Mapo tofu

8-year-old just lost his 3rd tooth tonight.

8-year-old: Papa, please tell the Tooth Fairy to give me $13 for this tooth.

Papa: ?

8-year-old: Last time I got $2 for two teeth. An told me she got $5 each. The Tooth Fairy owes me.

Papa: ???

(Does anyone have $13 in cash that we can borrow urgently???)

Mapo tofu

(Adapted from Cameengo and Do Vinh)

450 g tofu (drained and cubed)
2 tbs canola oil
1 piece of ginger (minced) or substituted by 2 tsp ginger powder
1 shallot (minced)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
3 dried wood ears (soaked and chopped)
200 g ground pork
2 tsp fresh chili paste
3 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
200 ml chicken/beef broth or water
Salt to taste
2 tsp ground pepper
1 fresh Thai chili (optional)
1 tsp cornstarch (stirred in 1 tbs water)
4 scallions (thinly sliced)
A few sprigs of coriander for decoration (optional)

  1. In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add minced ginger (if using) + shallot + garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
  3. Add chopped wood ears and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add ground pork + chili paste + oyster sauce + soy sauce + sugar and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour in broth or water and bring to simmer.
  6. Add salt to taste (+ Thai chili and garlic powder if using).
  7. Gently add cubed tofu.
  8. Cook until broth is reduced to half.
  9. Pour in 1 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbs water to thicken the broth.
  10. Before serving, sprinkle sliced scallions and coriander sprigs.