No Recipes vol. 5

Hi! I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques while giving you the confidence and inspiration to cook without recipes too!

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No Recipes roundups are a way for me to share food that didn’t quite make the cut to get its own post. While most posts here come with recipes, these roundups capture the ethos of this blog in that cooking is more fun when “coloring outside the lines”. Perhaps it’s the cold weather but I’ve

No Recipes roundups are a way for me to share food that didn't quite make the cut to get its own post. While most posts here come with recipes, these roundups capture the ethos of this blog in that cooking is more fun when "coloring outside the lines"

Perhaps it's the cold weather but I've been on a meat and soup kick this past week. There is one vegan recipe at the bottom, so scroll all the way down if you're so inclined:-)

Kimchi Jigae - This is one of my favourite winter stews. It's a rich, garlicky, spicy concoction made with stock, red pepper, tofu, meat or seafood and of course, kimchi. It's best made with old (as in about to go bad) fermented kimchi which gives it a slightly tangy flavor and adds some depth, making it the perfect way to polish off the last of a jar. Traditionally it's made with pork, but I had some beef stock and flank steak on hand, so I went the beef route here.

Sansho Chirimen Meshi - This is a type of takikomi gohan that's absurdly simple. Sansho chirimen is something that's typically eaten on top of rice and is a tsukudani made of baby anchovies and sansho pepper corns(sichuan pepper) cooked in a sweet soy sauce. It's very flavorful owing to the anchovy, but not fishy at all. For this chirimen meshi I just measured out 2 C of rice in the rice cooker with water then add about about 1/4 cup of sansho chirimen, along with bamboo (or in this case, water chestnut) and turned the rice cooker on.

Sulong Tang - This one didn't go quite as it was supposed to. Sulong Tang is a milky white soup made by cooking beef marrow bones for many hours. As you can see, the soup isn't milky white. I soaked the bones in several changes of water for a day to get rid of most of the blood, then I par boiled them to get rid of any remaining blood, followed by 6 hours in the pressure cooker. My guess is that the pressure cooker probably turned the soup brown (either from agitation or pressure). It did taste good though. Next time I'll try it in a crock pot for a slow cook overnight.

Turkey Pho - This idea was 100% inspired by Heather from Gild the Voodoo Lilly. I used turkey stock along with some star anise, Vietnamese cinnamon, fish sauce, charred ginger, cilantro root, and celery to make the stock, topping it with scallions, cilatro, bean sprouts and fish cake. Not at all authentic, but it came together using stuff that was in the fridge and pantry.

Char Siu Fried Rice - With all the char siu experimentation last week, I ended up with a lot of extra char siu. This is one simple way to use up leftover rice and barbecued pork (or really any kind of meat). I seasoned with a bit of oyster sauce and a dash of 5 spice powder.

Sweet Potato Curry - This vegan curry started out with a lot of onions chili peppers and celery caramelized. To that I added some garam masala, ginger and garlic and fried until fragrant. In went some sweet potatoes and veggie stock and it simmered until the potatoes were very tender and the sauce had thickened a bit. I served it with some chapati, an unleavened Indian flatbread which is probably the most simple kind of bread you can make (water and atta flour, rolled out and "baked" in a hot pan).


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