Verde Blood

Hello again spice lovers, this week we’re going to look at another of my samples from Chilli Pepper Pete and, like the Zhoug, it’s one of their milder ones.

Emphasis on the “er”, of course, because, as I mentioned back in my overview, Chilli Pepper Pete doesn’t actually do anything below medium. Which makes today’s offering rather hot when compared to other, similarly coloured sauces.

That’s right, it’s a green one. And, unlike the Zhoug, it’s not getting its colour from fresh herbs.

No, it’s using tomatilloes and green chillies to make a salsa verde. One that I’m sure you’ll agree, once we talk about its other ingredients, is far from ordinary.

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Image provided by Chilli Pepper Pete.

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Mapo Tofu

Welcome back everyone, and welcome to the new year. The chinese new year!

To celebrate, I’ve been doing some chinese cooking and can offer you not one, not two, but three versions of my favourite oriental dish:

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Mapo Tofu. A dish that, despite its vegan-sounding name, is one of the most highly meaty-tasting main courses in china. Yet there’s actually only a very small amount meat in it.

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Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

Hey there heat eaters! Today we’re making one of my favourite chinese dishes, Mapo Tofu.

Before we jump right into the recipe, however, I’d like to give you the opportunity to read up on the backstory to this dish and pick which of my three versions you’d prefer from my overview here.

This particular version is my vegetarian one as, despite its tofu content, most recipes for this dish don’t actual cater to the vegetarian diet. Most restaurants will insist on using ground pork but, as one particular place in London (sorry I don’t recall the name) proved to me, it’s not really necessary. Properly made Mapo Tofu gets its strong, meaty flavour from its signature fermented bean paste more than any actual meat.

So, in honour of that one restaurant and for the benefit of all you vegetarians out there, here’s my take on a meat free Mapo Tofu.

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