I was once asked at a dinner party “If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be?” My immediate answer was Japanese. It was a kind of strange answer for me given that I rarely actually cook Japanese. Rather I go out for it, so it has this special aura about it, I eat Japanese sans children often with Mr Good and so I think of it with particular enthusiasm. I also adore Miso Eggplant and love the clean, fresh and healthy flavours. The children do love themselves a good sushi roll as well. But then someone else said Thai and I thought what good is it living if you can’t indulge in a spicy green or red curry with prawns every so often. Then someone else said Italian and I realised that already that is the most common thing I cook and definitely my kids favourite cuisine. Let’s face it the decision was impossible. A dilemma on the same scale as penis fingers vs spider hat perhaps.
And all of this leads me to today’s post, my experimentation with a few new Asian dishes (thoroughly inauthentic I’m sure) thanks to my Awesome Asian pinterest board.
The first dish I made quite while ago when I had splashed out and bought fresh salmon fillets for dinner. I dearly wish I could stretch my budget to fresh fish more often – we all love it, though trying to navigate the ethics and environmental considerations when buying fish does my head in. With that gorgeous salmon I made this Asian Salmon and Noodles dish.
My only alternations was to use a mild sweet chilli sauce in stead of the Sriracha sauce in the noodles. Don’t do this, it needs more kick less sweetness than my version. I would definitely use a spicy chilli sauce next time, perhaps added at the end after I’ve taken a portion out for the girls (or Miss Five who can taste a chilli flake at twenty paces) or sprinkle with chilli flakes after serving the noodles. I also used a packet of egg noodles rather than pasta but it’s all pretty much the same right? And as we consider it sacrilege to discard salmon skin, I crisped this up under the grill and served it on top. The whole thing was really delicious – despite being a little too sweet for my taste.
The second dish I really did some experimenting with. It was based on this recipe for Mongolian Beef. I wanted something I could have already prepared and then just throw in the wok ten minutes before serving. So instead of following the method, I made up the sauce, threw in the meat and veggies and popped it in the fridge until dinner time. At the last minute I decided it needed an injection of vegetables to I add carrots and snow peas. It cooked up in the required few minutes, but would have been much better had I cooked the meat first, as directed, then the veg followed by the sauce and then returning the meat to the pan. In the end mine turned a sort of muddy brown colour and I needed to thicken it with a little cornflour. The flavours were still there and I loved the hit of ginger. Both girls ate a whole bowl without a single complaint (a rare occurrence indeed). I will be giving this a second go doing it properly next time.
You’ll note the sprinkle of chilli flakes in the picture – added colour and gave a great little sizzle to the flavours.
So what’s you’re favourite Asian dish? Is it kid friendly or do you have alter (or just not serve it to kids)? I always struggle finding the balance between flavours I enjoy and ones the kids will tolerate. And if you have to pick a cuisine for life what would it be and why?