Lunch with Leran
Yesterday I finally cooked with Leran. We have fairly different schedules, and have managed to only go out to eat and then about cooking over huge bowls of Pho. Leran is a fellow DC food writer, consumer, and cook – this is his blog! It was hilarious both having our cameras out taking photos for our respective posts about this dish, which will then be cross linked to the other’s blog. Oh, internet.
Leran got an Arganica farm share box. This company is nice because, unlike a regular CSA share, you can pay for boxes a la carte. Then, instead of paying a lot up front, it is up to you to choose when you have the time or inclination to have a big box of vegetables. We started with the following items: yellow summer squash, radishes, carrots, bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, salad greens, tomato, spicy chiles, and garlic. I brought over Soy Boy smoked tofu, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt from The Spice House this goyza sauce I like using in stir fries, rice vinegar, and mirin. Leran picked up this thick soy sauce because we both really like the stuff they have at pho restaurants, and he wanted to try using it at home. It was strange, included molasses, tasted very sour – definitely not what we were expecting.
While Leran roasted the radishes, pine nuts for salad, and helped chop things up, I made a stir fry sauce.
Make Do Stirfry Sauce
- 2 tbsp weird thick soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (add more if you want more salt)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp orange juice 0r lemon
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp goyza sauce
- 2-4 cloves minced garlic
- ground black pepper
- salt to taste
Mix all this together and add in some while you are building up your stir fry, then dump the majority in at the end. The trick to getting that lovely take out glazed effect for your stir fry is to add some corn starch at the end – 1 or 2 tablespoons. Works like a charm.
Our stir fry contained all of the veggies from the list above, but you could use it with anything you have on hand. First we fried the smoked tofu to keep it crunchy once we cooked all the vegetables. Then we built the stir fry by adding in harder things first with longer cooking times, and then gradually going towards the soft things. Always add your aromatics last if you are using them – cilantro, basil, etc. I think it tasted pretty good, considering the thick soy sauce had such an unusual flavor.
Leran’s roasted radishes were so delicious – I would like to try that again next time I make a salad. I have been eating salad a lot lately, and I am growing bored by my usual concoctions. I had mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to make an interesting salad. I plan to do that this week, as I now recall finding this amazing sounding salad dressing concept which would work out well with the radishes. Leran’s family always has kept it simple when making salad dressing – tossing everything with oil and vinegar. Since his salad greens were so delicious and fresh, the light dressing was perfect! We both enjoyed the dish, and it was so nice to eat all this brightly colored food while sitting on the porch looking at flowers and getting sleepy in the afternoon on a warm day.