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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Eastern Extravaganza

It all started with a bag of frozen peas. Actually, it started with the tub of vanilla ice cream that I made and had to get into the freezer, and could only fit if I got ride of the peas. So, of the vast array of options that welcome the frozen pea, we decided to head to the far east.

I used two cast iron skillets, well seasoned, smoking hot, to stand in for a wok. Start with a glug of veg oil, then the rice. Once coated with oil and beginning to brown, add the vegetables - carrot, brussels sprouts, and onion - then the minced garlic and ginger, season with soy sauce, and finish with a quick toss of the peas, fresh cilantro, and green onion. To be consumed while the "breath" of the wok is still steaming aggressively.

To go alongside the rice I tossed some firm tofu cubes in cornstarch seasoned with cayenne and ground ginger and deep fried them until crispy. Served them with a dipping sauce of mirin, rice vinegar, soy, sugar, minced scallion, garlic, and ginger.

Finally a cold foil: that carrot and ginger dressing from your corner sushi spot. Bright and fresh to balance the umami of the soy-inflected hot dishes.

A delicious trip to the East washed down with a sip of the Midwest: ice cold PBR.

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