Mapo tofu is traditionally a Chinese dish, but it’s been given a Korean twist here with spicy gochjang and doenjang pastes.
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 400g/14oz beef mince
- 1–2 tbsp Korean gochujang chilli paste
- 2½ tbsp Korean doenjang soybean paste (or miso paste)
- 225ml/8fl oz chicken stock
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 3 tbsp Korean soju or sake
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour, whisked into 2 tbsp cold water until smooth
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 400g/14oz firm tofu, drained and cut into 2cm/¾in cubes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 spring onions, very thinly sliced
- black and white sesame seeds
- handful coriander leaves
- freshly cooked short-grain sushi rice
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another minute, until aromatic.
Add the beef, turn up the heat a little and stir-fry for a minute or two until beginning to colour. Add the gochujang paste, doenjang paste, some salt and a few grindings of pepper. Stir to combine together and stir-fry over a high heat for 1–2 minutes, breaking up the beef until almost cooked.
Add the stock, mirin, soju (or sake), soy sauce, sugar, cornflour mixture, sesame oil and tofu and gently mix together. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes. Stir frequently and cook until the sauce has reduced down and is thick and glossy.
Serve in bowls with the spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander leaves scattered over and the rice on the side.