Inspired by a restaurant in D.C called "Haikan" and a post on Instagram, I set out to recreate this ingenious dish with nothing but the description in the caption: " --Crispy French fries smothered w/ mapo tofu, ground chicken, mozzarella curds, and freshly ground Szechuan peppercorn"
Traditional Canadian Poutine consists of french fries drenched in gravy and covered in squeaky cheese curds. Enjoy this fusion between a classic Chinese spicy tofu dish and a Canadian staple street food!
Step 1: FRENCH FRIESSS- Oven Baked ;)
I know some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking, "fries should be FRIED"! Well, let me tell you, these are the most fried but not fried fries I've ever eaten!! (I know you had to reread that sentence ;)) You can of course substitute this entire step with your favorite fry recipe or store bought fries.
1. Cut 2 russet potatoes into thin fry slices, place the potatoes in a bowl full of cold water and allow them to sit for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the potatoes from the water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave the potatoes for about 3 or 4 minutes to partially cook them
3. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees along with a baking sheet or tray
4. Coat your partially cooked potato wedges in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil and roast the potatoes for about 20 minutes (or longer depending on your oven). Toss every now and then to ensure an even golden color
5. When the potatoes come out of the oven, sprinkle over salt and pepper to taste.
Step 2: Mapo Tofu "Gravy"
Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 is a traditional dish from the Szechuan province of China. It consists of tofu in a spicy, oily, and aromatic sauce and usually some minced meat (pork or beef).
All the ingredients listed can be found at an Asian grocer near you. The recipe below makes more than enough for 1 serving of poutine, the rest can be enjoyed over white rice.
Here's what you will need:
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1-2 blocks medium to firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 pound ground pork
- 3 garlic cloves minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons fermented chili bean paste
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup chili oil
Step 3: Mapo "Gravy" Part 2
1. Add peppercorns and oil to a pan and heat over medium high until sizzling.
2. Scoop out the peppercorns with a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer and toss them out. Continue to heat the oil in the pan until slightly smoking.
3. Add pork and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add ginger and garlic and let it cook until aromatic, about 10 seconds
4. Add the bean paste, cooking wine, soy sauce, and chicken stock and bring it to a boil
5. Combine the corn starch and water in a separate bowl and pour that into the pan. Cook for about half a minute, or until thickened
6. Carefully fold in the tofu cubes, being careful not to crush the tofu too much
7. Add in the chili oil and sugar, then simmer for 1 more minute.
Step 4: Toppings
To serve your poutine, put the fries in a bowl and drown them in the spicy tofu
Here are the toppings that Haikan puts on their fan-favorite poutine; whether you add them or not is totally up to you!
- Shredded chicken
Rotisserie, breast, etc
- Mozzarella curds
Or any shredded cheese
- Freshly ground Szechuan peppercorn (toasted for more flavor)
Toast 1 tbsp of the peppercorns (half) in a large wok or pan over high heat until smoking, then move to a mortar and pestle and pound them until finely ground. Sprinkle this over the poutine for a nutty, spicy, and numbing flavor.
- Sliced green scallions
Slice the green parts of your green scallions into thin slices
- Runny yolks, sunny side up!
This one is of my own imagination, and this is the diggity bomb.com. Bonus #yolkporn!