I borrowed the above catchphrase from celebrity chef Martin “The Highlander” Yan, who ends all of his TV shows saying, “If Yan can cook, so can you”. But he was being modest, while I am being terribly honest because if I can, by all means you can be better than me.
Aside: I gave Yan’s that middle name because he never goddam ages. I’ve been watching his shows since I was like nine years old (with my mom, both big fan), but look at him today!!! End of aside.
So, I am hoping to make this into a series so not only I get to share my bad cooking, but I keep track of various versions of tofu dish I make for my wife. Each time I come up with a new way of cooking it, only to forget it the next time when wife says, “remember that time when you made it…umm….”
Brief history of tofu in my life.
We never had any, except when forced onto us kids by mom, till I met my wife. She lives on it. During our courting days (when we broke up about 29 times, though tofu is not involved, or so it’s press secretary claimed), I’d send her back to her home after work, and she’d drop by the grocers to buy tofu. History of seeing her eating other sort of food is sketchy, but she bleeds tofu. Her mom, when my parents met hers, declared that considering her eating habit, she is “low maintenance”.
So, when I married her, I married tofu as well, and the last three years I’d been cooking so many types I didn’t keep track. The Tofu community should have awarded me Nobel Peace Prize for Tofu Massacre.
The thing is I don’t what so great about it. It taste of….okay, here’s what I want you to do. Stick your tongue out and don’t touch your lips, or do some intimate things with it. Now, leave it sticking out. Can you taste that? That’s what tofu taste like.
I suppose I was myself trying to make it interesting by trying new things with it each time.
Anyway, here we go, Grouch style cooking show and note that I’d include recipes for other stuff I kinda cooked up myself. Hah “cooked up”. You are lame, Grouch.
Simple Tofu Sambal.
Tofu (duh!) – Maybe 2, but if you are my wife, 4 pieces.
Dry Red Chilli Paste – Two table spoons, or more if you literally hate your ass.
Garlic – minced, pounded, I don’t care as long it’s there. How much? Well, about five clove if you are Asian, or about 367 if you are Italian.
Onion – one medium sized. Feggedaboutit if you are a Hindu/Bhuddist monk
Tomato – One (if large), two (if medium) more (if cherry tomato, in which case you might as well don’t bloody cook).
So, what’s the first thing you do, kids. Yes, the tofu. Cut them into small sizes of your preference, you can use your old geometrical instrument if you want. You can fry them first, but today I am lazy.
Cut the onion to, erm, whatchamacallit… thin slices. After that, wipe your tears and if your wife appears say that you were thinking of your dead uncle, though the bastard probably ran away with his maid and faked his death.
Oh, the garlic, mince, pound, whatever.
The tomato, you gotta dice them. How? You cut the shit out of it, that’s how. You must have seen some cooking shows on how they slice every goddam way and voila! Dices. Have a band-aid standbye
Now, heat a bit of oil in your pan or pot, whichever your wife might not use as assault weapon if your cooking sucks. How much of oil? Well, how old are you? How suicidal?
When it heats up, it will splutter like shit because you forgot to heat up the pan to dry the water droplets, in which case some of the oil hit you on your face giving you permanent scare, throw the onion in.
Wait till it becomes golden brown. Don’t get excited, that’s not real gold. Or at least for colour blinds like me.
Throw in the garlic and stir them for awhile until you realise that smell is not your son’s poo, but garlic burning.
So, scoop two (or more) tablespoons of chili paste and fry them till you hear your wife and son sneezing their lungs away.
Add in the tomato, and make sure you didn’t include the fingertip you accidentally sliced just now.
Now, you got to keep stirring till the tomato melts away, add bit of water if you want. If you don’t, I didn’t force you. That’s a disclaimer for you.
When they are about watery, add in the cut tofu. Now, here’s a tip. Instead of using spatula or any other appliances, I suggest you use a spoon and turn the tofu gently so that you don’t break them. There’s a tip for you, now take the tontee five rupees.
I use fish sauce, mwahahahahaha!!!! If you are vegetarian, you can use vege stock because these are the one that’s going to give taste, not the tofu.
Now, wait till it dries up. And wait. Turn the tofu. Wait. Scratch your bum. Turn the tofu. Wait. Turn the tofu. Wait. And finally when it is done, call for pizza delivery.