For those who feel that fried chicken and potatoes are an inseparable pair, know that in Asian cooking, chicken and potatoes, just as tasty and just as succulent, can be enjoyed without any deep frying involved.
When I first came across this spinach recipe in The New York Times health section, it was labeled as an appetizer. The recipe itself was not all that simple — the dressing had to be boiled and reduced. Wondering if there were simpler versions, I searched around using “Japanese spinach sesame seeds” as a key phrase. The results were confusing. In some sites, the very same dish is called oshitashi; in others, it is goma-ae. What the heck? So, I did several more searches. After visiting a dozen food websites and blogs, and fifteen minutes of reading, I think it goes like this — oshitashi is the name of the dish; goma-ae is the name of the sesame dressing.
Of course, what’s in a name? It was just curiosity that drove me to search. What’s important is what drew me to the dish, to begin with. The recipe is so easy, the ingredients are quite inexpensive and, looking over the ingredient list and procedure, I was 99% sure that the result would be good. Ergo, three things made the recipe attractive: simplicity, economy and anticipated deliciousness. If it turns out that I’m wrong about the distinction between oshitashi and goma-ae, I don’t really care. This is a very easy, tasty and cheap vegetable dish that you can serve as a salad, an appetizer, a side dish or even as a light main dish. … Continue reading »
All three dishes that I prepared for tonight’s dinner were based on Thai recipes. But, for one reason or another, two did not turn out to be authentic Thai dishes. The ingredients for the fish in chili garlic sauce were modified to adapt to what I had in the pantry but it still turned out very well. The original recipe for this cucumber salad called for chopped roasted peanuts but since I still had a pack and a half of roasted pili nuts from the Albay trip, I decided to use them instead.
What’s really great about this salad is its simplicity — simplicity in the preparation and simplicity of ingredients all of which are staples in most kitchens. Unlike Western salads, it contains no oil but relies largely on the natural flavors of the cucumber which is wonderfully enhanced by the pungent and citrusy aromas of the dressing. Pungent? Yes, the dressing contains patis or fish sauce. … Continue reading »