Mapo Tofu with Clif Family Organic Red Pepper Jam
Recipe By Executive Chef John McConnell
Yield: 6 servings
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
1-½ c. warm chicken or vegetable broth
½ c. grapeseed oil, divided (or any neutral cooking oil)
1-2 fresh Thai bird chili peppers, thinly sliced (or serrano chiles)
6 dried chiles de arbol, roughly chopped (add more or less depending on your spice preference)
3 Tbsp. ginger, finely minced
5 scallions, thinly sliced and divided
3 Tbsp. garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. ground Sichuan peppercorns
½ lb. ground pork
2 Tbsp. Doubanjiang, (or Korean Gochujang)
¼ c. Clif Family Organic Red Pepper Jam
¼ c. light soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free option)
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 lb. silken tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
In a small bowl, place the dehydrated shitake mushrooms in the warmed chicken broth to rehydrate. Set aside.
In a wok or shallow saucepan over low heat, add ¼ cup oil and fry the fresh and dried chilies until fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl to cool and set aside.
Heat the remaining ¼ cup of oil in the wok or pot and add ginger, 2/3 of the sliced scallions, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add the ground pork and break up using a wooden spoon, sauté for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in the Doubanjiang and the Clif Family Organic Red Pepper Jam. Remove from heat.
Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the chicken broth and add the broth plus soy sauce to the spiced pork. Thinly slice the shiitakes and add to the pork. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl, make a slurry by whisking the cornstarch and water together. Add to the pork sauce and return to a simmer, cook until sauce has thickened. Add chili oil with reserved peppers, sesame oil and tofu, stir gently and simmer for 5 minutes to let flavors combine. Season to taste with additional soy sauce if needed.
Garnish with remaining sliced scallions. Serve on its own or with steamed rice.
Pair with a glass of Clif Family’s Le Colline Vineyard Estate Zinfandel.