When I was 19 or so, my parents went on a trip to China and I went with them. In my fuzzy memory, it happened very quickly: one day my mom asked me if I wanted to go to Asia, and then next we were on a plane headed to Shanghai and Beijing.
Posts Tagged ‘green onions’
The photo of the bacon dashi with potatoes and clams is probably my least favourite photo in the whole book. It’s not photographer Gabriele Stabile’s fault. It’s those damn fingerling potatoes, they’re just so obscene. For those of you with the book, I draw your attention to the potato in the clam…shell on the left side of the bowl. Doesn’t that look off? I don’t have a problem with how fingerlings taste (they taste quite good), but I just can’t stand their strangely elongated gnarly shapes.
Needless to say, I didn’t use fingerling potatoes in my bacon dashi with potatoes and clams and (for once) it wasn’t because I couldn’t find the ingredient. I used new potatoes instead, which are much prettier. This dish rocked: the sweetness of the clams, the smokiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the potatoes were simple and satisfying. I could eat bowls and bowls of it, but really, I think I could eat bowls and bowls of just potatoes boiled in bacon dashi (as long as they’re not fingerlings).
Potatoes used to be my favourite food. (They’re still one of my favourites, just not the favourite). Back in university I used to eat baked mashed potatoes for dinner. Nothing else, just mashed potatoes baked to get that lovely crunchy top. Potatoes truly are a wonder vegetable: so versatile, so delicious. I love them mashed, baked, fried, french-fried, scalloped, boiled, roasted, and hash-browned. I like them just about any way, except steamed. Boiling them in bacon dashi is one of the ultimate preparations, I think. When you boil potatoes in bacon dashi, their soft, creamy insides are infused with bacon dashi goodness.
The clams were tasty too, even though we ended up with Manila clams, not littleneck or butter. I bought them at Whole Foods, where a friendly fish monger (not Fish Boy) picked out some fresh, happy, living clams.
Bacon dashi with potatoes and clams is simple cooking at it’s best. Potatoes are boiled in the dashi then strained out, then the clams are thrown in and steamed. When all the clams have opened up, the potatoes are dropped back in and a simple garnish of crisped bacon and green onion oil are put on top.
We had bread on the side to soak up the bacon dashi and Mike thought the bread in the dashi tasted like barbeque chips. I can’t say that I agreed at the time, but I have a theory on why that is: green onion oil.
Me: I don’t get the green onion oil, I didn’t taste it at all.
Mike: Really? I thought it was good.
Me: Wait a minute. Did I even put green onion oil on mine? I don’t think I did.
Mike: Well, maybe that’s why mine tastes like barbecue chips and yours doesn’t.
I think I’ll have to try this again just so I can taste the dish with the green onion oil.
I’ll definitely be making this dish again: the clams start off mildly delicious, light and flavourful then the subtle addiction of the dish hits you and makes you just want to keep eating and eating and eating.
Corn, it’s one the most delicious vegetables! But wait, corn’s not a vegetable? I learned that the hard way after playing twenty questions with Mike while on a road trip. I think I knew it was a grain, but for some reason, for the purpose of twenty questions it was more of a vegetable. It was the first time I “won,” at twenty questions, but Mike claims that it doesn’t count because I “lied.”
Lying aside, corn really is delicious. The crunch, the sweet milkiness, and the way the kernels burst into juicy little flavour bombs on your tongue can’t be beat. Nothing is better than fresh corn steamed with butter. Oh, except fresh corn roasted on the cob and topped with green onion oil. Oh, and maybe Chang’s roasted sweet summer corn with miso butter, bacon & roasted onions.
The recipe is called “roasted sweet summer corn,” but it’s not summer. Imported corn from the grocery store never tastes the same as just picked off the cob. I wish I could just go to the multitudes of corn fields nearby, but as balmy as it is in Vancouver right now, there isn’t any local corn.
No local corn and sad supermarket corn meant that I used my old standby, frozen. I really like frozen corn. It’s convenient, it tastes good, and I actually buy into that whole frozen vegetables are flash frozen at the peak of their goodness thing.
Obtaining fresh corn aside, this is another one of Chang’s easier (read, quick) recipes. There’s little room for error, after all it has corn, miso butter, bacon and onions. All delicious on their own, all taste-explosiony together. The sweetness of the corn and onions were offset by the saltiness of the bacon and miso butter. I really do love the combination of sweet and salty flavours.
