Difficulty Level: 1 – Heat, stir, and have a beer.
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cooking Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Real people serving size:4

Chinese Tomato Egg Recipe
6 large eggs
4 small tomatoes diced (the riper the better) or 1 can diced tomatoes
(Basically you want the ratio of egg to tomato to be about the same)
1 table spoon tomato sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 stalk green onions
2 table spoon water, milk or cream (optional – fluffier eggs)
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Chinese Tomato Eggs Recipe

1. Add 2 tbs water or milk to eggs to make them fluffier and beat them in a bowl. Scramble the eggs in a pan with 1 tsp vegetable oil. After scrambling put them on a plate and set aside.
2. Add the diced tomatoes into the pan with the chicken broth and simmer for a minute.
3. Add tomato paste and mix into the diced tomatoes and let simmer for another minute.
4. Now add the scrambled eggs back into the pan and let everything simmer until tomatoes are soft.
5. Add a dash or two of white pepper and salt to taste.
6. Plate and top with chopped green onions.

That’s it! It’s very easy and great for a quick meal. I sometimes replace the tomatoes with a can of diced tomatoes. Not a preferred but it’s definitely easier and works if I don’t want to go to the grocery store. Also, if you used canned tomatoes then don’t add the tomato paste, you can just pour a little of the liquid in the can. Canned tomatoes already have a strong taste. I didn’t always use tomato paste but tomatoes in the store don’t taste that great. So if you grow your own tomatoes and make sure that they are ripe then they will taste much better and you may not need the tomato paste. Try your own take on it and see what happens.

five spice cornish game hen

My five spice Cornish game hen/chicken recipe is really a beautiful combination of Chinese spices and a tender flavorful chicken. But…

What is a Cornish game hen?  It sounds like a fancy game bird hunted in the wild wetlands of England, but it’s not.  A Cornish game hen is basically a young chicken.  Technically it is a young chicken of the Cornish chicken breed, 5 to 6 weeks old,  less than 2 pounds, and very tasty.

When I use to live in NYC my apartment was like a small motel in the East Village.   Every weekend there was a new visitor and during the holidays I’d have to turn away friends because my couch has met it’s capacity. Now that I live in Raleigh I have a place 10x bigger and maybe one guest a year, if I’m lucky.  Funny how things work out.  Recently I did have one visitor from California, my friend Derek.  He had some meetings during the day but afterward I tried to show him around a bit and I started with my favorite place in North Carolina.  24 hour  Super Walmart.

Yes, I know that they are not going to win any company of the year awards, but I’m not here to talk about a company’s best business practices.  But given the fact that most stores are closed at 9pm and being quite a night owl, I have a limited selection.  It’s the only place open at 2am, other than the mini mart at the gas station, where the variety of product is not limited to Funyuns and Monster energy drink.  Basically I like to cruise the miles of white aisles free of hundreds of people and shopping carts.  It makes the entire process much faster and easier.  So while browsing the food section, we talked about cooking, BBQ and some of our favorite foods.  Cornish game hen was on sale and he told me his super easy recipe.  The rest was history.

I never cooked Cornish game hen never mind five spice Cornish game hen, but now it’s one of the easiest Asian recipes that I know.  Anyone can make it and it only takes a few minutes to set up.

raw cornish game hen


Difficulty Level: 1 – Heat, stir, and have a beer.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes (1 hour if you marinate)
Real people serving size:1

1 Cornish game hen (usually 1lb to 1.5 lbs frozen, so you’ll have to defrost)
2 tsp salt (I prefer kosher salt but any salt works)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp five spice powder
1 large brick (covered with foil, that way you know it’s clean)

Butterfly the chicken from the back. Mix the three dry ingredients together in a bowl and rub it all over the chicken including the front and back(the inside cavity with the bones). And that’s it for prep. You can grill it right away or let it sit for an hour in the fridge and let it marinate.
Grill for 6 minutes with the breast side up on medium high and place the brick on top of it. Then flip it and cook it breast side down for another 5 minutes or until done with the brick on top of it. Once cooked let it rest for 4 minutes.

Now grilling is probably one of the hardest things to explain on the internet simply because there are so many variables and differences in grills. Gas, electric, charcoal, wood, hot areas, low areas, etc. Any BBQer worth their salt knows their grill like the back of their hand. So cook accordingly. The brick simply helps cook the chicken faster and more evenly by allowing all parts of the chicken equal contact with the grill. Keep in mind that the brick may got too hot to handle so be careful.

There are a ton of options, you can broil it in the oven without the brick of course. You don’t have to butterfly it and can cook it whole in the oven like a roast chicken. You can use a regular chicken. You can add some minced garlic to the inside of the skin, or some soy sauce to the mix. The possibilities are endless but sometimes it’s great to keep it simple.

