Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fried rice and crunchy garlic stems

We had Chinese food again recently... We usually cook Chinese or Asian food 2 to 4 times a week... We love it and its a big part of my partner's cultural background.

I tried to recreate a nice fiddleheads and bacon fried rice that I made earlier this month with the frozen fiddleheads we picked last spring and still have in the freezer (we picked a lot of them). This time however I failed: too much soy sauce, too much rice in a single wok and I didn't cook the eggs enough before mixing them with the rice. You can see why the eggs were incorporated too fast in the rice in the next picture. I usually push the rice on the side of the wok in order to cook my eggs before mixing them with the rice but this time the wok was overflowing and the rice fell in the eggs before they had the time to cook... The result was a mushy fried rice... The taste was ok (too salty from the soy sauce) but the texture wasn't there... And the enjoyment of eating a fried rice is at least 50% texture.

On the other hand, I was still able to cook a very nice dish made with a Chinese veggie which I think is the stem from the flower of the garlic plant. It tastes like garlic and asparagus mixed together; it has a very nice crunch and a nice sweetness to it. It is definately one of my favorite vegetable.

To this veggie, I added some frozen bay scallops that had been quite disappointing in previous dishes (too old maybe?). To improve on flavor and texture, I placed them in a brine a good 30 minutes before cooking them. They almost doubled in size soaking up the brine... You had to see it to believe it! After draining them well, I sauteed them over very high heat and added the garlic stems which burned a bit under such a strong heat (this adds a ton of flavour!). I did not season my dish more than that since the scallops were salty enough. It is a simple and delicious dish to prepare... And the more I think about it, the more I believe it is the brine and the extreme temperature that made that dish sooooooo good!

No comments: