Nov 11
Mao Pao Tofu

Mao Pao Tofu (or mapo tofu, pronounced “mabo dofu” in Japan) is one of the many dishes that Japan has adopted and made its own.  Mao pao tofu is a Chinese dish from the Sichuan province.  It consists of cubes of tofu and ground beef or pork, in a spicy chili bean sauce.  The Japanese version is very mild in comparison to the original, but still delicious.  Mao pao tofu is one of more than 200 recipes featured in Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s newest book: COOKING LIGHT THE COMPLETE QUICK COOK: A Practical Guide to Smart, Fast Home Cooking, that was just published earlier this week.

Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook

Bruce and Mark are two of my favorite cookbook authors (you might remember that they are the authors of one of my favorite cookbooks, GOAT: Meat, Milk, Cheese), and this book reaffirms why.  Take the recipe for mao pao tofu, for example.  I prepared it for dinner this past Sunday and had it on the table and ready to eat within 15 minutes.  Not only was it truly quick to prepare, but it was delicious.  The book is brimming with lots of recipes like that, plus way more, such as how to organize your kitchen so that you can speed up your cooking process, what types of ingredients you might consider stocking your pantry with that will help you to become a quicker cook, and practical tips for ways you can invest a minimal amount of time to save a huge amount of time later.  One of the things I love about the book is that it embraces my love for using dishes and flavors from around the world to feed my family.  The book contains recipes from a huge variety of world cuisines, from Chinese and Thai, to Greek and Italian—but all totally approachable and unintimidating.

With the holiday season already upon us, this book is an even bigger resource.  We’re all short on time, and this book will provide you with strategies for feeding those you love despite the harried schedules that most of us have this time of year.  The book also provides many recipes for dishes that would be perfect additions to holiday meals.

Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough

Photo Credit: Jon Fisher

I had the pleasure of chatting with Bruce and Mark earlier this week about the book, and hope you’ll enjoy the interview.  Have a listen!

Just in case the interview hasn’t convinced you that you need to buy your own copy of the book, I’m sharing the recipe for Mao Pao Tofu from the book.  And while you’re at it, go visit Bruce and Mark on their website, Real Food Has Curves.

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Quick Mao Pao Tofu

Makes 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups tofu mixture and 1/2 cup rice)

Recipe from The Complete Quick Cook (with permission from publisher)

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag rice (or 2 cups hot steamed rice)
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry or Shaoxing wine, divided (or orange juice if you don’t cook with alcohol)
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sherry, and pork; set aside.

3. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add tofu; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add pork mixture; stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in onions and next 4 ingredients (through salt); stir-fry 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon sherry, and broth; cook 2 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water; stir with a whisk. Add to wok; cook 30 seconds or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Serve over rice.

CALORIES 342; FAT 14.3g (sat 3.8g, mono 2.7g, poly 4.6g); PROTEIN 23.3g; CARB 27.8g; FIBER 0.3g; CHOL 43mg; IRON 2.3mg; SODIUM 562mg; CALC 78mg

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

brandi November 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

this look fantastic! my husband isn’t the biggest fan of tofu, but he does like it in dishes like this. bookmarking!


Bev Weidner November 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

this. looks. so. good. I. might. weep.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) November 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

@brandi — Yes! This is a great dish for those who are less than enthusiastic about tofu. Mixing the tofu with the pork does beautiful things. :)


Fuji Mama (Rachael) November 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

@Bev Weidnes — Passing you the box of Kleenex… XO


Barbara | Creative Culinary November 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

Love the interview and hearing all of you. Maybe you especially after your terrible scare of a few months ago when speaking was not a given. Love these guys and they know so much stuff; I’m sure this is a great book.


Amber November 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm

mmm, this looks yummy! I think I’ll have to try it this week!


Cookin' Canuck November 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

There is definitely something to be said for a quick and healthy dish. I could happily gobble this up for lunch. Fun interview too, Rachael! Love hearing that voice of yours now that it is well.


Corey @ Family Fresh Meals November 21, 2011 at 5:30 am

My veggie hubby is going to LOVE this dish! Tofu is a big part of our meals and I am always looking for new yummy recipes for it :) Great post!


Denise February 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Thanks for posting this yummy recipe! I love checking in on your site. I just started a blog reviewing recipes found on Pinterest, and this one is here: (I was sure to give credit and links back to you.)


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