Gg’s Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu ranks high on my list of comfort foods. I’ve loved since the day I had it. I don’t remember when that happened but I just remember loving it. It came as a very pleasant surprise that my DCM was a fan of it too! What luck! We order it when we eat out and I love cooking it at home. While there’s the packaged sauce which makes an already very easy-to-cook dish even easier, it just doesn’t cut it (I tried it in my younger days and was not impressed). Szechuan pepper powder is key. I’d always made it without until I found a bottle of the stuff in the supermarket, tried it and I’ve never gone back since.

If you are pairing Mapo Tofu with fried rice, cook the Mapo Tofu first and let it braise gently while you cook the fried rice.

Gg’s Mapo Tofu Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 300 grams minced pork
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • few sprigs spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 block of Fortune brand Chinese Tofu (cut into 8 pieces)

  Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee garlic black bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee chilli bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Szechuan pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ cup water

Directions

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium fire.
  2. Combine seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Once oil is smoking, add minced pork and stir vigorously to break up pork.
  4. Once pork loses its pink colour, add garlic and toss.
  5. Add seasoning and stir well.
  6. Turn fire down to small.
  7. Add tofu and mix.
  8. Braise uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes and sauce thickens.
  9. Add spring onions and serve.
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Gg’s Spicy Roast Chicken

I combined two spice rubs and voilà! Another  great marinade for chicken!

Gg’s Spicy Roast Chicken Recipe:
(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken breasts on the bone

   Marinade

Directions

   Marinating

  1. Throw all ingredients into a zip lock bag or airtight container big enough for chicken and mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade. Coat chicken well marinade. Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight or up to a week. Turn chicken occasionally.

   Cooking

  1. Take chicken out of the fridge, transfer to a roasting tray. Arrange the chicken so it is laid flat with the meat and skin side facing up. Place on the lowest rack in the oven.
  2. Set the oven to the conventional cooking setting () at 200 degrees Celsius. This allows the chicken to warm up and the skin to dry while the oven is heating up at the same time. Dry skin = crispy skin.
  3. Once the oven is properly heated, start timer to roast chicken for 30-45 minutes. Your nose is your best indicator of whether food is cooked. Once you can smell delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen, your food is more or less cooked.
  4. When chicken has turned slightly golden brown, switch the oven to the fan assisted grilling setting () and turn the heat up to 250 degree Celsius. This renders the fat and crisps the skin. About 8 to 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off oven and remove chicken from the oven. Allow chicken to rest 10 to 15 minutes.