Mapo tofu, an icon of Szechuan cuisine, is supposedly named after the cook who popularized it over a century ago. Translated roughly as “pock-marked old woman”, it may not be the most flattering description, but she clearly knew her stuff. As homely as its progenitor, the dish nonetheless has no shortage of charisma, boasting both fiery chili heat and the signature málà (numbing spice) of Szechuan cuisine in rich savory sauce of fermented bean and pork. Mild, delicate silken tofu elegantly balances against all these brawny flavors to leave you craving one more bite. Making our sauce sous vide helps us capture the ideal texture for the ground pork while infusing the oil to achieve mapo tofu’s signature bright red color. Cook it yourself to experience the pockmark lady’s charms.