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Martha’s Test Kitchen: The Silver Phoenix Mapo Tofu

Something new for the test kitchen: cooking instead of baking!

If you’ve already read Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix, you know how important a good meal is to our heroine, Ai Ling. (You can’t be expected to battle mythical demons on an empty stomach, after all.) So, for the paperback edition, Cindy sent us one of her mother’s recipes to include in the Extras.

After a hard Saturday of lounging on my couch, watching Wimbledon and the World Cup in 89-degree heat, I made myself Margaret’s Mapo Tofu for dinner.*

Curious to know what the test kitchen itself looks like? Here you go!

All of the ingredients.

The ingredients, all chopped up and ready to toss in the pan

Dinner cooking!

Rice boiling. (Sorry, Cindy, I know it was supposed to be steamed, but I don't have a steamer!)

Mapo tofu and rice for dinner


*And also ate it for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Nope, I didn’t share. It was delicious.


  1. Jen Hayley says:

    That looks REALLY good. I’m a big fan of tofu, so I’m going to have to try that myself.

  2. cindy says:

    holy mapo on a stick!
    martha you are my heroine!
    haha! *i* havent even tried it yet.
    you know how i feel about cooking.
    but my mom is such an awesome one
    and this is one of my favorite dishes
    by her.

    i esp love that it’s vegetarian, tho
    i’m not one. but i do love tofu and
    mock meats. HOORAH!

  3. cindy says:

    man, my mouth is watering. haha!
    and for the record, my mom was very
    leery about being included in the
    extras. but i told her MY EDITOR REALLY
    WANTED a recipe. haha!

    she wanted to make sure to relay that
    home cooking is from the heart, not
    about precise measurements. =)

  4. Lynne Rae Perkins says:

    so what do i click on for the recipe?

  5. cindy says:

    hi lynne! martha was being a trickster
    and hinting you can only find the
    special limited edition of this recipe
    in the paperback extras section of
    Silver Phoenix. =)

  6. It looked yummy ’til I saw there were onions. Blech.

  7. Michelle says:


  8. […] especially if it has a delicious crust!—I am in love. I grew up in a Chinese family eating delicious Chinese food. My mom is an excellent Chinese cook, BUT she never baked. Never ever ever. Ever. Our ovens—two […]

  9. OH-EM-GEE YUMMY! I am right smack in the middle of reading Silver Phoenix (YAY Cindy) and yes, I salivate a Lot! Oh and sigh a Lot too 😉

  10. cindy says:

    christina, yay! =)

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