- Sliced Onions
- Minced Garlic
- Debearded Mussels (about 3 pounds)
- Coconut Milk (1 can)
- Green Curry Paste (3 tablespoons)
- Fish Sauce (2 spoonfulls)
- Sugar (1 tablespoon)
- Spinach (handfull)
I am starting this blog with the intention to share with and learn from others who have a passion for the incredible experience that is Asian food: the simple elegance of Japanese food, the multi-layered,knock-your-socks-off flavors of Southeast Asian cuisines, the earthiness of Korean cooking.
I write as an Asian-American who is blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest with abundant seafood and shellfish, wild mushrooms, agricultural heritage, and reverence for quality and sustainability. Not to mention the burgeoning and creative wine, craft beer and small distilleries. Not to mention that multi-culturalism is a daily fact of life and pretension is shunned. Full disclosure: this is the DNA of Foodie-San.
I want to focus on small discoveries—ingredients you may not have heard of, or new ways to use familiar ingredients. And , everything must be delicious and extremely easy to prepare.
Today I want to write about coconut milk, which is healthy , delicious and versatile. It is a mainstay for Pan Asian and Pacific cooking. Check out Wikipedia for a summary of health effects http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_milk , as well as instructions for how to make your own coconut milk.
As for moi, I buy mine in a can at Uwajimaya (www.uwajimaya.com ) in Seattle’s International District. In fact, I typically purchase many cans at once, allowing me to make impressive and extremely tasty dinners for company in a literal flash. Take this 3-sentence recipe for green curry mussels for example, which can be served as an appetizer or for dinner:
Green Curry Mussels
Sauté some sliced onions in a large wok until soft, add some minced garlic and then throw in about 3 pounds of debearded mussels. Next, add a can of coconut milk, a few tablespoons of green curry paste (which you can buy by the tub at Uwajimaya), a couple spoonfuls of fish sauce, a tablespoon of sugar, and a couple handfuls of spinach. Then, just mix it up and put a lid on it until the mussels just open . Garnish with fresh basil and cilantro.
How easy is that? You can serve it with white rice, some rice noodles (another awesome item for another blog) or just some crusty bread. And if you don’t have mussels , you can use chicken breast, fried tofu, eggplant or all of the above.
My hero, Mark Bittman, has a fabulous recipe for coconut rice at http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/6392/1999/08/25/Coconut-Rice/recipe.html . I usually gild the lily by using chicken broth instead of one of the cans of coconut milk, and add a little turmeric and saffron. BTW, Mr. Bittman (did I mention he is my hero?) has a truly awe-inspiring cookbook called The Best Recipes in the World. He’s telling the truth.