GROUND SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS RECIPES

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MAPO TOFU RECIPE - NYT COOKING



Mapo Tofu Recipe - NYT Cooking image

You can order mapo tofu from many Chinese restaurants, but it’s also quite doable at home. You can find the pivotal fermented chile and broad (fava) bean sauce or paste called doubanjiang (sometimes rendered as “toban djan”) at a Chinese market. Look for a doubanjiang from Pixian, in Sichuan, and bear in mind that oilier versions have extra heat but may lack an earthy depth. Sichuan peppercorns add mala — tingly zing — and fermented black beans, called douchi, lend this dish a kick of umami. Ground beef is traditional, but many cooks choose pork; you can also try lamb, turkey thigh or a plant-based meat alternatives. Add chile flakes for extra fire, and balance mapo’s intensity with rice and steamed or stir-fried broccoli.

Provided by Andrea Nguyen

Total Time 30 minutes

Yield 4 servings (about 4 cups)

Number Of Ingredients 14

16 ounces medium or medium-firm tofu (if unavailable, go with firm)
1 rounded teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons canola oil
6 ounces ground beef or pork (preferably 80 or 85 percent lean), roughly chopped to loosen
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons doubanjiang (fermented chile bean sauce or paste)
1 tablespoon douchi (fermented black beans, optional)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons regular soy sauce
1 rounded teaspoon granulated sugar, plus more if needed
Fine sea salt
2 large scallions, trimmed and cut on a sharp bias into thin, 2-inch-long pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
Cooked white rice, for serving

Steps:

  • Prepare the tofu: Cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and put into a bowl. Bring a kettle of water to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and when the boiling subsides, pour hot water over the tofu to cover. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large (14-inch) wok or (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, toast the peppercorns for 2 to 3 minutes, until super fragrant and slightly darkened. (A wisp of smoke is normal.) Let cool briefly, then pound with a mortar and pestle, or pulse in a spice grinder.
  • Set a strainer over a measuring cup, then add the tofu to drain; reserve 1 1/2 cups of the soaking water, discarding the rest. Set the tofu and reserved soaking water near the stove with the peppercorns and other prepped ingredients for swift cooking.
  • Reheat the wok or skillet over high. When hot — you can flick water in and it should sizzle and evaporate within seconds — swirl in the oil to evenly coat, then add the meat. Stir and mash into cooked and crumbly pieces, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 1/2 tablespoons doubanjiang, the douchi (if using), ginger and red-pepper flakes (if using). Cook about 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until things are vivid reddish brown. Add the soy sauce and sugar, stir to combine, then add the tofu. Gently stir or shake the pan to combine the ingredients without breaking up the tofu much.
  • Add the reserved 1 1/2 cups soaking water, bring to a vigorous simmer, and cook for about 3 minutes, agitating the pan occasionally, to let the tofu absorb the flavors of the sauce.
  • Slightly lower the heat and taste the sauce. If needed, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of doubanjiang for heat, a pinch of salt for savoriness, or a sprinkle of sugar to tame heat.
  • Add the scallions and stir to combine. Stir in the cornstarch slurry, then stir in enough to the mapo tofu to thicken to a soupy rather than a gravy-like finish. Sprinkle in the ground peppercorns, give the mixture one last stir to incorporate, then transfer to a shallow bowl. Serve immediately with lots of hot rice.

KUNG PAO SHRIMP (KUNG PAO PRAWN) | CHINA SICHUAN FOOD



Kung Pao Shrimp (Kung Pao Prawn) | China Sichuan Food image

Kung Pao Shrimp developed from traditional Chinese kung Pao Chicken has a spicy yet slightly sweet taste.

Provided by Elaine

Categories     Main Course

Total Time 15 minutes

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Yield 2

Number Of Ingredients 22

300 g unshelled shrimp
3 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
7-15 dried chili pepper
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn
3 garlic cloves (, chopped)
1 thumb root ginger, (chopped)
1/2 green pepper (, cut into small pieces)
1/2 red bell pepper ( , cut into small pieces)
2 Chinese large scallion (, white part only )
1/4 cup roasted peanuts or cashew
1/2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. black vinegar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. stock or water
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch

Steps:

  • Devein the shrimp and then cut a small line on the back of the shrimp (for better flavoring). And then marinate the shrimp with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper and cornstarch. 
  • Mix all the ingredients for kung pao sauce in a small bowl.
  • Cut all the ingredients and break only 2-3 whole chili pepper into halves. If you want to reduce the hotness, use whole dried chili peppers only.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry ginger, garlic, Sichuan peppercorn and dried chili pepper until aromatic. Then place the shrimp in. Fry for 20 seconds over high fire.
  • Place peppers and scallion. Continue frying until the peppers are slightly soft (around 20 seconds). Pour in Kung Pao sauce and place in the nuts. Mix well and transfer out immediately.

Nutrition Facts : Calories 543 kcal, CarbohydrateContent 18 g, ProteinContent 39 g, FatContent 35 g, SaturatedFatContent 20 g, CholesterolContent 378 mg, SodiumContent 3061 mg, FiberContent 3 g, SugarContent 2 g, ServingSize 1 serving

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