Monday, July 1, 2013

Nourriture a la Mere

My how great it feels to be back home! Every year around this time of the year I go home to visit the parents, which means being treated nonstop with home-cooked meals and feeling like a kid again.

Mom called me down to make some sticky rice. It was really simple - just take 1/2 cup of glutinous rice and 1/2 short-grained rice, cook it in a rice cooker or steamer, and cup up some raison, date and other dried fruits like cranberry or blueberry as fillings.

First you smother a layer of the rice flat onto a flat bowl like below. Then top with a layer of dried fruits.

Repeat by putting on a layer of rice and then another layer of fruits until all the rice is used up. Make sure each layer of rice is spread thinly and evenly across the fruits.

When you're done, it should look something like this. Then you simply pop this into a steamer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Mom told me to put together a peanut sauce for the noodles we were going to have for lunch.


Again, couldn't be easier. Simply scoop in two giant tablespoons of all natural peanut butter (courtesy of Costco's Kirkland empire), stir in a teaspoon of vinegar, soy sauce and a pinch of salt.

Mix in a tablespoon of water and microwave on high for about 15 seconds. Afterwards, take out the mixture from the microwave and mix around. You can also put in whatever other condiments you like a dollop of dijon mustard.

For lunch, we had some home-made chicken soup (yum!), cucumber salad, stir-fried collard greens, and peanut noodles.


Half an hour later - ta-dah! Your rice will come out hot and toasty, so make sure to grab a pair of kitchen mitts to retrieve it from the steamer.

We actually take it a step further by turning this glutinous blob into...


This looks pretty impressive, almost good enough to sell. But in fact it couldn't be easier to replicate. Just fry up some corn flour until it turns this rich brown, cut out a few strips of sticky rice and roll it in the flour as if it were caught on fire.

It tastes exactly - if not better - than the Korean version I've had in Korea. Perhaps because the rice itself carries a sweet fragrance, and the dried fruits (again courtesy of Kirkland) makes it just that much sweeter, which is very suitable to American tastes.

I'd even argue that this could be the next biggest thing in artisan coffee shops!

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