If you’ve never heard of this delicious Sichuan dish before, now you have & you’ve seen a picture of it. Of course my rendition of it errs on the traditional meat & tofu dish, but this is still an amazing Chinese dish, which pretty much is a party in your mouth. Probably might even make you sweat a little if you can’t handle the heat. This would not be the greatest recipe to try if you’re in, oh I don’t know, California or Florida right now–the states that completely avoided the Polar Vortex because they defy the laws of Seasons–but if you’re in any of the other 48 states with the exception of parts of Texas, this dish is right up your alley. Autumn is happening & it’s slowly getting chillier with each passing week, so if you’re one of the strange individuals who doesn’t like soup–& apparently I know about at least 3 of you–mapo tofu is a nice solution. This dish is the perfect embodiment of Sichuan cuisine with its usage of their spicy peppercorns, reminiscent to the heatwave that is hammering a drought stricken California or the ever humid Florida. So, eat up this recipe & experience the heat before venturing out to the chilly autumn wind. Even if you’re not a fan of tofu, the sauce is so distinctive in flavor that the tofu won’t even bother you one bit. Not a fan of mushrooms? We’ve already talked about this.
Mushroom Mapo Tofu
What? Did you think Chinese food was all the same? Pft, get out of here you ignorant person, you! I’m kidding, please stay so you can learn something. China has over a billion residents & a huge land mass that’s kind of hard to miss if you looked at a world map. Growing up in Orange County, the culture there was vastly different from the culture in Los Angeles & my house to Westwood was only 40+ miles away! So, you can imagine how different Chinese cuisine can be from lo mein, stir-fry veggies, wontons/dumplings, & finally, mapo tofu across their ginormous country. Whether you’re enjoying a meal from the Guangdong providence (Cantonese), Sichuan, or from that sketchy Chinese restaurant that would probably fail a health inspection test, each of the 8 culinary Chinese cuisines has its own flair. American Chinese cuisine is characterized by … well, anything that is deep fried & would probably raise your cholesterol. Sichuan & Cantonese are probably my favorites, but I wouldn’t recommend eating any Sichuan dish if you’re in Florida or anywhere that’s just burning up.
Speaking of Florida, I’m finally getting around to posting some of the photos from my vacation this summer with Josh! I’ve selected several photos that sum up my time there.
Click the photos to see captions! I’m terrible with the heat, so I hate Florida as much as it hates me. While I could write a pointlessly scathing review of the state, its awful weather, the hanging chad incident of 2000, the Frump Couture that seems to be in “fashion” (they’re also about 3 years behind on trends), & the lack of redeeming qualities other than Disney World & Ultra (okay, I’ll also give them pretty beaches), I still came home with 20 mosquito bites. You win this time, Florida. Regardless, I am forever thankful to Josh & his family for their gregarious hospitality. I’m thankful I have the opportunity to leave California to travel & I obviously sacrificed my blood to mosquitos for beautiful photos!
So, what is your favorite Chinese dish? What was your favorite vacation & your least favorite locale?