mapo tofu over udon noodles with ground pork and baby kale

Sometimes we find a powerhouse ingredient that takes weeknight recipes to a whole other level.

By: Anna Decker / 03/24/2016

Just a quarter cup of black bean garlic sauce transforms tofu and a small amount of pork into an addictive stew. We decided to serve it with chewy udon noodles but the next time you make this dish try it over some simple steamed rice. We added a few handfuls of baby kale at the end making this one a truly complete meal. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you'll need: 7.2 oz fresh udon noodles 2 oz scallions 2 cloves garlic 1 oz fresh ginger 12.3 oz soft tofu 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns 1 tsp crushed red pepper 4 oz ground pork ¼ cup black bean garlic sauce 3 oz baby kale neutral flavored oil, such as vegetable or safflower

Equipment: medium saucepan zester large skillet meat mallet

Recipe steps: 1. Cook noodles Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add udon noodles and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Drain, return to saucepan and toss with 1 teaspoon oil.

  1. Prep ingredients Meanwhile, trim scallions, reserve 1 scallion, and cut the rest into 1-inch lengths. Peel and finely chop garlic. Peel ginger and finely chop or grate on a microplane. Drain tofu and cut into ¾-inch pieces.

  2. Toast spices Combine sichuan peppercorns and crushed red pepper in a dry large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer spices to a plastic bag and crush with a meat mallet or heavy skillet.

  3. Cook pork Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the same large skillet over medium-high. Add cut scallions and cook, stirring, until tender and golden, about 2 minutes. Add pork and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 1½ minutes more. Add spice mixture to pork and cook until skillet looks dry, about 1 minute.

  4. Cook tofu Add 1 tablespoon oil and add garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add 1 cup water and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add black bean sauce and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and add tofu. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

  5. Finish Add kale to skillet and cook, stirring gently, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Place noodles in bowls and spoon mapo tofu over top. Thinly slice remaining scallion and sprinkle over top. Enjoy!

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