Bland Tofu in Mapo Tofu

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by orihara, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. orihara


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    Home Chef
    Mapo Tofu is a famous Sichuanese dish. I used extra firm tofu, and let it simmer with all the broth ingredients for about 15 minutes, but the tofu did not absorb any of the flavours. I was thinking I could marinate the tofu first, but I'm not sure. Any help would be nice.
    (Also, the ground pork came out a bit on the dry side as well)
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Retired Chef
    Using firm tofu is almost like making a totally different dish. There's not much you can get into the tofu as far as flavor is concerned.  To me the dish is a blend of silky tofu with highly seasoned bits of hot and spicy pork.
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    To me the tofu is the canvas against which the  intense flavors play and display themselves. If the tofu tasted like the rest of the dish, it wouldn't be as interesting. 

    Also, texture is especially important in chinese dishes so the contrasting texture of the tofu is an important element of the mouthfeel of the dish. 

    As to tofu absorbing flavors in 15 minutes, well as you discovered, it doesn't happen so much. In my experience, if you want to flavor tofu, you have to alter its structure usually be freezing or deep frying. Both of these techniques create voids within the protein mesh for flavorful liquid to penetrate.