Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mapo Tofu and Beef and Broccoli

Last year we decided to try and perfect a recipe each so that we'd have an easy go to dinner when we needed one. We decided on Mapo Tofu and Beef and Broccoli. We each researched some recipes and drew from our experience eating the dishes. We made it every few weeks for a couple months in order to try out new ideas and get it pretty set in our memories. The two recipes are a nice compliment to each other, and they take about the same amount of time to make, so with each of us making one it works out well. It's a bit hard to take pictures while its all happening so fast, but I think there's enough to get the idea.

Note: All our measurements are very loose, but I tried to guesstimate to give a starting point. If you don't have some of the stuff, thats okay, feel free to add, subtract, replace etc.

MaPo Topu
1 lb container Tofu
2-3 tbsp black bean in garlic sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sambal oelek (spicy)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp corn starch
optional 1/4 lb ground pork

Beef and Broccoli

1/2 lb flank steak cut thinly
2 bunches of fresh broccoli
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black bean in garlic sauce
2 tbsp sambal oelek (spicy)
2-3 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Mapo Tofu: 
Drain and cube the tofu. Add the corn starch to the chicken broth in a small bowl. For the chicken broth I just use the powder and mix it with water in the ratio the package says. Mix it up well and set aside. Add all of the rest of the sauce ingredients to the tofu and stir together (see photo above). If you using the ground pork - I only do if we happen to have some - cook in pan until its done and then pour the soy sauce on it. Then add the tofu to the pan (with the pork if using) cook until it warms all the way through 3-5 minutes probably. Then add the broth and cornstarch mixture. Boil until the sauce gets nice and thick.

Beef and Broccoli:
Cut the beef thinly. It's easier to do if it is a tiny bit frozen. Sometimes when we get a big piece from the store, we'll pre-slice it and freeze it in the right portions, which makes it easier later. Add all of the sauce mixture to the beef and let it sit for a minute while you deal with the broccoli. Cut up the broccoli - we like to have more broccoli than beef. Cut it into bit size pieces and then cook it for a few minutes in a non stick pan with some water to steam it a bit. We usually do this for about 5 minutes so that there's still some crunch in the broccoli. I don't have a picture of this part. Remove the broccoli and set aside for a minute.  Next cook the beef in the same pan you cooked the broccoli in. (see photo above) 

Once the beef is cooked through, add the broccoli back in and stir it around for a minute or so to soak up the extra sauce. 

We tend to make jasmine rice with it, and by starting it at the beginning, it usually works out that everything is done about the same time. It makes a very tasty and rounded dinner, that only takes about 20 minutes, which is great for work nights. Let us know if you give it a try, we'd love to hear what you do differently and what you think of it! 


  1. I was wondering if you would like to put up a link to this nice beef recipe in my Food on Friday Series. This week the ingredient is beef.

  2. Great that you linked in. Don't worry I have taken the first link out for you. Cheers.