Mapo Tofu is a hot and spicy Szechuan dish that is also very popular in Japan. It’s made with ground pork and tofu in a hot chili sauce. My version is flavorful and not as spicy as some restaurants make it, but it is equally delicious. Red Chili paste is a must with this dish. I use a teaspoonful in this recipe, but you can add more to heat it up. In Japan, sansho, which is a type of peppercorn that comes from Kyoto, is often used in place of black Szechuan peppercorns or add additional heat and flavor to the dish. I use sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, onion and fermented black beans to help give this dish a very aromatic and authentic flavor. I also will substitute white pepper for sansho if there is none readily available.