Supper was…

gathering tea leavesPaul Can Cookdinner spreadsatisfaction

[mouse click on a photo to enlarge it]

…a small fish, perch, more or less, steamed in a wok with ginger, scallions and beer, and still swimming 30 min before I ate him. A Chinese would have recognized it as authentic, if a little amateurish. How they manage to wield a clever to deliver such small spears of ginger, and still have flesh left on their finger tips baffles me. The ginger and beer is absolutely essential — Paul (a good Chinese friend, concerned about my ability to survive) was horrified the first time he cooked a fish here when I found I had no beer. When you gently point out that you have been cooking and enjoying fish for forty years without ginger and beer, they just as nonchalantly reply that Americans can do without ginger and beer only because they don’t have fresh fish. Lest you think that after using a couple of tablespoons of beer the cook gets to consume the rest, be assured that it’s totally undrinkable — look it says here “cooking beer”; godawful stuff to drink!

The starch course would have appeared less familiar: a diced potato, a diced taro root, some cauliflower, a bit of onion, all wokked, with a dash of soy sauce and a large dash of vinegar. Quite tasty to my palate , but not requiring supplemental rice. With a tangerine and two pipas for Nachtisch.

And leaving out the obligatory soup. If soup is obligatory, it’s also unavoidable. Whereas Judy saves her cooking waters to nourish the plants, Chinese cooks collect them, add a few bits of tofu or meat scraps or fish heads, possibly an egg, and voila, there’s soup.

Leave a Reply