Miso DeliciousPosted: September 28, 2010
I hardly ever cook Asian food as you might have been able to deduce from all my blog posts. I’m usually a one plate dinner sort of cook, even if there’s many components on that plate. But with Chinese food you gotta keep washing a wok about three different times and it just isn’t as seamless (or maybe it isn’t for me).
Sometimes Jacey and I get massive cravings for home-cooked Malaysian meals. It’s hard to describe because it’s definitely not available in any of the Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne. It’s the food we ate at home when we were growing up and no restaurant in Malaysia would serve it either. It’s things like deep fried fish with soya sauce and freshly cut chillies, chicken curry, soya sauce pork, any leafy greens fried with small prawns and loads of garlic, and other variants.
Two weeks back when we sat down together to plan our weekly grocery list, we decided it would be Asian Week. Due to my social life getting in the way, our biggest event for the week, the Momofuku steamed pork buns got postponed to the following week so we made it Asian Fortnight.
It was pretty cool. The first night we started with Jacey’s steamed barramundi with Shao Hsing wine, soya sauce, ginger and spring onions (mmm!) and fried vegetables. I’m not remembering the dishes clearly now but we had Prawn Mee, Fried Crispy Yee Mee and of course, the meal below.
I was having the biggest cravings for food that my mother would cook so I actually got her on the phone to give me her recipe for her Chinese style chicken stew. It’s a good thing I understand my mother’s recipes because they’re full of, “A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and slightly more of this.”
I was pretty excited to make this because I just dumped it all in a slow cooker and let it do its job while I went to class. There’s chicken liver in there as well but it completely disintegrated with slow cooking which was awesome, although probably not as awesome for Jacey who doesn’t deal with chicken liver. Everything was falling off the bones and the vegetables were super tender. Tasted just like home, too.
This is one of my favourite things about the food I get at home. Usually our fish seller back home just throws it in for free but it’d be the highlight of the meal for me. Who said I have expensive tastes, am I right? ;) These were so cheap at the market, too. They were seasoned, covered in corn flour and deep-fried. Together with the soya sauce and freshly cut chillies it was so good.
I’m just skimming right over the fact that everyone who has seen this picture has mentioned the phallic nature of the dish. To that I say… DELICIOUS ;) Just kidding. Maybe. I don’t know. Let’s move along.
This definitely wasn’t something from my childhood but when I saw the recipe for it in the Momofuku cookbook, I couldn’t help myself. Miso butter?! Are you kidding me? I think I soaked the cookbook with my drool while reading the recipe. This was the week after my lunch at Maze where Joyce and I were pretty close to writing Shakespearean worthy sonnets about the seaweed butter. We almost hatched an Ocean’s Eleven-esque plan to steal the restaurant’s supply of seaweed butter – we were that enamoured.
The recipe called for pan-seared asparagus and miso butter but I wanted Asian mushrooms because it sounded yummier to me. And it was perfect with the asparagus and miso butter. Naturally I had leftover miso butter so the next day I made a vegetarian dish of soba noodles, lightly sauteed mushrooms and the miso butter. It was like a killer creamy pasta but a thousand times more delicious. I now live for miso butter.
As I was saying, photographs of Asian style food hardly ever look nice when I do it. It doesn’t even look half as delicious as it was!
I’ve got some exciting things planned for my kitchen. I recently got a Beater Blade so I need to see how that works, and a lot of sous vide Ziploc bags so that’s going to be fun. I’m also planning to attempt a recipe from the Alinea cookbook, am dying to test out about 3 different macaron recipes to see which is the best, and I want to make duck confit. I need more hours in a day and more mouths to feed (and possibly less uni assignments to work on).