Saturday, September 10, 2011

Excuses, Summer Rice Bowl, Bahn Mi

It's still summer here in the Bay Area- and most of my cooking looks like this.

I would like to share my summer version of the rice bowl. I leave out the soup, the broccoli, and the sweet and sour root vegetables, and include cucumbers sliced into matchsticks, stir-fried long beans (with garlic, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce), steamed sweet potatoes (cooked over the rice), and fried eggplant. (Eggplant soaks up a terrifying amount of oil- it's like frying a sponge.) We still include five minute tofu, sliced avocado, kim chi, and toasted sesame seeds. The number of sides might be a little out of control, now that I think about it.

Speaking of frying eggplant- in it I have found a worthy vegan base for Bahn Mi. Let us rejoice, and eat delightful sandwiches. The key is delightful crispy rolls and very good vegetables. I use a mix of cucumber slices, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes, fresh fried eggplant (or a slice of bacon or pork belly. I am weak), cilantro, basil, sour kim chi, mint, daikon.... I pretty much toast a torpedo roll, hollow it out a little, slather it with soy sauce mayonnaise, and then fill it with the sliced vegetable contents of my fridge and a few slices of something savory and full of fat.

Summer is excellent.

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