Mapo Tofu “ish” – Quick and Easy

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Mapo Tofu is one of the popular Chinese dishes in Japan. The dish contains Tofu and meat (normally beef or pork mince) quickly simmered in a spicy sauce. It originated from Sichuan province, from which you can easily imagine that the dish is very hot and spicy! Although the Japanese version is much milder, it still has some kick and we love eating it with rice.

It is very easy and quick to cook, well…, if you already have the 2 important ingredients in your kitchen – Doubanjang (fermented broad been and chilli paste) and Dou-chi (fermented black bean paste), which make this dish “Mapo”.

Yes…, I know some Asian stores sell them…, however if you are like me and do not cook much Siuchuan food, these 2 jars will be sitting and doing nothing in the kitchen cabinet for a next 3 months… So I asked myself “Can I replace them with something that I already have to make Mapo Tofu- ish dish??”.

The Answer is YES. In this recipe, I use very common Japanese ingredients – Miso, Soy Sauce, Cooking and Chilli, which gives a depth and spiciness to the dish. I also add a lot of vegetables, so that this will be a complete dish especially when you serve it on rice (like me serving it on brown rice in the picture).

For meat, I like using Kangaroo mince as I love its leanness and sustainability in Australia, but you can use any meat you like. Beef or pork mince will be lovely. Same with vegetables. Although I recommend Daikon Radish (or normal while radish) as the freshness and crunchiness works in this dish well.

If you need something quick, easy, and something different, please try this recipe. Hope you like it.

 

Ingredients (Serving for 4):

350g Kangaroo mince (or any meat you like, such as beef or pork mince)

1 clove of Garlic – minced

1cm cubes of Ginger – minced

1 Red eye Chili (or as many as you like) – minced

1 Onion – diced

1 Zucchini – diced

½ Red Capsicum – diced

200g Daikon Radish – about 10cm long – diced

200g Silken Tofu – cut into about 2cm cubes

1 Teaspoon of Corn Starch or Potato Starch

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

2 Spring Onions – finely chopped

 

Sauce A – combined all together

1 Tablespoon of Miso

½ Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

½ Tablespoon of Sugar

½ Teaspoon of Chili Powder

 

Sauce B – combined all together

150ml Water

1.5 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake

1 Tablespoon of Miso

 

Method:

  1. In a frying pan, heat a small amount of oil (not included in the ingredients’ list above) on medium/high heat. Stir- fry kangaroo mince, garlic, ginger and red eye chilli, while breaking up the mince with a spatula or wooden spoon. In order to bring the kangaroo’s best flavour, please stir fry it very well. When the mince starts becoming brown, oil from the mince will come out. Even though the mince has become brown and looks cooked, please keep cooking until the oil has disappeared.
  2. Add Sauce A and cook all together for about 1 minute or until the mince is well coated by the sauce. If the sauce starts burning in the frying pan, add s splash of water to it (not included in the ingredients’ list above).
  3. Add onion, zucchini, capsicum and daikon radish to the frying pan. Stir fry them for about 2 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  4. Add Sauce B to the frying and and bring it to the boil.
  5. Place the tofu into the frying pan. Stir and cook the tofu gently in the sauce. Please work gently not to break down the tofu. Simmer it for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Take 3 tablespoons of the sauce out from the frying pan to a small bowl. Add corn starch to the bowl and whisk it until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Add the mixture back to the frying pan and mix it into the sauce gently. Cook it for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce becomes thickened. Turn the heat off and add sesame oil.
  7. Top with spring onions and serve while hot. You can serve it on your choice of rice.

 

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Lupin Banana Bread

Healthy Banana Bread with my new super food – Lupin Flakes.

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Well…, after enjoying the beauty of “doing nothing” on Hamilton Island, I have 1.5 kg to get rid of from my body….  Since I LOVE eating sweets and it is really hard for me to carry out any diets without a small pleasure, I have made this recipe – my healthy “go-to” sweet using Lupin Flakes. I quite like the unique texture of Lupin Flakes in this cake – kind of popping or chewy.  It is a light and yet very satisfying dessert.

I would recommend using a small loaf pan, as it does not raise as much as normal banana bread due to no sugar and only a small amount of flour added.

Ingredients (1 x small loaf pan 17.5cm x 8.5 cm x 6cm)

3 well ripened Banana – mashed

2 Eggs

2 Tablespoons of Honey

30g of Milk

60g of Olive Oil

½ Teaspoon of Vanilla Paste

50g of Self-raising flour- sifted

100g of Lupin Flakes

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180◦C. Line a loaf pan with baking paper. Sift self-raising flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat mashed bananas, eggs and honey well.
  3. Add milk, olive oil and vanilla paste to the bowl, and combine them well.
  4. Add the self-raising flour and lupin flakes into the mixture. Combine them gently until they disappear. Do not mix as gluten will come out and the cake will be dense*.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake them for 40 minutes or until it is just cooked (until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean).
  6. Take it out of the oven and cool it down on a wire rack.

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Note: *how to combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients gently.

I use a whisk. Scrap and scoop the mixture with the whisk and lift up and drop it. Repeat this until dry ingredients disappear into the mixture. It helps to work quickly when you turn the mixing bowl in the opposite direction of the whisk scrapping the mixture.

The-Easiest- Ever Muffins – Chocolate and Strawberries

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Another flavour of my Easiest Ever Muffins -the classic combo, Chocolate and Strawberries.

These muffins are so easy to make. All you need to do is just place a large mixing bowl on a scale and keep adding and mixing all ingredients in order. If you are looking for something to do with your kids during this school holiday, maybe this is a good one.

Ingredients (about 8-9 small muffins)

80g of Almond Meal

50g of Self-raising Flour

30g of good quality Pure Cocoa Powder

2 Eggs

50g of Sugar

30g of Milk

40g of Unsalted Butter- melted

20g of Olive Oil (or any of your favourite oil)

60 of Dark Chocolate Chips (or nay of your favourite chocolate)

For Strawberries

200g of Strawberries

2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice

2 Teaspoons of Sugar

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200◦C. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Shift almond meal, self-raising flour and cocoa powder together.
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the strawberries in a small microwavable bowl. Cover it with gladwrap and microwave it for 1 minute. Put it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved completely. Add milk, melted butter and olive oil to the bowl and combine them well.
  4. Add the almond meal, the self-raising flour and the cocoa powder into the mixture. Combine them gently until they disappear. Do not mix as gluten will come out and the muffins will be dense*.
  5. 5 add chocolate chips and the strawberries including all of the juice into the mixture. Fold them into the mixture gently. Again do not mix.
  6. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake them for 15-18 minutes or until they are just cooked (until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of muffin comes out clean).
  7. Take them out from the oven and cool them down on a wire rack.

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Note: *how to combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients gently.

I use a wire whisk. Scrap and scoop the mixture with the whisk and lift up and drop it. Repeat this until dry ingredients disappear into the mixture. It helps to work quickly when you turn the mixing bowl in the opposite direction of the shills scrapping the mixture.