Monday, May 18, 2009

What is your favorite food?

Mom to kids:  "What is your favorite food that we eat at home?"

Their answers:
"Chicken, broccoli, and rice!"
"Noodle soup!" (Got to love ramen; I can make a three course meal with ramen!)
"Cheese noodles with those soy beans!" (yes, for real)
"Rice soup!" 
"Mapo dofu!"
"Hot Dogs!"

Almost 100% Asian foods (although, I do make hot dog fried rice...)


So, in honor of Asian Pacific Islander month, here is the recipe for one of their favorite foods.  Just so you know, my kids never liked tofu until I made this.   

(A real Asian cook does not use a recipe.  They wing it.  So, I'll give you approximations, but know that I have never measured this stuff out, and feel free to change it if necessary.)

Mapo dofu

1 pound ground pork (you can use pork sausage; it gives it a spicier flavor, but still good)
1/4 cup soy sauce (or maybe more?)
1/2 to 1 cup water (probably more)
1 cube to 4 cubes firm tofu, (all depends on how much you like your tofu) chopped into small cubes.
1 clove garlic, minced (or more)
1 pinch sugar (or more)
1 tsp hot chili paste (add more or less)
handful of chopped green onion. (or less)
cornstarch to thicken.
salt to taste

(psst!  Hot chili paste looks like this.  If you don't have it, just make some :)  The Asians do it all of the time!)
Brown ground pork thoroughly.  Drain.  Add tofu, soy sauce, water, garlic, sugar, and chili sauce.  The liquid should surrounding all of the tofu and meat, but not covering it like a soup (add more water or soy sauce if necessary).   Let is simmer until tofu cubes begin to break down, stirring occasionally (about 5-8 minutes--I don't know).  Add the green onions toward the end.  Once the "cubes" of tofu begin to look more like "chunks" of tofu, remove some of the sauce and combine with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch.  Add this solution to the Mapo dofu and stir.  Salt to taste.  Serve with rice and stir fried vegetables (or Confucius's traditional egg rolls).

(My husband only cracks two windows with this one!)


Brooke said...

I've always been wary of tofu ... maybe this will cure me!

Here's that playlist I promised -- even if these don't meet your musical taste, PLEASE, PLEASE step away from the Jonas Brothers! :

Cake -- The Distance
Cake -- Short Skirt, Long Jacket
Ben Folds -- Gracie
Lily Allen -- The Fear
Rob Thomas -- Her Diamonds
Matchbox 20 -- The Difference(probably the best one on the list)
Mindy Gledhill -- Flying and Falling
Mindy Gledhill -- You Don't Define Me
(I also DEFINITELY recommend Mindy's "Sum of All Grace" album if you're looking for something spiritual that isn't overly churchy. It's a great CD.)
Jem -- Just a Ride
Switchfoot -- Twentyfour
Fountains of Wayne -- All Kinds of Time
Fountains of Wayne -- Hey Julie
Fountains of Wayne -- Little Red Light
The Killers -- Human
Death Cab for Cutie -- Everything they produce is brilliant but "I'll Follow You Into the Dark" and "Soul Meets Body" are probably the most popular. My favorites are "Cath" and the extended version of "I Will Possess Your Heart"
Snow Patrol -- Chasing Cars
Sugarland -- It Happens
Sugarland -- Already Gone
Blake Shelton -- She Wouldn't Be Gone
Wicked Soundtrack
The Secret Garden Soundtrack

Token Asian Friend said...

I've had friends ask me for this recipe, so that is part of the reason I posted it. If you make it, let me know how it goes.

Nice playlist, Brooke. I got a song from almost every group you mentioned. I got a song from a group that that raven chick mentioned, too. I also bought cartoons, Karin--very funny, especially Elmer Fudd and Smurfs!

that raven chick said...

hey token, I have compiled a playlist for ya, for more information, refer to my newest entry!

Brooklyn said...

We are Ramen Noodle fans too. I so wish they were healthy.

I like tofu... but I think I need to see a photo of this meal first. ;) For some reason I have a hard time trying a new recipe unless I see a photo of what I'm making first. I don't completely understand why. It probably has something to do with how bad of a cook I am...