Chinese Cooking Ingredients
Tofu/Dofu - 28
In the U.S. this product carries the name of "Tofu." In China it is known as "Dofu." We use Tofu when we make "Mapo Dofu." The name Mápó dóufu means "Pocked-Face Lady's Dofu" We recommend the medium firm tofu.
Legend says that the pock-marked old woman (Mápó dóufu) was a leprous widow who lived in the Chinese city of Chengdu. Due to her condition, her home was placed on the outskirts of the city. By coincidence, it was near a road where goods carriers often passed. Although the rich merchants could afford to stay within the numerous inns of the prosperous city while waiting for their goods to sell, poor farmers would stay in cheaper inns scattered along the sides of roads on the outskirts of the ancient city.
It is said that the first people who tasted the old woman's cooking were a farmer and his son who arrived late to the city during a terrible rainstorm. They were forced to find shelter in the old woman's home having found that all of the inns were full.
Eager for the company, the old woman from her paltry larder prepared them a meal, including the dish now known as Mápó dóufu. The dish was so delicious that soon each time the father and son passed the old woman's home they would stay for a meal. In this way, the old woman's renown spread as other goods carriers joined the father and son in visiting and staying at the her home. These visitors would often bring the ingredients for her dish so as not to burden her larder.On to Chinese Food - 29 Back to Chinese Food - 27 Back to Chinese Choices Page 4