I had this corn last summer at Noodle Bar, and it flavour wise, it was just as good, but something was missing. Looking back at my photos of the Noodle Bar corn I noticed that there were new roasted potatoes tossed in. I think this recipe would really benefit from potatoes. Also, it was a tad on the salty side, so if I were to make it again I’d cut down on the amount of miso butter. I guess there can be too much of a good thing!
But there can never be enough corn. Or bacon.
These chicken wings are touted as “the world’s longest recipe for chicken wings” and it’s true, they aren’t the kind of chicken wings you throw together on a Wednesday night, but they are really, really good. If you do most of the preparation a day or two before, actual cooking time is not that bad and totally worth it.
The chicken wings follow the same kind of preparation as the chicken in Momofuku’s Chicken & Egg, so if you have your chicken wings waiting for you in the fridge, you’re good to go. If you don’t, basically, you confit your wings and some bacon in pork fat to infuse the chicken with a rich smokiness and then let the wings chill completely in the fat.
When you’re ready to eat, heat up the fat, strain out the chicken wings and pat dry. The chicken won’t look anything close to cooked, but don’t worry, then wings are then pan fried in a cast-iron skillet until deeply browned and then tossed with a sauce made with taré (luckily I had some extra in the fridge), the confit fat, sliced garlic and pickled chilies. Toss some green onions on for garnish and it’s good eats, especially with rice.
Sweet, spicy, juicy and crispy, these were some good chicken wings, but what really made the wings shine was the sauce. Save any left over sauce you have because its delicious as a dipping sauce or on rice or noodles.
What do you do when you have excessive amounts of homemade kimchi in the fridge? Make mentaiko kimchi udon, of course!
Mentaiko kimchi udon is one of my favourite noodle dishes ever. I know I’ve said before that I don’t really love kimchi, so it’s kind of strange that one of my favourite noodle dishes contains it, but before I learned to love that strange, spicy, pickled flavour, I would just pick the kimchi out and eat the udon. Oh, and what an udon it is! I first had this dish at Zakkushi, a Japanese charcoal grill restaurant. One bite of those springy, chewy, wheat-flour noodles tossed with spicy roe and kimchi and I was hooked. I can eat plates and plates of this stuff. So with an abundance of happy fermented kimchi in the fridge, I decided to do just that: eat plates and plates of the stuff.
I love all kinds of noodles, but udon holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always enjoyed thicker noodles, mostly for the chewy bite they have. There’s a world of difference within the varieties of packaged udon you buy at the supermarket, so I say, find the kind you like and stick with it. For me, that brand is frozen Maruchan Kame Age Udon. I find frozen udon much more superior than the udon you buy refrigerated or vacuum packed. The noodles taste fresher, are more slick and chewy and have a slight rectangular quality. They taste great just in a plain broth, or even better as mentaiko kimchi udon.
Mentaiko is known as Japanese spicy cod roe, but really it’s pollock roe. It’s marinated in salt and red pepper and has a rich, creamy flavour and a reddish hue. Originally Mentaiko was Korean, which explains why it pairs so well with kimchi.
Mentaiko kimchi udon is so ridiculously easy to make that I wish I had mentaiko all the time. You can purchase it at most Japanese grocery stores or maybe even Korean ones. I found mine at Fujiya, a popular Japanese centric grocery store here in Vancouver.
Mentaiko Kimchi Udon Recipe
1 sac of mentaiko
2 tablespoons of kimchi
2 bricks of frozen udon
2 tablespoons of butter
sliced green onions and nori for garnish
1. Melt the butter over low heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Remove the roe from the sac. Cut the sac open with a knife and use a spoon to scrape the eggs out.
3. Put a pot of water big enough for your two bricks of udon to boil on high heat.
4. Cook the udon according to the cooking directions on the package.
5. Mix the mentaiko and butter together.
6. Drain your udon and while it is hot, toss it with the mentaiko butter combination. Once the udon is coated, add the kimchi and toss well.
7. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and nori.
Mentaiko kimchi udon is spicy, creamy and delicious. You’ll dream about this udon. I know I do.