All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Tom cooks 16. Koebi no mabodofu (mapo spicy tofu with bay shrimp)

Practice makes perfect.
I wonder how many times I heard this phrase on Japan's NHK Radio English Conversation Program. Hundreds, perhaps. Mr. Katsuaki Togo, the instructor of the program, repeated it so many times to encourage listeners, and it still comes into my head from time to time.

This time, it came back when I watched Tom's performance in the kitchen.

At first, finding ingredients in the fridge and on pantry shelves was a big task. Then, following great success with his initial effort, would come several disappointing outcomes: OK taste but unappetizing appearance, yummy look with dissatisfying taste, and so on. Now, as the mystery of making mabodofu wears off, Tom seems to have settled in his comfort zone where he can produce a tasty dish without me saying something (complaining, as Tom puts it).

Another notable development is the kitchen counter, which becomes less cluttered and more civilized as Tom becomes familiar with the recipe.

How nice when you can count on the other person in the house to cook something you like!
Can you see me with a big smile from a glorious sense of achievement?
The next step: I would like to see at least one vegetable dish. Blanched or steamed greens with a tiny amount of oyster sauce with or without karashi mustard would be nice...

Recipe for Tom: Koebi no mabodofu (mapo tofu with bay shrimp)

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