Brief Dish Blurb: Not for the faint-hearted. Hot, spicy, scorching…those are just a few words to describe the heat that comes from Mission Chinese Food’s Mapo Tofu. Served with a side of steamed white rice, this bowl of ground Kurobuta (Japanese translation “black pig”), cubes of silky tofu, and blazing red peppers will have you shouting “Fire”!
The Dish: Mapo Tofu has always been an all-time favorite Chinese dish growing up. Originating from the Szechuan province, this spicy and saucy dish will set your mouth on fire. And just like gravy, you can’t eat Mapo Tofu by itself. Well, you can but, it’s not quite the same. The marinated ground pork shoulder combined with the smooth texture of bean curd and fermented black beans complements perfectly over the accompanying bowl of plain white rice. With hints of ginger, cardamom, garlic, and star anise, this dish will make you a fan of dining in the Mission all over again.
Key Ingredients: Tofu, Ground Kurobuta pork shoulder, Szechuan peppercorn, chili oil, steamed rice (on the side)
The Place: Don’t waste time looking for the Mission Chinese Food signage. You won’t find it. And don’t bust out the fancy attire either. You won’t need it. The magic of Mission Chinese is that it all takes place under the roof of the unassuming Lung Shan Restaurant – an extremely casual, Mission street dive with a miniscule kitchen, and a giant hovering dragon. On a recent visit, there was old-school rap playing in the background of this uniquely special hole in the wall. Wednesdays are their day off, but they are open all other days for lunch and dinner. No parties over eight allowed and no reservations.
Other menu musts: Salt Cod Fried Rice, Cold Dan Dan noodles, Szechuan Pickles
Extra facts:Mission Chinese Food donates $0.75 of each entrée to the SF Food Bank. They’ve raised over $60,000 so far. Although I’d recommend dining in the restaurant over take-out, they do deliver anywhere (most anywhere) in the city of San Francisco.
2234 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Originally featured on HeardAbout.com