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Friday, 09 May 2008

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janfrederick

Nice. I think I'll give this a try.

"Because of this, I increased the amount of garlic and dark soy sauce."...yah...sure...a while back you were writing something about diminishing returns on garlic or something like that. Anyway, I'd probably end up doubling the garlic on top of this. 3T? Hah! I'll rub that in my eyes to remove the sleep. ;)

I don't know...it's either diminishing returns on my pallete, or garlic is just getting dumbed down evolutionarily.

liver

Looks so good! Whoever says tofu is tasteless should try out dishes like this. BTW, did you use (or will try using before the fire season starts) the Big Kahuna to make this?

Kathy

Whoa Kirk, looks ono!! I always enjoy reading the historical tidbits you provide - adds so much more to the recipe!! ^_^

kat

this looks like you'll need several bowls of rice to go with it :)

foodhoe

Those pictures give me a terrible desperate urge for spicy tofu! And I'm listening to whose voice on your podcast? Is it an electronically generated one, or do you use special effects? Very cool!

Kirk

Hi Jan - LOL! Just don't rub those chilies into your eyes...you'd wish you never woke up.

Hi Liver - This is good stuff...easy to make too. Good bean curd is essential. No kahuna for this one; but we've been using it about 4 times a week since we returned from vacation. It turns stir fried greens with just salt-garlic-dried shrimp into something really good!

Hi Kathy - This dish had a nice story.......when I first saw the name of the dish, I went who the heck is Peng??? ;o)

Hi Kat - At least several bowls! ;o)

Hi FH - No, it's not my voice...though I've been told I'm pretty monotone. It's an electronically generated one from a free service called Odiogo:

http://www.odiogo.com/

I kind of like just to laugh at how it mispronounces all the Asian words....

Chris

Those fermented black beans have an effect on my G.I. tract not unlike the one you described from the residue laden drinking glass in Bac Ha. Maybe this is why I prefer ma po tofu, which as the story goes was invented by a pock faced (ma)old wife (po)who put this together from common ingredients in her kitchen. It was so good, the rest is history!

nhbilly

I have two unopen container for soft tofu. I think I might have to top your recipe and make ma pao tofu with shitake mushroom and garlic as meat substitute since my wife love to be vegetarian every other day :-(

kevink

Hey Kirk, ever consider a shot at real "Chongqing" mapo doufu? You know the stuff with chili oil on top and peppercorn everywhere.


just a thought....

Kirk

Hi Chris - There are several stories about the"Pockmarked-face Lady's Tofu", one harkens back to the Qing Dynasty, and one to World War II - makes for an entertaining story. I'm hoping you've tried the Ma Po Dofu from Ba Ren - when I take people who have never had(real/good) Sichuan food before to Ba Ren, this is one of the dishes I order. I'm not sure if you know this or not, but I've read that the usualy "meat" used for this dish in Chengdu is not pork, but beef.

Hi Billy - Well, you'd better have a generous amount of oil, and use sichuan peppercorns! ;o)

Hi KevinK - You know, I may just make some ma po dofu....thanks for the suggestion.

Carol

Peng? He owes me $2! JK. The dish looks wonderful! Something Mom wouldn make. ;-)

Kirk

Hey Carol - You better find him right away - he's like almost 90 now!

Jeff C

Kirk,
I tried making this dish too. Except I put in too much peppers and I didn't rinse the black beans. Overall, a little too beany but I think you are right. It does need the sugar to balance it out. Another thing I would consider doing is salting the tofu to try to extract some more of the moisture then doing a quick rinse. This may give it more flavor and leach out more of the tofu beaniness. Another way to introduce a little sweetness to the dish would be to use sweet bean paste. Not the red sweet paste but the stuff that you use for jia jiang mien.
Cheers,
Jeff

Kirk

Hi Jeffrey - Thanks for the salting the dofu hint....I often do that with vegetables. Dofu, I like to press to drain, but I may salt it just to see. When the dish is done right, it has a nice balance of flavors.

Chris

Hi Kirk I made your recipe for the most part. Didn't have any fresh red peppers hence the Korean dried strips. I always learn something new- the tip of rinsing the beans made a big difference. Delicious (sorry for the crappy photo)http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn33/chris3201/DSC01758.jpg

Kirk

Hi Chris - I'm glad it worked out..... man just the scent of black beans thrown into a wok is enough to send my tastebuds into a frenzy.

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