May 11, 2008

Mabo Tofu: Cheap and easy food

I'm always interested in adding new options to my menu of things that I can (poorly) cook. I often cook some kind of curry rice (it is one of my favorite dishes, it is easy to make, it stores well, and it is flexible because you can always add some side dishes to it) but it is nice to have some variety. One thing I always look for is a simple dish that I can cook up on the weekend and eat over the week.

One of the things that I ran into lately is Mabo Tofu. Mabo Tofu is a kind of spicy flavored Tofu. I saw a package at the Supermarket that said it is a mix for the stuff, all you have to do is basically add this stuff to Tofu and you are set. Sounds easy enough.

Basically, you make the stuff by cutting up your Tofu into small blocks - this is surprisingly fun, and if you get the hard Tofu it works fairly well - and then add some water to a pot. Put in the flavor packet, and heat it up. While you do this, there is a packet of corn starch that comes with the mix, which you should mix with water. The first time I made this I added ten times too much water, and ended up with a kind of Tofu soup. It was actually really good, and I think I'll make that sometime in the future as well. If you do it right, you bring down the heat and mix in the thickening agent, then heat it up again. The second time around I also coocked up some hamburger and threw that in - it was great.

Unfortunately, this stuff doesn't keep very well. After about three or four days it starts to smell bad. It still tastes good, but starts to smell like ... rotten bean paste. Well, more like you would imagine rotten bean paste would taste like.

It turns out that it mixes fairly well with Curry too. I don't mean that you should mix them together, just that having some curry one one side of rice, and Mabo Tofu on the other is pretty good.



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Re: Mabo Tofu: Cheap and easy food
I'll have to send you my recipe for Spicy Thai red curry Chicken Soup. It's easy and freezes nicely. Or make it in a crock pot and just let it simmer until you manage to consume it all. The longer it cooks, the better it is!

If I can find it. {;~)
Posted 13 years, 6 months ago by Douglas • @ • • Reply
Spicy Thai red curry Chicken Soup sounds great!
That soup sounds great. I like Stews and soups a lot because they are usually fairly idiot-proof. I really like curries, and have come to like the spicy flavor a lot. As a kid I couldn't eat anything spicy, but I'm a big boy now, and enjoy the occasional meal with a kick to it.

I'm also getting old enough though that there can be consequences afterwards - heartburn or acid reflux if I eat too much spicy stuff. So I have to throw in a salad and more bland stuff too.

If you have a good recipe post it in the comments! I also recommend checking out Ctrl-Alt-Chicken because Alex Albrecht is a funny guy, and I like the amateurs trying to cook approach. It essentially models my tactics. :)
Posted 13 years, 6 months ago by Fugu • • wwwReply
Re: Mabo Tofu: Cheap and easy food
[Deep Breath]
Heh heh. Here goes!

2 grilled large Chicken Breasts cold and shredded. (Alternately, use a full roasted chicken, deboned and shredded.)

1.75 oz (50g) of Red Curry Paste +/- to taste
15 Fl. oz (500ml) thick coconut milk
30 Fl. oz. (500ml) Chicken Broth or bullion+water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in cold chicken broth.

6 or 7 green onions (scallions), chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper Coarsely chopped
1 Yellow Bell Pepper Coarsely chopped
1 Orange Bell Pepper Coarsely chopped
1 Lime, juiced

2 or 3 leaves of Chopped fresh Basil (dried works okay.)
2 Tablespoon grated Ginger
3 cloves pressed Garlic

Day-old cold white or Basmati rice.

Pappadoms

In a crock pot or large soup pot, saute the onions and peppers briefly in a little peanut oil, or sesame oil for a nuttier flavor. Add the Red Curry Paste, Garlic, Ginger, and Basil before the peppers get soft and stir/heat until it melts and coats everything. Immediately pour in the (cold) coconut milk, chicken stock, and cornstarch dissolved in chicken stock. Stir. Add the shredded chicken meat and cover the pot. Simmer for 2-3 hours on low.

Serve in a bowl over a little cold leftover rice sprinkled with plenty of lime juice.

This is a great way to use up leftover rice, and really warms you up on a cold night. It freezes well and has a nice citrus zing to it. The lime juice is the key. You can substitute various peppers if you like it hotter or sweeter or whatever, but I don't like the bitter peppers very well. My crazy friends keep wanting me to make it with habaneros.

I love eating Papadums with this, and I even learned to make them. Nummers!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papadum
I also have some friends who make homemade sweet-lime-pickles (made with lye) that taste great with this.

I'm sure this'll send the old acid reflux into overdrive.
[/Deep Breath]


Posted 13 years, 6 months ago by Douglas • @ • • Reply

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