I have sometimes used this place for cataloguing recipes, mostly for the purpose of sharing them with friends. I am going to be doing a bit more of that, but also just sharing things I eat and interesting food stuff generally. It’s Thanksgiving month here in Canada, which is a pretty excellent holiday for food. There will be a bit of that, a bit of everyday life in Montreal, and then some vegan-in-Amsterdam adventures later in the month.
I just moved to a new apartment with a new roommate in the Plateau area of Montreal. It’s a gorgeous, century-old home, and accidental-landlord/ astrophysicist who lives downstairs used to run it as a B&B. Like, a real one. So, the kitchen is quite serviceable for an older building.
I am still figuring out where the best fruiteries and boulangeries are, but I found a solid grocer nearby who has an excellent selection of vegan staples. We went for our first shop on Sunday and picked up ingredients for Mapo Tofu. This was our first proper meal and we cooked while unpacking the kitchen. By the time we sat down to eat we were wiped. Moving is hard, folks.
This recipe was introduced to me via a scrawled note in an ancient folder that I discovered at work. I have no idea if it is anything like other Mapo Tofu but it’s delicious either way. At its most basic level, Mapo Tofu is firm tofu and ground round/ veggie crumbles in a savoury sauce with the fermented tang of douchi and garlic chili paste. If you don’t have douchi, try the darkest miso you can find. Serve it over nice fat rice noodles or a short grain rice. This version includes veggies, because I care about your micronutrient intake. ❤
Serves 6. Prep time: 30 mins
1 block extra firm tofu, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 package of veggie ground round
1 big yellow onion, chopped
1 small pack of mushrooms, sliced
1 medium head of bok choy, sliced in 1-inch strips
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, shredded
neutral oil for cooking
For the sauce:
2-3 tbsp douchi, soaked 20 mins, rinsed, and chopped
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic chili paste
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup of water
- Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook til just starting to turn golden.
- Add the mushrooms and cook a few more minutes until they are a bit drier and starting to sear.
- Add all the remaining vegetables, mixing thoroughly. Cook til the bok choy is just starting to wilt.
- Whisk together the sauce, adding it all at once. Cook for about 1 minute, until hot and bubbly. Add more water if it’s not saucy enough (more sauce= more better).
- Serve over hot rice or noodles with extra chili sauce on the side. Bon appetit!