I hate those days, typically Mondays, when I wake up and can intuitively tell it’s going to take a lot of coffee and self-motivational reminders that the day isn’t going to be a mirror reflection of the grey, cold, wet weather enveloping me as I go about my day.
Breathe, I tell myself, while searching for water-proof shoes as I yell for the girls to come down stairs and get into the car for school. Being sarcastic to myself I quietly look at my sandals and say to myself, “Bye bye sandals, maybe next week the sun will come out and play.”
Days like yesterday just wipe me out. With my husband out of town and 2 cups of coffee unable to revive my grumpy attitude into something a bit more positive, all I can think of is how nice it will be to turn on my fireplace, listen to some jazz music, while cuddling and reading on the couch with one of my kids in a fuzzy blanket, and redeem the day with some type of comfort food.
I thought about making the kids and me a nice corn chowder but after having a conversation with a friend the day before about mabo tofu, my mind and appetite were settled on the idea of eating this as a healthy comfort food type dinner.
Mabo tofu is a popular Japanese dish adapted from Chinese version called Mapo Doufu. This tofu dish is commonly served in different Asian cultures such as Korea and Taiwan. With varied adaptations, some people include a spicy black bean sauce, whereas others stay true to just garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
This recipe is my own quick and easy adaptation. Oyster sauce and miso add a rich depth of unami flavor which enhances the flavor of the broth and compliments the hint of ginger. The heartiness of kale rounds out the sausage and the delicateness of the tofu making this meal a complete dinner when topped over a hot bowl of steamy brown rice. You could use white rice but I love the flavor of short grain brown rice with this one pot meal.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 - inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ pound ground pork sausage
- ½ pound medium firm tofu, cut in ¾-inches cubes
- 2 tablespoons oyster flavor sauce
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Asian garlic chili sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 cups baby kale leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet or wok and heat on medium-low heat.
- Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for about half a minute, just enough to soften the garlic and for it to be aromatic.
- Add the pork, breaking it down with a wooden spoon, and cook until brown.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tofu.
- In a small bowl, mix the oyster sauce, miso, soy sauce, and garlic chili sauce until completely mixed.
- Add the sauce to the skillet. Stir the pork and tofu in the sauce and cook for 2 minutes, just enough time for the sauce to coat the sausage and absorb into the meat.
- Stir in the chicken broth.
- When the broth begins to bubble in a light simmer, add the kale leaves.
- Stir the kale in the mabu tofu until it is barely wilted.
- Transfer the mabu tofu and some broth over 2 or 3 brown rice bowls.
- Top off with additional garlic chili sauce for more heat.
- Garnish with scallions.