Octopuscarwash's Gourmet Adventures

I live to eat. Yes, I am an Asian Jew. My favorite meal is breakfast (oatmeal in particular). I'm only in high school, so I am a complete amateur. Some of my favorite cuisines are Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Japanese and Korean. I eat so much Chinese food that it's hard to say whether I like it or not... all I know is that I don't like what most of America seems to think of as Chinese food, Panda Express. I'm a pescetarian and love coming up with my own healthy fusion food.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chinese hot pot AT HOME

This meal was TOTALLY worthy of its own post-- it's from a while ago (January 11th, to be exact), and I wrote it down in my journal:January 089January 090 January 091 

We had homemade hot pot tonight-- into the savory mushroom broth went the stringy, spaghetti-like fungi, winter melon, daikon, Napa cabbage, frozen tofu (which acquires a spongy, porous consistency), pea shoots, mung bean sprouts, glass noodles, and of course, lamb for the parents. January 096January 093

We dipped it all in a sauce of sesame paste, red fermented tofu (dou fu ru), seafood paste, wild  leek paste, soy sauce, chili oil, and cilantro. Sound gourmet? It was. If it hadn't been for the rich, spicy sauce, the meal would have been almost monastic in character.January 098January 102 January 104

Hot pot is the best possible kind of food to eat in cold weather-- it really warms you up from the inside, and waiting for everything to cook makes you eat more slowly. However, you never know when you're full! You just kind of keep eating and using the raw ingredients, and when you finally run out, you just drink the soup, which by then has soaked up the flavors of what you've dipped in it.

Wintry dinners

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Stir-fries of sugar snaps, bean sprouts, frozen tofu (has the consistency of scrambled eggs), mushrooms, and daikon + winter squash

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Roasted broccoli, harissa shrimp, dal

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Steamed egg custard, stir-fried Chinese greens and mushrooms (possibly the best ji dan geng my dad has ever made-- silky mouth feel, and when you scoop out chunks of egg it leaves a savory broth of soy sauce and sesame oil)

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Dinner party: the guest didn't know English and ate the roast chicken in a rice bowl with chopsticks.

For me, it was a lot of fiber and no protein, but the soup was great-- a broth of dried shrimp, watercress, garlic, ginger, scallions, carrots, and seaweed.

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More harissa shrimp, broccoli and shiitake mushrooms, butternut squash and roasted red pepper soup

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THIS WAS AMAZING. The epitome of health food (although I ate so much I'm not sure if it would still be considered healthy)-- a one pot meal of spinach, winter melon, soft tofu, carrot, glass noodles in my dad's usual broth.After hiatus 183 After hiatus 180

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Whipped this up for my parents at the last minute: stew with chickpeas, eggplant, and bell peppers with couscous and a salad with feta, pomegranate seeds, and pomegranate molasses dressing.

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Mapo tofu, stir-fried greens (Aaack, what are these things called? They're not bok choy....)

Breakfast recaps

  While it's been nice not feeling obligated to blog every day (or think about food ALL the time), I must confess that I've missed it a bit. I've still been photographing my meals, don't worry (Although I've stopped photographing negligible items, i.e. a clementine), and because we're having our annual Chinese New Year's party tonight (DEFINITELY worth blogging), I decided to catch up a little bit so that I'm not totally in over my head when I blog the party, which is an International Dumpling Party (more on that later).

Oatmeal has been divine-- maybe it's the freezing cold weather?After hiatus 009After hiatus 007After hiatus 006 Carrot cake oats (topping=yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon)

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Almonds, almond butter, coconut 

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Pumpkin pie oats-- see the smoke rising from the lake?

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Carrot cake again-- this time with walnuts and coconut

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Leftover cardamom pistachio cake with fruit, Greek yogurt, and a mocha :) decadence at its best

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Pumpkin with pomegranate molasses, pomegranate, walnuts and Greek yogurt

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Peanut butter puffins, caramelized apple chutney, cinnamon raisin peanut butter

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Pomegranate combo with almond butter

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Butternut Squash and graham cracker

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Butternut squash and trail mix

I love macro photos... seems like lately I've been more into the photography than writing part of blogging.

Anyways, I haven't been able to do that much exercise: today I went for my first outdoor run since New York... hopefully I'm not that out of shape and it was just the weather-- 2 DEGREES, PEOPLE! I went on a shortish run, but did sprint intervals on the way back. My lungs felt like they were crystallizing from the inside!