Wednesday, 23 July 2008

No Tofu Tuesday - Pork in Black Bean Sauce

This week I realised how debilitating it is to be without a Chinese supermarket. When thinking of Tofu Tuesday I wanted to try Peng's Homestyle Beancurd, which is slices of tofu deep fried and then stir-fried with pork. When I found out I would be working out of the office in South London on Tuesday, I didn't think much of it. I went straight from there home in a cab. I figured Sainsburys must have some tetrapak tofu, of the Mori-Nu brand. But as I sprinted around Sainsburys with my cab waiting outside, this was not to be. I grabbed a shelf stacker and asked him where the tofu was; he looked Japanese and knew exactly what I was talking about, and we set off together.

I often hear of people slating supermarket workers. Often if you ask them for an obscure ingredient you are met with confusion (such as arrowroot; I was led to the spices aisle). I once asked for capers, and when asked what they were, I found actually I couldn't describe them either. I have since found that they are the pickled bud of the caper plant. Anyway, I won't have a bad word said against this particular employee - he scoured the 'World Foods' aisle, I the 'Free From' section. I couldn't think of where else it might be. At last, I admitted defeat. Dejectedly, I made my way to the checkout with my lonely broccoli. He appeared again; "if you're looking for really good Asian supplies, there's a really great shop in Catford Bridge". We compared notes over the till. Now that's what I call service.

So, the pork loin was put to a different recipe, a really quick stir-fry. One of Ken Hom's, in fact, of which you can find here. I added shredded leeks.


Anonymous said...

I must try to make something in black bean sauce, whenever I've tried it in restaurants I've always found it too sweet.

Idiot alert: would you use the same black beans that you use in Mexican cooking?

O/T: the random words generated by Blogger that I have to type to prove I'm not a robot are the hardest on your blog than on any of the others I comment on!

Anonymous said...

In Sainsbury's the Mori-Nu tofu is with the sun dried tomatoes and lentils, for future reference!!! The Cauldron fresh tofu is in the fridge with the vegetarian stuff, but is not that good.

Hollow Legs said...

Hi Ginger - I always find restaurant black bean sauces to be quite gloopy, I try and avoid them. The black beans are fermented and salted soy beans, they look like this: They're small and very pungent, I sometimes eat just a few of them stirred in to rice. You can also buy black bean and garlic sauce, which I've used perfectly well, you just get a smoother sauce.

Sorry to hear about the words - I wonder if I can change that?

EFCLiz: thanks! I agree, the Cauldron stuff isn't too good. Sainsburys often put things in odd places - I found bulgar wheat in the pasta section to be particularly odd.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, you don't need to do anything, it just struck me as odd :)

I was looking for cous-cous at Tesco the other day and assumed it would be with the pasta and rice, it was with the flour/eggs/cake mix though.

Anonymous said...

Did you pay for the taxi from work to home or was it on company expenses? That must be hefty.

You had a nice young man there to help you. Shame you did not find what you were after.

Ros said...

With the lentils and sundried tomatoes, eh? I always have trouble finding things in Sainsbury's. Their aisle arrangement can be quite mad.

I will be attempting tofu for the first time on Wednesday- wish me luck!

Hollow Legs said...

Hi Sunflower - company expenses ;) They left me waiting 20 mins for my cab, so I thought it wouldn't hurt if I left him waiting for a bit!

Good luck ros - which recipe are you trying?