Monday, September 24, 2007

Do you remember your first love?

When I first began cooking, I instantly fell in love with Cooking Light Magazine. It was like magic. Every recipe in it was fantastic. However, it was not until I made their Ma Po Tofu that I had the Eureka moment. It was the first dish I fell in love with. It has since become my favorite meal to make. I love the blend of flavors, I love the simplicity of the dish, I love the ease of creation. I have used the basic recipe as my go to with left overs - substituting chicken, beef, turkey for pork. You may be assured that every ingredient is in constant supply in my house. Ma Po Tofu is my comfort food, although as far from typical comfort food as one may find.

Ma Po Tofu (from Cooking Light)


1 (1-pound) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 6 slices
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
4 ounces lean ground pork
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups hot cooked long-grain brown rice
1/3 cup chopped green onions


Place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Place a dinner plate on top of covered tofu; let stand 30 minutes. Remove plate; discard paper towels. Cut tofu slices into 1/2-inch cubes.

Combine broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili garlic sauce, stirring with a whisk.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tofu; cook 4 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Add broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

Serve tofu mixture over rice. Sprinkle with onions.


  1. OMG. I am so impressed that you not only know what ma po tofu is, but you can make it! Wow! That's one of my favorite Chinese comfort foods. :)

  2. that looks fantastic. mmmmm!

    i just started getting cooking light about 6 months ago (after poaching so many of their recipes from the web) and i love it! real simple will often have some good recipes too, albeit not as complex as the ones in cooking light.

  3. i make this from the prepackaged sauce from the store. add tofu...poof!

    dare i try to make it from scratch?

    i <3 tofu.

  4. LOl. I just wrote a paper on recalled tofu for my nutrition class.

    Funny coincidence..

    Looks yummy but WTF is ma po tofu?