Mapo Doufu Sauce

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For those who love to eat and cook Sichuan food, but may want to take a shortcut sometimes (don't we all?), these readymade sauces offer authentic Sichuan taste. Initially produced in Chengdu for restaurants throughout China, they are now packaged for home cooks in the U.S. Additional ingredients are required for this mapo doufu dish—tofu, ground beef (optional), scallions, Sichuan pepper powder, cornstarch—but the sauce is ready to go! Use the recipe on the back of the package, or for our tested version and preparation, use The Mala Project recipe for mapo doufu and substitute 3 tablespoons of this sauce (or 4 tablespoons for a quite spicy version) and 1 cup water for the sauce ingredients.

Producer: Sheng Chu Bao, Chengdu, Sichuan Province
Size: 200 grams (7 ounces); makes 3 to 4 multi-serving dishes
Ingredients: soybean oil, Pixian chili bean paste, chili powder, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, lobster sauce, salt, sugar, yeast extract, glutamate disodium, disodium 5'-ribonucleotides, paprika oleoresin, potassium sorbate