Powdered sansho, chopped green onions, sesame seeds
Red chili pepper
Pour hot water over the atsuage to remove excess oil, and cut into cubes. Pour a little oil into a thick pan or frying pan and fry the ground meat.
Add the ginger, garlic and doubanjiang. If you like it spicy, add red chili pepper. Stir-fry the ingredients, add the sake and water, and bring to a boil.
Skim off any scum, and add the ● ingredients and atsuage. Bring to a boil again, and slightly thicken the sauce with katakuriko.
Add a pinch of dashi stock granules to finish. This will add more flavor. Serve it on a plate, scatter with chopped green onions and sesame seeds, sprinkle with powdered sansho, and enjoy.
Story Behind this Recipe
I won some Hondashi dashi stock granules to try out. Hondashi has a rich umami flavor, so I could make this delicious Japanese-style mapo tofu without using various Chinese seasonings.
Using atsuage makes this mapo tofu richer. You don't need to parboil the atsuage, so you can make this dish very quickly. The atusage won't give off excess water, and it won't break up easily even if you stir it hard, so it's easy to make mapo tofu with it. I wanted to highlight the aroma of Hondashi, so I didn't add sesame oil. But if you like it, add it to taste...