Mapo tofu is wife Jan’s favorite dish, so this is a common meal in our house. The tradition way of making it is with just tofu and sauce with just a bit of pork, green onion, and of course Sichuan pepper. I usually make a stir fried bok choy dish as a vegetable side, but over time I have gotten lazy and combined the dishes into one—adding the bok choy directly into the mapo tofu. Today, Jan asked me to buy some mandarin oranges and I thought, “Why not add them to the dish?”
Tag Archives: Sichuan cuisine
This is another of those dishes that we were served in at the Panda House restaurant. I have tried to replicate this dish before, but I think this one comes closer than my last attempt. In America, we had always eaten our cucumbers either raw or pickled. It simply would not have occurred to me to fry something like a cucumber. However, because of the dangers of using night soil as fertilizer, the Chinese cook almost all of their vegetables—the rest are pickled.
Dàn dàn miàn (担担面; “peddler’s noodles”) are boiled noodles with a spicy sesame/peanut sauce poured over them. The story goes that lunch peddler’s would carry a dàn dàn—a shoulder pole with a bucket on either end—with the cooked noodles in one bucket and the spicy sauce in the other. When you bought your lunch you were expected to provide your own bowl and the seller would put in some noodles and splash some of the sauce over them.
I decided to make barbecued chicken with a Sichuan glaze this Sunday. This is something a Chinese cook from “the Mainland” would never do. This, however, is a California Fusion recipe, taking something from one cuisine and mashing it together with the techniques of another. I am also serving dàn dàn miàn and pickled cabbage.