Once Upon a Time in China 3

Yes, I really did have a top-knot. My hair was naturally dreaded and I pulled it back with chopsticks. How awesome am I?

OK, so you're probably wondering where the fuck this epic story has been leading. So I'll tell you.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I worked, played, loved, and ate in Chinatown. I was dirt poor, sleeping on a stone floor in a 10' x 12' concrete apartment. And one restaurant is single-handedly responsible for my survival: Yokohama Station.

It was a hole in the wall with numbered picture menus, though most people opted for their special: $1 quart o' noodles in teriyaki. As I was still vegetarian at the time, I lived off two meals: Ma-Po Tofu and Tomato Tofu. In time, I came to learn the secrets of their preparation, which always comes in handy when cooking for a hot date.

This has been a story of tomato tofu. Partly because it was a tomato that brought the torrent of memories, and partly because the Ma-Po Tofu recipe is far too precious to simply post online. Sorry, but you're not worth it.

So, want to make your own?

You'll need:


  1. Add white rice and 4 cups water to cooker and steam.
  2. Heat oil in a medium/large skillet. The amount of oil will depend on how greasy you like your food, and how non-stick your cookware is.
  3. Dice tomatoes and tofu and toss them into the skillet. Add a ¾ cup of sukiyaki sauce (more or less to taste) and crushed pepper, cover, reduce heat, and take a cigarette break.
  4. After ten or so minutes, toss in the bean sprouts and steamed rice, increase heat and stir constantly.
  5. When rice is slightly browned, dump into a bowl and place cut spinach on top.

Serves one Josh, or 2-4 normal people.