Every now and then I cook a dinner that is Sprog-unfriendly. The Sprogs are anti-Thai and Chinese, two of my favourite cuisines (along with Malaysian, Indian, Vietnamese … I’m a bit of a cuisine slut really), and sometimes I get a craving that must be sated.
As a general rule, I prefer to make a basic meal for the kids, then add a spicy twist at the end for the grown-ups. But this one starts out anti-Sprog and stays that way. It’s a Chinese dish called Mo Po Do Fu, meaning “pock-marked old lady”, not the sexiest name for a dish, but it tastes soooooo much yummier than it sounds.
RECIPE: MA PO DO FU
Handful of dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
500g bean curd (I like silken, but it doesn’t hold it’s shape. If that bothers you, go for firm)
1 tablespoon bottled ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, chopped
400g minced chicken
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 green capsicum, finely diced
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon of chilli bean sauce (available from Asian speciality stores or well-stocked supermarkets)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of cornflour
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
METHOD: Heat oil in a wok or heavy-based frying pan. Saute garlic, ginger and spring onions for 1 minute. Add chicken mince and stir-fry, breaking it up until it’s no longer pink. Add capsicum and stir fry for a further minute. Mix stock, chilli bean sauce, tomato paste and soy sauce in a jug together. Pour into the wok, add shitake mushrooms and simmer 5 minutes. Mix cornflour with a little water and stir into the sauce until it boils and thickens. Gently stir in the bean curd and seasame oil. Heat through and serve with rice.