MaPoTofu

Key Stage

KS 3 & KS 4

Subject

Design and Technology- Food Technology;

Cross-curriculum learning - Citizenship, History and Geography

Recipe

Ma Po Tofu (or Pockmarked Grandmother's Beancurd)

麻婆豆腐(Traditional Chinese Character)

麻婆豆腐(Simplified Chinese Character)

(Hanyu Pinyin: Mápó dòufu)

Source

Lee Kum Kee

Level

Easy

Serves

2


Download Lesson Plan (Full Updated Version)

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Ingredients

  • 350g Tofu, cut in small cubes

  • 120g Minced pork (or beef/chicken)

  • 1Tbsp Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce

  • Spring onion (for garnishing)

Sauce Mix

  • 2 Tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chilli Bean Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Water

Method

1. Marinade the minced pork with Oyster Sauce. Set aside

2. Use 1 Tbsp oil to stir-fry the minced pork for 2 minutes, add in the sauce mix and tofu cook until sauce thickened before serve. Cut the spring onion for garnishing.


A. Activity Plan

Learning outcomes:

  • How to make a traditional Chinese cuisine

  • Use various ingredients like tofu which is common in Asian cuisines

  • Use various seasoning source e.g. chilli bean sauce and oyster sauce

  • Learn cooking techniques – stir-fry, marinade, thickening sauce etc.

  • Learn to use a wok

  • Increase cultural understanding through learning about Chinese cuisines, utensils like wok and eating culture


B. Popular ingredients in Chinese dishes

1. Tofu

Tofu is also called bean curd and is high in protein, low in fat, and very versatile. You can eat it raw or cooked, but it's bland by itself and tastes best if it's allowed to absorb other flavours. There are several varieties of raw tofu, each with different moisture contents. Silken and soft tofu is relatively moist, and best suited for making shakes, dips, and dressings. Regular tofu has some of the moisture drained away, and it's best for scrambling or using like cheese in casseroles. Firm, extra-firm, and pressed tofu is even drier, so they absorb other flavours better and hold their shape in stir-fries and on the grill. Tofu is also available smoked, pickled, flavoured, baked, and deep-fat fried.

2. Spring Onion

Spring OnionThese are onions that have small bulbs and long green stalks.

They can be eaten raw or as garnish, but you can also grill or stir-fry them. It is very popular in Chinese cuisine.

3. Fermented Bean-curd

fermented bean curdIvory in colour it comes in two flavours, plain and chilli hot. Used to flavour vegetables or as a side dish with rice. The white version is often served with rice or used to flavour soups and vegetable dishes, while the red often accompanies meats.


C. Chinese Sauces

Oyster SauceOyster sauce

Oyster sauce is made with oyster extracts from oysters. Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce originated since 1888 made with oyster extracts from the finest oysters. Use it as an all-purpose seasoning sauce to uplift the umami taste of meat and vegetables. Traditionally used as a marinade, it is a seasoning for stir-fries, as a condiment for many Chinese dishes.

Chilli BeanChilli Bean Sauce

Chilli Bean Sauce, also known as "La doubanjiang", is a Sichuan style ingredient paste with a pungent blend of salted chilli peppers, soy bean and broad bean pastes. Lee Kum Kee Chilli Bean Sauce can be used for Sichuan style stir-fries or as a dip. It gives spicy favour to many dishes.


D. Preparation and Cooking techniques

1. Thicken a sauce

Corn starch (or potato starch) is the most common thickening agent in most of Chinese recipes. Dissolve corn starch (or potato starch) first in the same amount of cold water before adding it into the sauce. Avoid leaving a rubbery lump on the bottom of the wok, mix the paste very thoroughly into the sauce at the temperature well below boiling point.

2. Stir-frying

stir-fryingStir-frying is a technique that when properly executed, foods can be cooked in minutes in very little oil so they retain their natural flavours and textures. Stir frying is a popular Chinese cooking technique for preparing food in a wok: chao. The chao technique is similar to the Western technique of sautéing. A small amount of cooking oil is poured down the side of the wok, followed by dry seasoning e.g. ginger and garlic, then at the first moment the seasoning can be smelled, meats are added and agitated.

Sautéing is a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking.


E. Cooking tools

Wok

Wok

A most useful and versatile piece of equipment, the wok may be used for stir frying, blanching, deep-frying and steaming foods. A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and South-East Asia. The most common materials used in making woks today are carbon steel and cast iron. Although the latter was the most common type used in the past, cooks today tend to be divided on which woks are superior, i.e. carbon steel or cast iron.


F. Story behind the dishes - MA PO TOFU (麻婆豆腐)

Buddhism in China has played an important role in shaping Chinese history and cuisine, most notably making the vegetarian diet of feature for those who believed in Buddhist principles. Buddhist missionaries first arrived in Han China around 206 BCE and 220 CE, most likely via the famous Silk Road or through a marine trading route. Popular accounts tell that Emperor Ming 58-75 CE introduced Buddhism into China but it is clear that translation of Buddhist texts actually date back much earlier. Buddhists in China had a varied time over the next few centuries, although the religion did find patronage amongst intellectuals and elites as it spread.

Although there are different schools of thought on vegetarianism within Buddhism, this is most notable in the Mahayana School that prohibits eating flesh of any sort. Within Buddhism more generally a distinction is made between eating meat and killing meat on the behalf of monks who wish to eat it. In China, Korea and Vietnam practices of vegetarianism are followed much more seriously than other Buddhist areas, this at times goes as far as not eating fetid vegetables such as garlic and shallots due to their strong taste. Emperor Liang of the Wu Dynasty is seen as a catalyst of Buddhist vegetarianism in China, with patronage from Emperor's it allowed Buddhism to spread as the State supported monasteries.

In many ways Buddhism in China worked in harmony with the existing philosophies of Daoism and Confucianism, with the later two influencing Buddhism in the Chinese context. Mencius, a famous Confucian scholar is quoted as saying that a superior man may find himself affected by the brutality of eating animals and fish.

The rise of vegetarian diets led many to seek alternative sources of food. During the Han Dynasty tofu was invented as a good derived purely from vegetables but with a meaty texture.