Mabo Tofu (Family Proportions)

posted Mar 21, 2010, 12:43 PM by Robert Corn   [ updated Jul 27, 2015, 2:44 PM ]

Combine in a 4-cup measure (stirring to dissolve corn starch):

16 oz. chicken broth
2 T. corn starch
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. Shaoxing sherry
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar

Chop & combine:

2 T. fermented black beans, chopped
2 T. (heaping) hot broad bean paste (Lian How brand)
1 T. capsicum with red oil
6 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 T. ginger, minced
2 t. Szechan peppercorns, pulverized


2 blocks soft tofu, cubed into 1" pieces (and soaked in hot water, if desired)
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 lb. ground turkey, pork, or lamb
6 scallions, sliced thinly and separated into white and green parts

Drain tofu well.  Heat EVOO in wok or large skillet.  Stir fry ground meat until only slightly pink.  Add "white" pieces of scallions.  Stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add black bean seasonings and stir to combine.  Add corn starch mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for one minute.  Add tofu and cook until heated through and sauce completely permeates tofu.  Garnish with green parts of scallions.  Serve with steamed rice. 

Baby Back Ribs with Ginger-Soy Glaze

posted Feb 21, 2010, 8:07 PM by Robert Corn

(Adapted from Bauer, The Secrets of Success Cookbook:  Signature Recipes and Insider Tips from San Francisco’s Best Restaurants, pp. 140-1.)
Serves 4 (x 4)

(8 racks/14 lbs.) 2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 3.5 lbs total)
(3/4 C.) 3 T. five-spice powder or homemade mix (see below)
Mushroom soy sauce or dark soy sauce
(1 cup) ¼ C. fresh orange juice
(1 cup) ¼ C. rice wine vinegar

Rub the ribs with five-spice mix and brush lightly with mushroom/dark soy sauce.  Place the ribs on a rack over boiling water in a large pot.  Cover and steam for 40 minutes, brushing occasionally with additional soy sauce.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Transfer ribs to a baking dish and pour on the orange juice and vinegar.  Cover with foil and bake until the ribs are tender, about 35 minutes.  Prepare a grill for medium-high heat (or preheat the broiler).  Grill or broil the ribs until lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes.  Cut between each rib and toss with Ginger-Soy Glaze. 

Five-Spice Mix
1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)
4 pieces start anise
1 t. whole clovers
1 T. fennel seeds
1 T. whole black peppercorns

Dry toast all the ingredients in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Grind in a spice grinder to a medium-fine consitency.

Ginger-Soy Glaze
(4 C.) 1 C. dark corn syrup
(2 C.) ½ C. honey
(1 C.) ¼ C. sugar
(1 C.) ¼ C. fresh lemon juice
(1 C.) ¼ C. soy sauce
(1/2 C.) 2 T. mushroom soy sauce or dark soy sauce
(1 C.) ¼ C. ginger, julienned
(4 ) 1 red bell pepper, julienned

Combine the corn syrup, honey, sugar, lemon juice, soy sauce, and mushroom soy sauce in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring until the suagr dissolves.  Reduce the heat.  Simmer to reduce to a thick glaze, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the ginger and red bell pepper.  Cool.  Toss with grilled ribs.

Sweet & Sour Pork with Poblano Peppers

posted Feb 21, 2010, 7:23 PM by Robert Corn   [ updated Jul 27, 2015, 2:46 PM ]

2 lbs lean pork, cubed into 3/4-1" chunks
1/2  "hand" of ginger, sliced into 1/4"-thick coins
1/4 C. shoyu
1/4 C. whiskey or sherry
1/4 C. cornstarch

Mix pork with shoyu/whiskey/ginger/cornstarch and let sit for an hour or more.
Deep fry in corn or vegetable oil (4 cups?) at 360°F for 3 minutes until golden brown.
Drain and set aside

2 T. oil
3 white onions, cut into chunks
3 poblano peppers, cut into chunks
3 red & 3 yellow peppers, cut into chunks

2-3 C. chicken broth
1 C. rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar dissolved in 1 C. water
(sugar and water adjust to taste)
2 C. fresh pineapple, cut into chunks

3 T. corn starch dissolved in 1/2C. water

Heat oil over high heat.  Stir fry onions and peppers in oil for 2-3 minutes,
then add pre-fried pork, chicken broth, vinegar and sugar water. 
Let cook for 2 minutes, then add pineapple.

Add in cornstarch mixture to thicken.

Ma-bo Dofu for a Crowd

posted Feb 19, 2010, 9:09 PM by Robert Corn   [ updated Jul 27, 2015, 2:45 PM ]

Combine in a bowl and stir to dissolve corn starch:

64 oz. chicken broth
½ C. corn starch
¾ C. soy sauce
½ C. Shaoxing sherry
4 t. salt
¼ C. sugar

Chop and combine:

½ C. fermented black beans
6 T.  hot broad bean paste (Lian How brand)
3 T. capsicum with red oil
24 large garlic cloves, minced
½ C. ginger, minced
3 T. Szechuan peppercorns, pulverized

Other Prep:

8 blocks of soft tofu, cut into 1" x 1" x 1" cubes

1 C. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

4 lbs. ground turkey
24 scallions, sliced, separated into "white" and "green" piles

Drain cubed tofu well and allow to come to room temperature. Heat EVOO in wok or large skillet.  Stir fry ground turkey until only slightly pink.  Add "white" part of sliced scallions.  Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add black bean mixture and stir to combine.  Add liquid corn starch mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 1 minute.  Add drained tofu and cook until heated through and sauce completely permeates tofu.  Garnish with "green" part of scallions.

Shirley's Pork Ribs with Apricot-Ginger Glaze

posted Feb 15, 2010, 12:05 PM by Robert Corn

4 cups hoisin sauce
3 cups / 2 jars apricot preserves
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups rice vinegar
2 cups ginger, chopped
3 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons cayenne
15-16 lbs. (baby back) pork ribs (6-8 racks), rinsed and patted dry

Combine marinade/glaze ingredients in mixer. 

Coil 2 racks each in gallon ziploc bags.  Pour 1 cup of marinade in each bag.  Seal bags and turn to coat.  Let marinate in refrigerator for one day, turning bags occasionally.  Reserve remaining marinade, covered and refrigerated.

Bake ribs on racks in 425 oven for 20-30 minutes on each side. 

Baste ribs with remaining reserved marinade and grill on barbeque for 6-12 minutes on each side. basting a couple of times on each side.  When ribs are done, glaze should be browned and bubbly and meat between ribs should no longer be pink in the center. 

Flank Steak Marinated in Sun-Dried Tomato Paste

posted Dec 25, 2009, 3:36 PM by Lucy Ito   [ updated Aug 20, 2011, 1:16 PM by Robert Corn ]

 2 lb. flank steak, scored

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tbl. soy sauce

1 tbl. Worchestershire sauce

2 tbl. olive oil (or oil from sun dried tomatoes)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbl. oregano

1/2  tsp. pepper

Mix everything together to form a paste.  Spread paste in an even layer on both sides of the flank steak.  Cover and marinate under refrigeration for 1-24 hours.  Grill to medium rare 3-4 minutes per side, turning once.   To serve, slice steak into strips cut at a diagonal angle.

-- Adapted from California Fresh, p. 157.

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