I LOVE spicy food! But alas, my little ones can’t handle the heat just yet. Although my almost 3 yr old daughter can eat kimchi as long as it’s not super spicy. In fact, she’ll ask for a glass of water just so she can continue to eat it.
Most mabo tofus I’ve seen at Chinese restaurants seem to be just meat with tofu and sauce. My husband loves those, but I like to add a healthy dose of vegetables to mine. Maybe since I’m Korean and grew up with mabo tofu swimming with vegetables, like most of our other dishes. Did you know my mother always made spaghetti marinara sauce with ground beef, celery, bell peppers and all other sorts of vegetables she could find? And I love it like that. I used to think that the cook forgot or was too cheap to add vegetables to marinara sauce when I ate out because I assumed everyone put a plethora of vegetables to their marinara sauce. Come on now, everybody knows that! So how do I make my mabo tofu? I use creamy tomato soup! It actually tastes really good. The ginger makes it very fragrant and the tomato soup just makes it extra special, even without the spiciness.
1 pack of firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 pack ground turkey
1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced (or I just use a garlic press)
2 TB Vegetable Oil
1-2 zucchinis, chopped (1 if large, 2 if small)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (any color really)
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-2.5 cups of chicken broth or stock
1 cup creamy tomato soup
1/4 cup water
2-3 TB corn starch
salt and pepper
1. Prep all your vegetables by chopping and mincing.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan over high heat. When it is hot, add the ginger and garlic and saute for a minute then add the ground turkey. Add some salt, about 1 tsp.
3. When the turkey is almost cooked add the onions and all the vegetables (not the tofu). Cook for a couple mins but don’t completely cook the vegetables just yet because you will need to add liquid to boil it and we don’t want the vegetables to get soggy.
4. After the vegetables are almost, but not completely, cooked, add the tofu, chicken broth, and tomato soup and bring it to a boil.
5. While you are waiting for it to boil, mix the 1/4 cup water in a small bowl with the 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch and mix.
6. Once it starts boiling, add 2/3 of the cornstarch mixture to the wok and mix. Add more cornstarch to the wok if the sauce seems too runny. We don’t want it to become gelatin, but we don’t want it to be soupy. Add enough cornstarch so it is in between a sauce and soup consistency.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
AND you are DONE!
Dish it up over rice and you’ve got yourself a healthy and very tasty meal.