I’ve decided to start a series of posts, dedicated to making speedy dishes for the working eaters of this world.
Whenever I talk to my colleagues at work about food, we often bemoan the lack of variety in our dinner meals. My typical work day lasts until 6:00pm, so when I come home, I have to act fast if I want to have dinner on the table by 8:00pm. Unfortunately, the majority of my home-cooked meals end up being rice, leafy greens, and meat marinated in soy sauce. Not very interesting, and I get tired of having the same thing everyday. However, I thought if I shared my "everyday" meals with you, I might learn some new ideas from you and hopefully, teach you a trick or two!
My favorite 15 minute meal is vegetarian ma po tofu. A good tip for the working person, is to stock up on tofu on the weekends, and have easy source of protein for your meal throughout the week. Plus, because studies show that tofu is high in calcium and other nutrients, both Mom and your digestive system will approve!
Quick Vegetarian Ma Po Tofu
2 tsp of vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp of ginger, finely minced and with brown skin scraped off with a dull spoon
2 tbsp (heaping) of hot bean paste
1 tsp of soy sauce
2 containers of firm tofu, diced (can use silken, but add it later and do not mix it as vigorously to prevent "breakage")
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 medium scallions, green section sliced on a bias and white section roughly chopped
Heat the pan to high heat, and add the oil just until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and white parts of the scallions. Cook until it begins to brown. Add the hot bean paste and soy sauce, and stir briefly. Add the diced tofu, and cook until the flavors seep through the spongy tofu crevices, just a few minutes.
Turn off the heat, drizzle the sesame oil over the tofu, and sprinkle the green parts of scallions on top.
Serve with leafy green vegetables stir-fried with chopped garlic, and that’s what I call a "quick vegetarian" meal!