I started writing this entry with the words “When I think of home…” and started laughing. Because in my head I started singing “…I think of a place where there’s love overflowing…” If you don’t know the song I’m singing, well, your musical education isn’t as good as you think it is. Well, either that or you weren’t alive in the 80’s (that’s when I first saw it, on RPN9 on a Saturday evening), or you’ve never heard of The Wiz. It’s the Michael Jackson-Diana Ross adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.
And as usual, I digress!
I miss home and the little comforts that are so close (that or I can easily jump into the family car–our trusty Revo–and drive to where I want to go get things). I miss having nail bars everywhere, I miss Ditas of David’s Salon in SM Fairview who does my hair perfectly, I miss Starbucks and the occasional green tea latte frap, I miss tocino, Purefoods corned beef. I miss eating at the eat-all-you-can lunches (and dinners) of Saisaki (although, it may not be the same now), I miss the shawarma place in Fairlane (also in Fairview), I miss Mercury Drug (because buying things over the counter is sometimes quicker). I miss my Tita Rescy’s cafe called Indulgence on…(argh! I can’t remember!) Perea. I miss Ineng’s barbecue and I miss Teriyaki Boy! Apart from their sushi, I miss their mapo tofu don.
Mapo tofu was one of the first dishes that I learned to replicate when I moved to the UK. I loved it a lot (I think it loved me too, because I KNOW I gained weight because I ate a lot of mapo tofu don from Teriyaki Boy) and missed it so much that I looked for a recipe and searched for ingredients. I can now, and I say this with absolute confidence, whip up mapo tofu in minutes. I now have what I call the working girl’s version of this wonderful tofu-pork-black bean sauce dish. It’s quick, and really easy. I also like to think that it’s really healthy (because of the tofu! :)). And all the ingredients are things you can get at the supermarket!
- 1 block soft tofu (about 350g), drained and diced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 500g minced pork
- 1 Blue Dragon black bean stirfry sauce packet
- 2-3 spring onions, sliced into thin diagonals and separate the white sections from the green leafier bits
- 1 packet coriander chopped finely
- 1-2 teaspoons chili oil (depending on how hot you want it, you can include the chili paste at the bottom of the jar)
- 1 pork stock cube (I use Knorr)
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in the pan and brown minced pork. Add blackbean stirfry sauce and pork stock cube. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add chili oil (and paste, if you want it hot, hot, hot!) and allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped white sections fo the spring onions, the soy sauce and two-thirds of the coriander. Add salt to taste (I like to make it salty, according to my taste as the tofu hasn’t been added to the pork mince at this stage).
- Add the diced tofu and mix gently, making sure the tofu isn’t mashed but is distributed well. Allow to simmer for 5 mins.
- Serve over a bowl of steamed rice.