Thursday, March 16, 2006


It's interesting to have themes when cooking. For me, it gives me a context and constraints with which I can work with and focus on.

Last night's theme turned out to be yin/yang.

My yin dish was eggs and tomato, consisting of scrambled eggs with lightly pan fried tomato chunks and slivers of ginger and a green onion garnish and my yang dish was a curry'esque beef and vegetable dish, designed to use up my Shanghai cai, made up of ground beef, shanghai cai cut up into small pieces, with a curry powder & soy sauce flavoring.

As I put the two into different sides of my rice bowl, it was interesting seeing how orthogonal in aim the two dishes were. I cook my eggs and tomato dish to be light: the scrambled eggs should be cooked so that they're light and fluffy, and the tomatoes just barely cooked so that they're hot, yet not cooked too long, so you can still tell that you've used fresh (as opposed to canned) tomatoes. Plus the amount of ginger should be noticable but only provide the dish with a subtle bite.

On the other hand, my curry'esque beef dish was much heavier. It relied on meat for one, as my Shanghai cai was nearly done for and there was no way to achieve that fresh vegetable crunch with them. And secondly, the curry powder and soy sauce added a deeper taste to the ground beef.

I should also note that in terms of the color palette, the dishes was quite opposite as well, the eggs and tomato was bright yellow, red and green in contrast to the the beef dish, which was muted green, brown and yellow.

I must say that each individual dish didn't turn out as good as they could have been. But eaten together in the above context, they turned out quite enjoyable.


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