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Home made

Mapo Tofu, or Pock-marked Mother Chen’s beancurd

In Sichuan Cookery, Mrs Fuschia Dunlop writes the following about this wonderful dish.

Ma po dou fu is named after the smallpox-scarred wife of a Qing Dynasty restaurateur. She is said to have prepared this spicy, aromatic, oily dish for labourers who laid down their loads of cooking oil to eat lunch on their way to the city’s market. It’s one of the most famous Sichuan dishes, and epitomizes Sichuan’s culinary culture, with its fiery peasant cooking and bustling private restaurants”

I love mapo tofu, it is by far one of my most favourite meals. There are a few key ingredients to this dish.

The tofu, it shold not be too soft or too hard. Actually, the one I used, was a bit too hard but it worked out fine. Where I currenyly live, God do not bless this place, there is only one variety to be found so I had not option. Anyway, the first step is to cut the tofu into chunks and boil it for a few minutes in salted water.

Normal white refined sugar, beef cut into thin and short slices, spring onions and Sichuanese chili bean paste. There are a variety of these around, however, try to find one that says Pixian Dou Ban and is from Sichuan. It took me about 1 year to do so in Stockholm, good luck hunting!

On the plate you have ground Sichuanese chillies (no other variety really works), black fermented beans and roasted Sichuan pepper. The chili paste is also pictured here.

Start of with heating about half a cup of oil until it turns extremely hot. Then add the beef and let it fry for a couple of minutes until it crispy and a little brown.

Turn the heat to medium and add the chili bean paste, fry for about 30 seconds and the oil turns red.

Add the black fermented beans and ground chillies.

Pour in some stock and add the tofu. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the spring onions, Sichuan pepper, sugar, some light soy sauce, salt to taste.

Finally, add a mix of potato flour and water to the dish and push around gently so that the tofu gets covered.

Mapo tofu is easy to make, however, you need all the authentic ingredients or you will not be able to produce a good version of it at home. I love mapo tofu! Enjoy bitches!


Tiger Prawns in Hot Oyster Sauce

OMG! This was seriously tasty! One of my all time favourite sauces is the Thai Oyster Sauce, such wonderful flavour. Please try this recipe at home, you need the following ingredients: tiger prawns, Thai basil, garlic and Thai chillies.

You also need some Rice Flakes, this is a great alternative to rice and can be used in stir-fries where you want some texture. Before adding the product into your wok or sauce, boil them in water for a couple of minutes and they will curl up to an almost Italian penne type of form.

  

Add garlic to a hot pan, fry gently for a minute or so. Add the prawns and fry until they turn pink. Add a mixture of Thai oyster sauce, Thai soy sauce (Golden Mountain/Boy brand), sugar, water and corn starch. Finally, add Thai basil and the chillies. Mix and let simmer away for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and fold over the sauce. Serve and enjoy!!!

  

 


Hanoi Deep-fried Spring Rolls (Nem Ran Ha noi)

Check out this Hot Mamas! Vietnamese deep-fried spring rolls and kimchi! Actually, these rolls did not turn out the crispy golden colour and texture that I wanted. I think the problem was that the rice paper I used was too thick, I deep-fried them about 15 minutes on high heat and the colour just would not appear. However, the result was really nice and you can easily make these at home.

A few words and pictures about the kimchi. I found a new sauce mix at JFK Shop in Stockholm, this was far more superior to the other brand I have tried earlier. The one I recommend is the one to the left. The other sauce mix is commonly available but in my opinion far too salty.

 

Kimchi is very easy to make. You need cabbage and a sauce mix. Usually I add some other stuff, e.g. pears (pictured below) or ginger and white radish (picture above). Just add everything to a jar, add the sauce and stir. Leave the jar in the fridge for a week or so. Ready to eat!

  

For the spring rolls I used the following ingredients. Clockwise from top: carrots, crab meat, pork, garlic, black wood ear mushrooms, spring onions. I seasoned the mix with fish sauce, white pepper and salt.

Lay out some filling + vermicelli noodles on a moist rice paper. Roll and make sure the edges are sealed shut. Deep-fry in hot oil until the rolls turn golden brown (which did not happen in my case). Serve with a nice dip sauce, there are so many varieties to choose from. I tend to go for the sweet, sour, salty and spicy Thai ones. Enjoy bitches!

