Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables comes in particularly handy during Veganuary, though a lot of the recipes are actually vegetarian.
Sichuan pepper love
One of my other favorite ingredients is Sichuan pepper. It’s just a floral spicy bundle of joy. This vegan rendition used shiitake mushrooms, which bring a lot of additional ooooooh-mami to the table. Sheer perfection if you’re into funky food.
Be sure to check the ingredients of the doubanjiang, black bean and chili crisp sauce. Sometimes these contain animal products.
What do I eat with vegan mushroom mapo tofu?
I like to have mine with plain white rice and some stir fried baby bok choy, broccoli or just same plain old cucumber.
Do more with vegan mushroom mapo tofu
You can keep leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days, in the freezer for a couple of months and wrap them in wonton skins to make some bangin’ ass gyozo.
Lucky Peach Vegan Mushroom Mapo Tofu
- Small plate
- Food processor
- Large pot
- Frying pan or wok
- Kitchen towel
- 4.5 oz - 125 g dried shiitake mushrooms see instructions
- 9 oz - 250 g fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 12 oz - 350 g silken tofu cut into cubes - firm tofu works but is less nice for mapo tofu
- 2 t - 10 g corn starch
- 1/4 c - 60 ml lukewarm water
- 2 T - 30 ml sunflower oil
- 1 leek sliced into thin strips
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 T - 30 g grated ginger
- 4 T - 60 g doubanjiang chili bean sauce
- 2 T - 30 g black bean sauce
- 1 T - 15 g chili crisp
- 2 T - 30 g Sichuan peppercorns black seeds and woody stems removed
- 1 T - 15 g gochugaru Korean chili flakes
Soak the dried mushrooms
- Remove the stems from 4.5 oz - 125 g dried mushrooms and leave them to soak in water for at least 30 minutes. To submerge them it helps to place a small plate on top.
- Drain and set the liquid aside.
- Now use a food processor to chop the dried shiitakes together with 9 oz - 250 g of fresh shiitakes to a rough pulp.
Poach the silken tofu
- If you are using firm tofu you can skip this step and press the tofu for 30 minutes with a heavy object instead. But silken tofu really gives the best result for mapo tofu imho.
- Cut the silken tofu into 1 inch - 1.5 cm cubes.
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot and poach 12 oz - 350 g of silken tofu for 3 minutes or so. Strain, salt lightly and set aside.
Make vegan mushroom mapo tofu
- Mix together 2 t - 10 g of corn starch with 1/4 c - 60 ml of water to create a slushy paste.
- Now get all your other ingredients together alongside the mushroom pulp, poached silken tofu and corn paste so you have your mis-en-place ready and are good to go.
- Heat 2 T - 30 ml of sunflower oil in a large frying pan or a wok. Add the shiitake mushroom pulp and spread it out in an even layer, folding it every few minutes or so until any remaining liquids have evaporated and the shiitake are starting to brown. This should take 5 minutes or so.
- Now add 1 leek sliced into thick strips, 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic and 1 T - 15 g of grated ginger and mix this in with the mushrooms for another 2 minutes or so until fragrant. Remove the mushroom and leek mixture from the pan and give the pan a quick wipe with a kitchen towel before returning it to the heat.
- Add 2 T - 30 g of Sichuan peppercorns, 4 T - 60 g of doubjiang, 2 T - 30 g of black bean and 1 T - 15 g of chili crisp sauce to the pan with 1 T - 15 gr of gochugaru and stir until the oils start to separate from the sauce, before adding the mushroom mixture back in. This should take 2 minutes or so. Now gently stir in the soft tofu and finally add the corn starch slush to create that mapo tofu glaze.
- Now gently fold in the poached silken tofu cubes and finally add the corn starch slush, allowing the liquids to thicken ever so slightly before serving.
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