I will admit, I struggled with this prompt. Today’s prompt is “Cook a cuisine you’ve never tried before” and it worried me. How am I going to post a recipe for something I just cooked for the first time? Surely it won’t be very good. And how can I make it authentic? The answer to the last question is – well, I can’t. Take this as a disclaimer, I don’t claim the recipe to hold authenticity, but it still is pretty delicious.
When choosing what cuisine to try, I automatically thought about East Asia. You see, I don’t really cook – or eat – much east Asian food. Where I live, the “Asian Supermarket” is south Asian – and really great for getting ingredients for Indian cooking, curries, etc. But there’s not many places to get east Asian ingredients. Nor are there many places to get vegan food cooked for you! So I looked around a little bit and decided to make something Korean – a cuisine I’ve definitely never tried before.
I decided to make Ma-Po Tofu, which is a dish usually involving tofu and ground meat, where the tofu is simmered rather than fried. I substituted the meat with TVP mince and – here’s where I lose authenticity – used miso paste rather than Korean bean paste, because I couldn’t find any easily!
I found this meal really tasty! It was great to try cooking something I had never tried before.
- For the Mince
- 75g dried TVP mince
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 250ml boiling water For the Sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp miso paste
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 250ml water For the rest
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 400g tofu, cubed
- 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
- 1 tbsp cold water
- In a bowl, mix together the TVP and stock powder, and pour over the boiling water. Set aside to rehydrate.
- In a separate bowl, make the sauce. Mix all the ingredients except the water into a paste, then slowly whisk in the water. Set aside.
- In a large pan, fry off the onions, garlic, and ginger until softening.
- Add the rehydrated mince and fry until starting to turn crisp – 5-10 minutes.
- Add the tofu, and pour over the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Mix together the cornflour and the tablespoon of cold water to form a slurry, and add that to the tofu mixture.
- Very gently, stir together (don’t break up the tofu!) until thickened.
- Serve with rice!