“It looks like a tree”

March 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Being back at university this week nearly saw desertation of blog duty, but after I sat in a cafe for an hour today attempting to read Gramscian economic theory and only learnt that 9 people ordered vegetable soup, ‘Matt’ in the corner drank a banana smoothie, and the chicken, roast beetroot, spinach and fetta salad looked divine, I realised I should get the food out of my head.

So here i am, five hours later, in my galley kitchen with a bunch of bok choy, trout fillet, leftover sauteed mushrooms and 1/4 red cabbage.

Where to start? What to do?

When in doubt – cook rice! Unfortunately, opening my jar of brown rice I am confronted with an invasion of weevils that somehow managed to penetrate the apparently airtight seal.

Lesson 1. Do not try to cook the weevils out of the rice, it won’t work.

Lesson 2. Have spare rice on hand

Lesson 3. Be grateful that you live with a flatmate who also eats brown rice and their cupboard that YOU can invade.

Lesson 4. Wash the saucepan before round two or you will STILL have weevils in your rice.

With the third (exhaustive) attempt of rice cooking I’m finally able to stir in mushrooms, cabbage and some torn mint leaves. I then grated galangal (my grocer was out of ginger but kindly gave me some galangal roots free of charge, i think he remembered that the day before they didn’t have loose beetroot when I went in) chopped garlic, red chilli and a lime wedge, popped it all on the trout and then stared blankly at my chopping board. This isn’t really venturing out of my kitchen norm. Naturally the solution is to stuff the trout into the leaves of a bok choy bunch, fold and stab it together with some skewers.

Lesson 5. Have kitchen string on hand.

Right, time to steam. Placing the steaming basket over a large saucepan of boiling water I covered the bundle with foil and wandered off for 10 minutes.

Lesson 6. Trout in bok choy will not need 10 minutes to steam. Maybe 6?

Want dressing? Whisk together 1 tablespoon soy, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon mirin, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.

Rice

Fish bundle

Dressing

Serve

Verdict: I overcooked the trout, steamed my wrist and stabbed myself with a broken skewer…but I can feel success here with a second attempt!

Oh, and my vegetarian flatmate questioned why I was eating a tree…

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