu is definitely the way to my heart!
This is my version of mapo tofu, its not the most authentic, but it sure is delicious. Mushrooms for a meatier taste and spinach, because every meal should have green in it!
VEGAN MAPO TOFU – serves 4-6
- 16 ounces regular tofu, cubed
- 1/2 salt
- hot water to just cover tofu
- 1 cup chopped button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/2 cup garlic chives
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili bean sauce ( doubanjiang)
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp fermented black beans( dou – chi)
- 1 tsp peppercorn powder
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
In a large bowl, add the water, salt and tofu. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil, mushroom, ginger, garlic and spinach. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Lower heat.
Add the chilli bean sauce, fermented black beans and cayenne powder. Stir fry for 1 minute.
Add the vegetable stock, drained tofu pieces, sake, soy sauce and garlic chives. Stir fry gently for 1 – 2 minutes. Trying not to break the tofu.
Mix the cornstarch and water into a paste. Add into the pan with the sesame oil and swirl until thickened. Sprinkle with pepper and spring onions. Serve over rice.