This week has been pretty busy, as with every week so far. As Fulbrighters, we are in the mutual selection process, in which we are grading possible elementary schools that we would be teaching at, while the local Taiwanese English teachers (LETs), who we will be working with, are grading us. Last week we had actual teaching practice in which we were able to work together with LETs paired together by their school pairing. It was my first time teaching. I’ve never taught an actual class before, let alone English as a second language, to 5th graders. So it was great practice and a terrific exercise personally, and I felt like I learned a lot from that.
Sadly, I haven’t made much opportunity for cooking this past week. Luckily, Andy (my former Taiwanese roommate) was visiting and we were able to do a little cooking together.
So here tis, Mapo Tofu:
Andy did most of the cooking, so I’ll do my best to recreate the ingredients and process. This one’s a little tougher because it has some Taiwan/China specific ingredients, Mapo sauce, and maybe canned ground pork, maybe those were the same ingredient…
Anyways, Mapo Tofu is a classic Chinese dish, it’s usually pretty spicy, and even though it’s a tofu dish, it’s not necessarily vegetarian. In most of my cooking, as Andy so eloquently put, “vegetables are vegetables and meat is meat.” Taiwanese food seems to be a little more complicated, as vegetable dumplings often have a pork filler and, in this case, Mapo Tofu includes two cans of ground pork meat mapo sauce.
This dish starts off like many others, with sautéed until aromatic garlic, hot peppers and then onion. Next you get carrots, until tender, then the mapo sauce, followed by tofu and then something to make it soupy, so the final product has a
nice consistency… but I missed that step, sorry Andy.
Of course, the final product was tasty and spicy and went great on some fried rice.
In other news, I got a new bike, and it is fast. I’m looking forward to riding around in the coming year.