Well, it’s summer, so I shouldn’t complain. But my nose is running, my forehead sweating and my tongue burning. Nope, not sick. Just eating dinner made from recipes from my new cook book “Every Grain of Rice.” Second evening I’ve tried out some dishes now – last night was too good to stop.
Since living in Singapore a while back, I’ve become a believer in the idea that some foods are naturally “hot” and some are naturally “cool.” Also some people run warm (me) and some people run cool. The whole yin and yang idea. And the Chinese have these elaborate rules or rather customs about what to eat when in order to keep the body in order (i guess I should be eating a lot more cucumbers and watermelon). But I think I am generally a rule breaker…and I know I would always go for the dish with the chilies rather than the one without.
Therefore my selection of recipes in the past couple days is more reflective of what I like to eat than it is of the weather or my general temperature/disposition: Cold Sichaun Chicken (it’s served cold…so should be fine, right? Chicken is poached in advance then allowed to cool before you shred the meat and mix it with the sauce sprinkling sichaun pepper on top and roasted sesame seeds at the end). Lotus root salad with mushrooms, chilies, dried shrimp (root = hot, mushrooms = hot, chilies = hot…hmmm), and mustard greens…which chilies and ginger and garlic. Hot Hot Hot. Oh and tonight…Ma Po Tofu (hot), and cucumbers and wood ear mushrooms (mixed).
Still…worth it. Haven’t cooked with sichaun pepper in a very long time. Lovely flavor and numb tongue feeling.
Can highly recommend the cookbook. I like it because unlike some other Chinese cookbooks I have, the list of ingredients is REALLY short – the food is home cooking and simply relies on very fast sauteing in most cases and the natural flavors of the food.