Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thank goodness we're Karma-free


We picked up this awesome little book at an Indian restaurant called The Higher Taste: A guide to gourmet vegetarian cooking and a Karma-Free Diet. It's half vegetarian dogma and half recipies: about ten each of Indian, Chinese, Thai, Mediterranean, European, Greek, and Latin American. It's incredibly random but very intriguing, and we tried our first recipe from it tonight: Stir-fried Hokkein Noodles with Asian Greens and Tofu. This being Omaha, we did a lot of ingredient substitutions. The guy at Whole Foods suggested baby bok choy in place of choy sum, and had never heard of Asafetida. On to the Asian market on 84th, where they did not know Hokkien noodles but suggested some great ramen-like quick cooking ones, and where I was too shy to ask about asafetida. (Later, google had me use two cloves of garlic instead of this spice, which it said is onioney and garlicey.)

The recipie has you make a paste of garlic, red chili, ginger, and Chinese black bean, which you stir fry along with greens, tofu, noodles, and a sauce of soy, stock, sesame oil and sugar. They were mostly new ingredients for me and it was delicious, and the closest I've come to feeling like I could cook like a Chinese restaurant. (I can't say it tasted like *real* Chinese food, as I have never been to China so I don't know). The sauce was deep and coated the noodles, although I'll use more chili and garlic next time, as the flavors were weakened by the mass of a pound of noodles.

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