Cut the Cornish game hen into quarters or halves and serve with Thai sweet chili sauce and rice.
That’s it, super quick and easy. Great for parties, romantic dinners, or quick late night snacks.

Mapo tofu, ma pu tofu, ma-po tofu, mapo doufu, mapu doufu, ma-po doufu are all the same thing, sometimes the Chinese words and recipe get lost in translation. In any case Mapo Tofu is a Sichuan province dish made up of tofu, chili, bean paste, and ground pork.  Generally it is pretty spicy and has lots of red chili oil suspended all around it.  But to me it is a  home cooked favorite, consisting of boxed mapo tofu sauce, tofu, and ground pork.  Yes I know this is the easy way out but have you ever met a person that loves canned tomato soup, or boxed mac and cheese.  Personally I don’t like either of them, but I know a lot of people that do love these prepackaged mass produced food products.  Of course, you don’t eat it because it is a quality food product, but you do continue to eat it when you’re old and gray because it reminds you of when you were young.  It’s these tastes that separates us and our personal food preferences.  You’ll always love what you’re use to. So in this case, it’s much of the same.  My aunt use to make Mapo Tofu out of the box and I loved it over a big bowl of rice. Now, I’m going to share one of my most favorite and simple dishes in the world.  It’s super easy and hopefully you enjoy it.


Difficulty Level: 1 – Heat, stir, and have a beer.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Real people serving size:3

1 box House brand Mapo Tofu sauce (hot) (IMPORTANT! use only HOUSE BRAND)
1/2-3/4 pound ground pork
1 package silken tofu 19oz
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 green onion (optional for garnish)
1 tbs vegetable oil
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Poor vegetable oil into pan and saute the ground pork. Make sure that the pork gets separated into little bits.
Add white pepper, soy sauce, additional hot sauce (optional)
Drain and cut the tofu into 1″-1.5″ squares (larger is better than smaller since it’ll break apart)
Add tofu to the pan when the pork is almost cooked.
Then add the House brand mapo tofu sauce.
Liquids from the tofu and pork will thin the sauce out a little.
Fold in the sauce gently until everything is mixed well and simmer for a 3 minutes or until tofu is hot.

Done, it’s super easy. Garnish with green onion and serve it with some rice and you’re good to go.
Now you might be wondering why I like House brand sauce so much, well it is what I grew up on. It’s like going to Mcdonalds vs Burger King. Anyhow, there are lots of mapo tofu sauces out there and I encourage you to try them but in my opinion House brand tastes the best. And I haven’t quite figured out why but it is also 3x more expensive than the other brands. Maybe it’s branding, maybe it’s the quality of the sauce, maybe it’s because it’s from Japan, yes who would have thought, but those Japanese know how to improve on everything.

As far as options you can either make it spicier with more hot sauce or get the mild flavored sauce which is not hot at all. Ground chicken, turkey, beef, can all be used but I can’t promise anything. I also prefer silken tofu because I like the texture and it mixes with rice easily, but you can use soft tofu but I wouldn’t go any firmer than soft. If you prefer a vegetarian version, I’d probably add some shitake mushrooms and yellow onions.
The best thing about Mapo tofu is that the left overs can be used as a sauce. So you can adapt it to our dishes such as Mapo tofu ramen, Mapo tofu fried rice, or even Mapo tofu fried noodles.

Traditional Recipe
My boxed version is spicy but compared to the real deal, it’s mild. So here’s a traditional recipe of Mapo tofu for your reference.

1/2-3/4 pound ground pork
1 package silken tofu 19oz
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbs hot chili bean paste
1 tsp hot chili oil
2 whole dry red chilies
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (ground)
1 tsp Chinese black beans (mashed)
1/2 tsp white pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 green onion (optional for garnish)
1 tbs vegetable oil

The directions are similar to the box recipe.
Start by adding vegetable oil to the pan and stir fry the minced garlic with the mashed black beans for a few seconds, don’t burn them.
Add in ground pork and saute until it’s mostly cooked and broken down to little bits.
Add soy sauce, hot chili bean paste, chili oil, dry red chilies, and powder Sichuan peppercorns
Stir for a minute and then add in chicken stock.
Add tofu last and fold into sauce and pork.
Let simmer for 3 minutes or until tofu is hot.
Add 1 tsp corn starch mixed with 1 tbs cold water if you like it thicker.

Now be prepared, it’s going to be hot hot hot. So you might want to start without the dry chili and chili oil.
Alright there you go enjoy the Mapo tofu recipe.