  


Jeon (Korean Pancake)

At any given Korean restaurant you will find Jeon on the menu. These thin and crispy Korean “pancakes” are just great! You can have them with a variety of fillings; vegetables, pork, shrimp and why not fox? LOL, no stay away from the fox Jeon.

 You will find a variety of pancake mixes in your local Asian supermarket. Pick your favourite and start mixing the stuff according to the instructions on the package.

I added turmeric powder, sesame seeds, onions and green onions to my mix.

In a pan, fry some onions and garlic with the protein of your choice. I had tiger prawns and pork in the fridge so I went for these.

  

Add some of the batter and let it fry for a couple of minutes, add some bean sprouts and herbs. Fold over and the pancake is ready! Great!

  


La Zi Ji (Sichuan Chili Chicken)

La Zi Ji, or Sichuan Chili Chicken, was really interesting to make. Mostly due to the fact that I was a bit nervous about how it would taste considering it contains outrageous amounts of Chili. It turned out great, not that hot at all. In fact, I will add double the chili next time around!

Start by cutting chicken into bite sized chunks, I used legs and wings. Keep the bones on, there is no need to discard them. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes in Shaoxing wine, Chinese light soy sauce, Chinese dark soy sauce and some salt.

 

Prepare the aromatics. You need about 50 Sichuan pepper corns and the equal amount of Sichuanese chillies. Cut some spring onions into 1 inch pieces, slice ginger and garlic into thin pieces.

Deep-fry the marinated chicken in hot oil for about 5 minutes, remove the chicken from the oil and drain.

Fry the garlic and ginger in a hot pan for a minute or so, until they start releasing their flavours. Add the Sichuan pepper corns and chillies to the pan, make sure that you have removed all the seeds from the chillies. Fry for a minute or so, do not burn the chillies! Add the chicken, spring onions and a pinch of sugar. Stir and serve! Enjoy bitches!


Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I made this great summer rolls for a small dinner party, LOL dinner party sounds so fancy. Basically, we had some people over and they were hungry.

The ingredients included: rice paper, green beans, cucumber, rice vermicelli, tiger prawns, crispy lettuce and herbs (Thai basil, cilantro and mint). You should also include some roasted pork, this would add some nice texture to the rolls.

Start by soaking the rice papers in some warm water for about 10-15 seconds until they turn soft. Place the wrapper on a plate and add the ingredients. I was in a bit of a hurry so I did not have to arrange the filling so neatly, you should do it in a particular order for the final product to look appetizing. Basically my summer rolls looked like a white sausage.

Fold in the sides and roll the paper so that you get a tight roll. I prefer to eat these cold, so make sure all the ingredients are properly chilled before serving.

A very nice dip sauce that is easy to make would include the following ingredients pictured below. Fish sauce, bird’s eye chili, garlic, lime, spring onions, palm sugar and water.

Bring the water and lime juice to boil. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add chopped garlic, chili and onions. Add fish sauce. Let it all cool down before serving, great!


Beef with Cumin (Zi Ran Niu Rou)

Once again I must recommend all of you to buy one of Mrs Fuchsia Dunlop’s books, this particular recipe is from her book Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook – Recipes from Hunan Province. I think her books are great, the recipes turn out great and I love her passion for Chinese food.

This is a beef dish, use some sort of trimmed beef steak such as sirloin steak. Cut the beef across into thin slices.

 

Make a marinade using Chinese cooking wine, salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, corn starch and water. Add the marinade ingredients to the meat and mix well.

Heat a generous amount of cooking oil in a pan until it turns very hot, add the beef and stir gently until the pieces separate. Remove from the oil and drain well; set aside.

For the next step you need the following ingredients:

Ginger, garlic, dried chili flakes and ground cumin.

Spring onions and chili.

Heat some oil in a pan, add the garlic, ginger, chiles and cumin to the oil and let fry until very fragrant.

Return the beef to the pan and stir well.

Finally, add the spring onions and you are ready to serve! This was really a great dish, wonderful flavours!


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