I made egg fried rice - and it was yuuuummy. It tasted like my dad's and I am very proud of that. It has taken me a very, very long time to get this right. We are talking years and years. And the simple secret is - use yesterday's leftover rice.

One thing I won't be telling dad is the way I made Ma Po Tofu. This used to be one of our regular dinner dishes when I was a kid and it included finely chopped beef steak, cha choi, lots of veggies and lots of chilli. My version was taken from Gok Wan, adapted, served with omelette and cucumber salad. It's veggie challenge friendly and only takes ten minutes. Result. And while I thought it was super tasty, to me it was a bit of a "mock" Ma Po Tofu, because it just wasn't what I am used to - and therefore should just be called Tofu in Chilli Bean Sauce ;)

This is great for a light dinner, much better and quicker than a takeaway and ideal for a poorly boy who's just had his wisdom teeth taken out.

How do you make your Ma Po To Fu?


COOKS 15mins


For the Egg Fried Rice
  • 250-300g leftover white or brown rice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • a handful of frozen peas
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • rapeseed oil
  • you can add any other leftover veg or meat to this
For the Ma Po Tofu
  • 370g Firm To Fu, cut into cubes 
  • 1cm piece of Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp Chilli Bean Paste or 4tbsp Chilli Bean Sauce
  • 2tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • a little warm water
  • rapeseed oil
For the Omelette
  • 3 large or 4 medium eggs, beaten 
  • salt and pepper
  • rapeseed oil
For the cucumber salad
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
  • 2tsp sesame oil
  • 4tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • white pepper

  1. First, prepare your salad. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with a little white pepper. Set aside. The acidity in the vinegar will "cook" the garlic and spring onion.
  2. Heat a little rapeseed oil in a wok over a medium - high heat. Add the egg and move around with a wooden spoon as if you're making scrambled eggs. Make sure you scrape off any sticky bits from the bottom of the wok. You are after a dry scrambled egg. 
  3. Add the rice and mix well with the scrambled egg. Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook until the rice is warmed through. Place in a bowl, set aside and keep warm.
  4. Wipe your wok clean and heat a little rapeseed oil over a high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the Chilli Bean Paste/Sauce, Fish Sauce and Oyster Sauce and fry for a further couple of minutes until well combined. Add a splash of water and cook until the consistency of your sauce has thickened.
  5. Carefully mix in the to fu, making sure not to break it, until it's well coated in the sauce. 
  6. Cover with a lid and set aside to steam away.
  7. Heat a little oil in a small-medium frying pan. Once hot, pour in a quarter of your beaten egg. Swivel your pan so it is evenly coated with the egg; almost as if you're making pancakes. Fry until the bottom side is done and the sides start to crisp, then flip over and cook for a minute or so more. Repeat this process until you have four omelette pancakes.
  8. Spoon some of the to fu into each pancake, roll and then cut into bite size portions.
  9. Serve with the fried rice and cucumber salad.
This dish is super nice with a steaming cup of jasmin green tea.

Recipes taken from Gok Wan and Papa Din and adapted by Etta.

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