25 February 2007

After minor oral surgery. Or Chinese food from the Internet.

Kea was going to be out of town, which meant it was time to prepare some eggplant. While I have converted him to kim chi and tofu, he still is not a fan of eggplant. I'm thinking some baba ghanoush should do the trick, but haven't had the chance to try it out yet.

Anyway, my mom has a recipe for Szechwan Eggplant but for some reason i couldn't find it. I decided to look online, wary of "fake" Chinese food recipes. I don't know... as someone who grew up eating Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food, I'm just very wary of grabbing any old "Asian" recipe off Food Network or whatever--no matter how helpful they are in other contexts. I do love me some cracker ass Panda Express though so maybe I shouldn't worry so much. I guess I was just looking for an ingredient list that sounded right.

As stated in my description, I'm also lazy, so I didn't want ingredients that were too hard to find either. I'm also very opposed to uni-tasker (TM Alton Brown) ingredients, that is, ingredients I will buy for this one recipe and then never use again. I ended up with this recipe. I wasn't necessarily looking for a vegetarian recipe, but I love tofu so I figured I'd go with it. Cuz really i was supposed to be studying, not Googling recipes.

As hinted at in the title, I had had minor oral surgery on the day I planned to prepare this. (If you are brave and want to see what the procedure was like, click here. But don't say I didn't warn you.) The nurse had told me it would be no big deal--just a couple of stitches--so I didn't realize I'd be in pain afterward. Jeez, I never had stitches before okay?

But perhaps I'm a trooper because I managed to go to both the Chinese market and the Kroger afterward. The Chinese market was also ridiculously crowded (maybe because it was the Friday before the new year) and people kept letting their friends join them in line. Luckily my stink eye deterred at least one woman.

Anyway, that night I ended up having two bowls of chazuke instead of Szechwan Eggplant, which had to wait for the next night. And I found I had forgotten a whole bunch of stuff. So I left out the vinegar and sherry and used olive oil and flour instead of peanut oil and cornstarch. I also used crushed red pepper instead of cayenne, but that seems like an improvement to me anyway. Do Chinese even use cayenne pepper!? I also used this nasty tube of ginger instead of fresh. Tubes of ginger are no good, but other than that, the dish was exactly what I wanted. Plus eggplant and tofu ended up being the perfect thing to eat in the days after my surgery.

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At 1:09 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Ow, I would think that Szechwan eggplant would be too spicy after oral surgery! Still, that recipe sounds good. I wonder if Kawika will be able to eat it, though, since he's sensitive to spicy foods. Actually, I think he can handle Asian spicy, but not Mexican spicy.

At 6:21 AM , Blogger Robyn said...

oh yeah, it actually wasn't that spicy. but also the spicy didn't seem to bother my owie that much.


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