Easy Meal · Weeknight Meal

Pockmarked Grandma’s Beancurd, and Angel’s and Devil’s Food

Beancurd what? Pockmarked grandma what? Why would anyone eat something sounds horrible like that?

Whether it’s been lost in translation or it has deeper meaning to the name more than we can imagine, pockmarked grandma’s beancurd basically is mapo tofu; one of popular Chinese dish from Sichuan region.

“Ma” stands for “ma-zi” (Chinese: mázi, 麻子) which means pockmarks.
“Po” is the first syllable of “popo” (Chinese: 婆婆, pópo) which means an old woman or grandma. Hence, mapo is an old woman whose face is pockmarked.
It is thus sometimes translated as “pockmarked grandma’s beancurd” 

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mapo_doufu

Most of you probably familiar with the deep red, oily, and spicy version of mapo tofu. It is actually one of my favorite dishes to make and eat.

mapo tofu (spicy)

But if there can be angle’s food cake and devil’s food cake, I would say the regular version of mapo tofu would be devil’s one. However, in my family, we tend to enjoy food less spicy, so I would consider our version of mapo tofu to be angel’s one and here I’d like to share this simple and comforting recipe with you.

mapo tofu (home style)

Mapo Tofu (angel style)

1 block of silken tofu (cubed)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 green onion (chopped)
2 bird’s eye chilis
100 g minced pork
50ml water (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce


  • heat the pan to medium high heat, add vegetable oil
  • once the oil is hot, stir fry garlic and minced pork until the pork is half cooked
  • add cubed tofu to the pan, give it a stir, lower the heat and let it simmer (some tofu release more water than the other, after simmering for few minutes, if it’s too dry, you may add some water)
  • bring the heat up to high, add fish sauce
  • turn of the heat, garnish with chopped green onions and sliced chilis

laoganma* If you prefer a quick fix for traditional style mapo tofu (not how it’s traditionally made), follow this same recipe and the only extra step you need to do is just adding a spoonful of this hot chili goodness!

bon appétit

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