Ma Po's Minced Beef
Tofu (beancurd) is a highly nutritious food, often used in Oriental cooking as a form of inexpensive protein. In this delicious recipe it helps to make a little meat go a long way.
2 teaspoons cornflour
150 ml (1/4 pint) water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons chilli sauce
1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons groundnut or vegetable oil
125 g (4 oz) lean minced beef
2 teaspoons black bean sauce
6 medium flat mushrooms, peeled and quartered
4 spring onions, sliced thinly into rounds
3 garlic cloves, crushed
297 g (10 1/2 oz) packet tofu (beancurd), drained, dried and diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
boiled rice or fried noodles, to serve
Blend the cornflour in a jug with 3 tablespoons of the water, then add the remaining water, the soy, hoisin and chilli sauces and the sugar. Stir well to combine.
Heat a wok until hot. Add the oil and heat over a moderate heat until hot. Add the minced beef and black bean sauce, the mushrooms and half of the spring onions. Increase the heat to high and then stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic, cornflour mixture and tofu and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until thickened and glossy. Stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, then sprinkle over the remaining spring onions and the sesame oil. Serve immediately with boiled rice or fried noodles.