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A topnotch site

Mapo Tofu


1 block silken tofu 

1/4 lb ground pork

1/4 lb fresh shitake mushrooms, diced

1 1/2 T hot bean paste 

1 1/2 T bean paste

2 T cooking oil

1 t Sichuan peppercorns (roasted and ground to powder)

1 T light soy sauce

2 T shiao tsing (chinese cooking wine

1 heaping t fermented black beans (rinsed and pounded, check for debris)

1 bunch green onions (chopped into 1 or 2-inch length)

2 heads garlic (chopped)

1/2 cup water

1 t cornstarch mixed with 1 T water

Salt to taste


Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and drain on a paper towel. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds. Stir fry garlic, ground pork, spicy bean paste,and  bean paste until the pork is just browned. Add mushrooms and green onions and stir fry for another minute Add soy sauce, shiao tsing, and fermented black beans and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the tofu and water; stir gently to combine. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3-5 mins, then add cornstarch and return to a simmer. sprinkle on the roasted Sichuan peppercorn powder. Stir again and serve hot.



Asparagus and Lemon Linguine


    • 1 lb asparagus
    • 1 lb linguine
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, freshly grated ( from about 3 lemons)
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped fresh leaves
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. Cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal, or just into 3 pieces.
  2. In a steamer set over boiling water steam asparagus, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. set aside.
  3. In a 6-quart kettle bring 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta.
  4. In a deep 12-inch skillet heat butter and cream over moderately low heat until butter is melted and stir in zest, lemon juice, and salt. Remove skillet from heat and keep sauce warm, covered.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Ladle 1/4 cup pasta water into sauce and drain pasta in colander.
  6. Immediately add pasta and asparagus to sauce and cook over moderate heat, tossing, 1 minute, or until heated through. Add parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and toss well.

Mary mary

about food and gardens (mine, in particular).


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