Over the years, I’ve been fairly adaptable at picking up the indigenous flavours to the cuisines of where I’ve lived. The maple glazed, bacon wrapped, blueberry infused flavours of Canada. The cilantro, jalapeno, lime, masa harina, black beans and asiento of Oaxacan food. And finally the beautiful tart & delicate English flavours of rhubarb, gooseberry, parsley, goats’ cheese and asparagus. But I’ve never particularly understood the flavours of Southeast Asian cooking, aside from appreciating the odd Pad Thai.
However, I love someone who adores these flavours. And so I have rolled up my sleeves, (temporarily) turned my back on my buy local principles and have struck up a relationship with the local Vietnamese shop in the last month. I’m learning whatever I can about cooking Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian food. I’m even considering taking a class or two. I now can boast a cupboard stocked with fish sauce, oyster sauce, tamari, toasted sesame oil, mung bean noodles, ginger, garlic, Thai red chilies, spring onions, fresh coriander (cilantro), coconut milk and a variety of rices. Obviously some of these things I can get as organic or local products, but some of them, I just have to bite the bullet and buy what’s available.
For the last week or so, I’ve been playing around with one of Luke Nguyen’s recipes for Ginger Chicken from his Vietnam television series, and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of the flavours and the style of cooking. This particular recipe has won over the heart of the one I love, all over again, and I’ve received compliments galore! Here’s the recipe: Vietnamese Ginger Chicken with Thai Jasmine Coconut Rice