Mapo Tofu

We have been seeing a ton of recipes online lately for Mapo Tofu. We have our go-to favorite place in Denver for getting very good, traditional Sichuan cuisine (Shanghai Kitchen) but had not tried Mapo Tofu until recently. We ordered it, immediately fell in love, and knew we wanted to recreate it at home. This dish is rich, spicy and will warm you up any night for dinner. We prefer to serve this with rice and a green veggie on the side for an easy weeknight dinner.

Mapo Tofu
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1-2 tsp Chinese red pepper depending on your spice preference
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbs red bean paste
  • 2 tbs black vinegar
  • 1 lb soft tofu, cubed

Instructions:

  1. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and ground pork. You do not need to add oil as the fat from the pork will melt and add liquid to the pan. Sauté for 6-8 minutes until the pork is cooked completely through.
  2. Add the Chinese red pepper, peppercorns, red bean paste and black vinegar. Mix thoroughly to combine the ingredients. Add the tofu, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Be sure the tofu is heated throughout.
  3. Serve over rice, hot, and enjoy!

Cure Your Cold Congee

We don’t know about you, but our family has been hit HARD this year with winter illnesses. Tate’s younger brother started daycare and we are battling everything from a cold to hand foot and mouth disease (gross!). To help combat some of these germs, we we have created one of our favorite dishes, congee, with an emphasis on ingredients that benefit the immune system. For those not familiar, congee is a Chinese rice dish that is prepared by essentially overcooking rice until it becomes a porridge. Little pork dumplings are cooked in the rice giving the congee texture, fat and flavor. This dish is warming, filling and super tasty. We have incorporated ginger, garlic, lemongrass and turmeric to help boost our immune systems. We need all the help we can get people!


Cure Your Cold Congee
Makes: 4 bowls
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients For the Congee:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches ginger, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • cilantro & green onions (optional garnish)

Ingredients For the Pork:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lemongrass turmeric paste (found here)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the pork ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the garlic and ginger. Sautee for 5 minutes until the garlic and ginger start to soften.
  3. Add the uncooked rice to the pot and stir for 1 minute to toast the rice a little. Add the broth and soy sauce and simmer on medium heat. Keep stirring the rice every 10 minutes or so as the consistency of the congee starts to thicken.
  4. After about 40 minutes of cooking, you will add the pork to the congee in small increments. You can choose to make meatballs if you prefer, but the way we like to do it is by using a teaspoon to scoop up the pork and put it in the pot. Repeat until all of the pork “meatballs” are in the congee. Cook for another 15 minutes until the pork is cooked through. **
  5. Serve hot and top with cilantro and green onions as desired. For those who want spicier, get crazy with the siracha or sambal oelek. It’s your congee – do what you gotta do!

**If at any point the congee becomes too thick, add 1/2 cup of hot water and continue as directed