Ma Po Tofu Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 7)
Reviewed: May 28, 2004
My husband thought this was pretty good but I thought it was good, but it seems so much like hamburger helper (ground meat, peas, and tofu is all it is). Serving it with rice was important. I cut way back on the cayenne and chili paste, and used black bean sauce with garlic instead of the fermented beans. Putting in the frozen peas at the end means they give a nice 'pop' when you eat the dish, and they add color. But it was when I added the peas that it suddenly looked like an american casserole. IF I make it again I might add more bean sauce and other vegetables (mushrooms, green onions, onions).
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Reviewed: Dec. 12, 2003
I like tofu and it was good to find a tasty and relatively easy dish to make. I took the suggestion of one reviewer to use the black bean sauce w/garlic instead of the fermented black beans. That worked well. I also used ground beef instead of ground pork. The first try, I put the chili sauce and no cayenne pepper. The second try, I didn't put any chili sauce nor cayenne pepper because I wanted the kids to give it a try. It is better with the chili sauce but it was still tasty without it.
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Reviewed: Sep. 16, 2003
What a wonderful recipe! If you think you don't like tofu, you should try this recipe. It will quickly change your mind. I know this will be one of our family favorites! I too added a bit more broth and used ground sirloin instead of pork. The sauce is so delicious! Thanks for sharing a tasty, healthy, low-fat recipe!
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Reviewed: Jul. 5, 2003
This dish is simple to make and is full of flavor. Almost no fat and very little meat are what authentic, everyday Chinese cooking is all about.
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Reviewed: Jun. 12, 2003
My husband and I have traveled throughout Asia, and Ma Po Tofu is one of our favorites - we have ordered it wherever available. THIS recipe is by far the best Ma Po Tofu we have ever eaten! I am amazed and absolutely thrilled to have found it. Thank you Linda! I have used a couple of tiny variations due to supplies on hand: added two thinly sliced green onions, used "hot" chili garlic sauce and 1/2 tsp pepper while leaving out the cayenne, used black bean garlic sauce without rinsing (because it is a sauce), and substituted extra-lean ground turkey for the pork. My husband said it tasted exactly like pork, which he loves. Oh, and I added a little more chicken broth as it cooked down a bit. Delicious!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Los Angeles, California, USA
Living In: Mesa, Arizona, USA

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Reviewed: Apr. 11, 2003
This was great! I used beef instead of pork, like my local noodle-house does. I also added a finely chopped half-onion, and added a bit of white pepper, and a dab of sesame oil. I probably used a whole thumbs-length of fresh ginger, finely chopped. I served it over rice, with broccoli on the side. I'd never sliced soft tofu before - it's so easy! two cuts horizontally, then slice as on a grid. Very nice texture - creamy and soft. I tried not to stir the mixture too much as it heated, so some of the tofu would retain its shape.
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Cooking Level: Expert

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Reviewed: Nov. 26, 2002
This recipe is excellent, and I make it often :-) For those who claim not to like tofu, I think this dish gives tofu to stand on its own, not just be a substitute for meat. If you're a vegtarian, I'd advise using slightly more tofu, adding more Asian vegetables, and scaling up the amount of sauce by 50%. You also might want to add 1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp of sesame oil, to replace the flavor the pork gives it. Here are some other comments: 1. As written, this recipe is quite spicy. For the fainter of heart, I would recommend starting with 1/2 tsp of cayenne. Less if you're really spice-phobic. 2. To make the texture more interesting, I put the tofu cubes on parchment on a baking sheet and put them under the broiler (second rack down) for about 10-15 minutes, so the outside gets crispy. You could also fry it for a similar effect, but the broiling approach is lower fat. 3. I always put in a teaspoon of sesame oil into the black bean mixture. It only adds 5g of fat total to the dish and rounds out the flavor a bit more. 4. I don't think the 1 Tbsp of corn starch is enough to thicken the gravy sufficiently. I usually end up using 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp. 5. For more different textures, adding some bamboo shoots or water chestnuts is a tasty alteration. If you add a lot more stuff, though, make sure you scale up the black bean sauce to coat everything sufficiently.
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Reviewed: Jan. 11, 2002
I was looking for this receipe "FOR TOFU" that my husband could cook without gagging!!! & I find that this receipe is the one!!!!
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