A twist on the classic Chinese Mapo Doufu that is loaded with veggies and served as soup.
- 2 Tablespoons Sichuan Peppercorns
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Pound Ground Chicken
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms (roughly chopped)
- 5 Long Hot Red Chiles (sliced into rounds)
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Ginger
- 2 Heads Broccoli (diced well)
- 2 Tablespoons Fermented Bean Paste
- 3 Tablespoons Xiaoxing Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Quart Chicken Stock
- 18 Ounces Silken Tofu (cubed)
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Scallions
- Chile Oil
- Split your Sichuan peppercorns into two equal piles. In a large heavy bottom pot, wok, or dutch oven, toast the first group dry over a medium-high heat just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from pot before they burn. Add in the vegetable oil and the rest of the peppercorns and cook 2 minutes or so to flavor the oil. Remove the peppercorns from the oil using a fork or slotted metal spoon and discard.
- Meanwhile, grind the dry toasted peppercorns to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
- Add the chicken to the oil and cook to brown, about 7 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and chile peppers and cook 5 minutes. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook 3 minutes.
- Add in the broccoli, bean paste, xiaoxing wine, and soy sauce and cook 3 minutes, stirring the whole time. Add in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer about 10 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt or soy sauce as needed.
- Add in the tofu and gently stir so as not to break it up. Simmer 3 minutes.
- Stir in some chile oil to taste, along with about half of the scallions and Sichuan pepper powder. Remove from heat.
- Serve with additional scallions, Sichuan pepper powder, and chile oil for garnish.
After craving mapo doufu the other day I decided to make it for dinner but give it a healthy upgrade with lots of veggies and a leaner meat instead of beef. Chicken and broccoli seemed like a good flavor combo, and I also liked the idea of tossing in some mushrooms. Adding all the veggies and using fresh chiles instead of dried gave the dish a much fresher vibe than it normally has. I made it a little wetter than it often comes and ate it like soup on the coldest day of the year and it really hit the spot!
All the veggies and tofu ready to go.
Chicken mushrooms and hot peppers in the pot. Then the ginger and garlic. Before any of this happens though, the first step is to cook some Sichuan peppers in vegetable oil to infuse the oil with that numbing spiciness of the peppers. You remove the peppercorns before you add anything else but the essence stays in the oil and flavors the whole dish.
Serve with scallions and a little extra toasted Sichuan peppercorn.
This dish has that nice numb-hot flavor found in Sichuan dishes, but it isn’t crazy numb-hot like you find in a lot of restaurants. The hot pepper and Sichuan pepper have a nice balance and the dish is actually edible and enjoyable, not hit you over the head spicy.
The addition of the broccoli, mushrooms, and fresh chiles, gave the dish a much fresher flavor than it normally has.