I love donburi, which is basically a Japanese rice bowl (food served on top of rice in a bowl), and one of my favorite takes on this is mapo tofu. I’m not sure if it’s a “real donburi”, since mapo tofu is Chinese, but I like to have mapo tofu donburi style. It’s great comfort food!
Besides the main ingredient of tofu, Mapo commonly includes ground pork or other ground meat in the spicy sauce. We like to top it with fresh green onion. And of course, I like it spicy so we add red pepper to the mix. 🌶
It’s delicious if you make it from a prepared packet of mapo tofu sauce, but Mariko makes it from scratch (no preservatives). Here’s the recipe (in Japanese) if you want to give it a try!
As the temperature outside hovers around the freezing mark, it’s nice to stay warm inside and enjoy a plate of yummy Indian chicken tikka masala curry. A family-favorite, for sure! I cooked three cups of basmati rice in the rice cooker, and we added about a teaspoon of turmeric which gave it an amazing color.
By the way, we have been using our Staub pot to cook a lot of dishes lately, including this curry. It’s really great. It’s cast-iron and distributes the heat nicely. I think we prefer it over our Le Creuset pots.
This evening I had to fend for myself, as the saying goes, since my wife and kids were all out. I thought it would a nice night for some pho, but then I decided to check out the local Yelp listings for noodles. I almost went to try a ramen restaurant that recently opened, but decided on Chinese noodles at Xian Sushi and Noodle. Despite the name listing on Yelp, the restaurant no longer serves sushi (and the menu just said Xian Noodles on the cover), which is fine since they can devote their efforts on the signature hand-pulled noodles. There were a couple items on the menu that I wanted to try but ultimately went with the Red Braised Beef Noodles, which was highly recommended by Chinese reviewers.
The broth was flavorful and the noodles were chewy and substantial. You can actually choose from perhaps six different types of noodles, but I asked the Chinese waitress what she recommends, and she said she likes the “thick spaghetti”. That sounds like a description that someone might use to describe the noodles to Western diners actually. They were really good, and I would choose them again. There was a good amount of beef in the soup as well, although the noodles were definitely the star of the show, at least for me.
Years ago I lived in Monterey Park, California, which has a sizable first-generation Chinese population and therefore a huge number of authentice Chinese restaurants to choose from. My roommate, who was from Hong Kong, and I used to go out to eat quite often, and the noodles that I had tonight at Xian were reminiscent of the beef noodle soup that I used to enjoy in Monterey Park. That’s definitely a good thing!
The other item on the menu at Xian is the Dan Dan Noodles, so I will need to go back in the future. Maybe next time I can convince my family to join. 😀