I've been severely limiting my pork intake for reasons I don't remember. I'd imagine it's the healthier route to go though. As a result, I can't get Mapo Tofu in restaurants anymore and that makes me sad.
I decided to start making my own variation with lamb (I completely stopped eating beef also). The not fun part is the fact that ground lamb is about $7 a pound. Other than that - it has a pretty good flavor. I started with Foodie Ling's recipe as the basis from there and then started modifying. I follow the same basic procedure, I just added more things.
Mapo Tofu Recipe
3-5 garlic cloves - minced
60 mL water
1 1/2 Tbsp Broad Bean chili paste (doubanjiang)
2 Tbsp Lao Gan Ma black bean chili sauce
2 packs soft tofu - medium firm works well too. Cubed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp potato starch + 2 Tbsp water (corn starch would work too)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Shao Xing wine
chopped spring onion
1. Saute garlic in a little oil. When fragrant, add the ground lamb and saute until mostly brown.
2. Add broad bean chili paste and mix in with meat. Add the black bean chili sauce and mix. Then add the tofu, water, sugar and soy sauce. Shake the pan to move tofu around. Boil on high heat for 5 minutes.
3. After 5 minutes passed, lower heat. Stir in potato starch mixture.
4. Add sesame oil and Shao Xing wine. Stir. Garnish with spring onion.
5. Serve with steamed jasmine rice