Some days are harder than other days.
There are days when you wake up tired and drag yourself through work and then home again. Days with headaches and not enough coffee and a vague feeling that a nice nap would be good.
Days when you can’t be bothered to cook much, despite the giant purple cabbage you were so excited about the day before and ideas for mustard roasted chicken and smashed potato with bacon.
For some, the appropriate balm for such trying times is cheese-on-toast, mash, macaroni-cheese, shepherd’s pie or chocolate ice-cream. The theme tends to be cream and carbohydrates.
All perfectly valid.
For me, I crave either one of two things: Indonesian chicken soup (sop ayam, the most blissful experience of chicken stock, vegetables, ginger, rice and chilli sauce) or scrambled tofu. I can’t explain why chilli features so prominently as comfort food for me.
Simply that the other night when I limped home, wrung out and ready to curl up in bed, it was soft tofu laced with fresh chilli, spring onions, garlic and ginger that I craved. The consistency of baked custard, salty with soy sauce and speckled with a sharp kick. Baby food for grown ups.
300g silken tofu
2 medium hot chillies, thinly sliced
5 shallots, thinly sliced
½ inch ginger, very finely chopped
2 clove garlic, very finely chopped
Salt and soya sauce to taste
Heat a little oil in a non stick pan. Add chillies, ginger, garlic and shallots and fry off for about 1 minute. Add tofu in a single piece and break up gently by crushing with the back of a wooden spoon. Shake pan gently until tofu is hot all the way through. Add salt and soya sauce to taste. Serve as is, or with steamed rice. Go to bed early.