I think many of you who have been following the blog for some time already know this but I have the unique privilege both within Hagsaeng Naebu as well as the larger Shin Ho Kwan association of serving as our Tenzo. Tenzo, which means “kitchen master” is a roll bestowed upon me recently by Master Pearson. Read all about it in my post on the subject by clicking here. I really enjoy serving our institution in this capacity. They say that cooking or preparing food for others can bring a lot of joy and happiness and I have certainly experienced this.
Each Hagsaeng Naebu meeting provides the opportunity to experiment with Asian cuisine. Now, almost a year and a half in, I’ve had the chance to cook quite a few interesting recipes for my classmates and teacher (although I readily admit that Master Pearson’s lunches usually take the cake – pun intended – in terms of deliciousness and ease of preparation!!). Cooking asian food for a primarily non-asian palate has been an interesting challenge. It’s hard to find a balance between “traditional” dishes and something that I know people will want to eat and keep down. From this perspective, breakfast is usually the hardest. Asian breakfast, particularly southeast Asian breakfast is just not that appealing to a western palate. They eat a lot of seafood and soups and other savory items that we couldn’t really imagine ingesting at 6:30 in the morning. We also have a lot of dietary considerations. Within our group there are people who are vegan, vegetarian, kosher, lactose intolerant, soy intolerant, gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease – so some food items that might be traditionally used in asian cuisine (like shrimp) are simply off-limits. At Hagsaeng Naebu meetings there are other concerns as well. My classmates and I are worked pretty hard from a physical standpoint, so I want to provide them with food that will fill them up without weighing them down. No one wants to eat a heavy meal and then go downstairs to the dojang and be thrown a hundred times!
Master Pearson asked me to write on my favorite recipe for this week’s post. There have certainly been a few highlights as well as several dishes that will be remembered for other reasons. For example, when China was the theme country of the weekend, I attempted to make these Chinese breakfast crepes known as jien ping…what a disaster! I have attempted them one other time but with equally terrible results! So hmmmm…what has been a good recipe that I can share with you?
This weekend, for breakfast, I crafted a Thai inspired menu. We shared Thai fried bananas and an Asian inspired baked omelete with thai flavors like chile and cillantro. Check out the recipes below. If you recreate them, send us comments about how your version turned out, or post pictures of the final product.
Oven-Baked Asian Omelette
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil (I added a bit more because I love this flavor)
6 green onions chopped
2 tbs cooking oil (we used olive)
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms (we used shitake)
1 Red and 1 Green pepper sliced
1tbs chopped garlic
Thai chili paste
10″ pie tin
salt and pepper to taste
Beat the eggs with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir in the chili paste and green onions.
In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, garlic, and peppers in oil until tender.
Spread in a greased 10″ pie tin adn pour the egg mixture over the veggies.
Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top.
That’s all there is to it!
Thai Fried Bananas
– 4 large bananas (not too ripe!)
– 2 cups of all-purpose flour (we used gluten-free flour)
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup coconut milk
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 cup sesame seeds
– 3 tsps sugar (we used agave instead!)
– 3/4 cup shredded coconut (I forgot this item and it was fine!)
– 4 cups of oil for frying (we used sunflower oil_
Peel and slice each banana lengthwise into four slices.
Combine all the batter ingredients and stir long enough to work out the lumps. Batter should still be sort of thick though.
Heat the oil in a pot or walk to 375 degrees.
Dip each piece of banana into the batter and drop into the oil. Fry until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. You can sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if you want a bit more sweet spice.
So neither of these recipes is too hard…give them a shot and tell us what you think!