Sunday, July 9, 2017

Burmese Baby Bok Choy Salad

Your past experience, may be even your common sense, will tell you that bok choys are meant to be boiled, stir-fried or grilled. What if I tell you to fight those biases? Why, you ask? I am here to tell you that one of the best ways to enjoy bok choys is to actually eat them raw. I know this fleshy bonsai-looking vegetable does not look like something that will win the America’s Next Top Salad Green. But, trust me when I say that its seemingly fibrous stem is actually quite tender, juicy and crunchy. Moreover, I absolutely adore raw baby bok choys’ sweet pepperiness, reminiscent of a milder and a more palatable cousin called watercress. The last but definitely not least, compared to lettuce, bok choys hold up their shape so much better after being tossed in salad dressing, making them a wiser choice for packed lunches.

Burmese salad

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rice Noodle and Baby Bok Choy in Lemongrass-Chili Broth

Me: I am making a noodle bowl. Do you want it? I can make it extra for you.

My uncle from Myanmar : No, I don’t want to eat. I need to lose weight before I go back to Yangon. I am just going to watch a movie.

Me: Okie.

*Then, I proceeded to make this noodle bowl with pungent, intense, sweat-invoking firey broth, made with lots of lemongrass, chili, ginger and garlic. As I walked back to the living room with the piping hot bowl to watch movie, I saw the look from the sofa. It was my uncle. His eyes glowed like Liz Lemon when she saw leftover ham. I knew that look – I have been rewatching 30 Rock. And, worse, I knew what was about to come.

I sat down on the floor, and put my bowl on the coffee table. My uncle slowly migrated from the sofa to the coffee table, ultimately ended up sitting next to me.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

First I need to apologize to Hawaii

 When I was little, I thought eggplants are the ugliest vegetables on the planet. Their phallic shape, and the slimy inside when cooked, shouldn’t and didn’t appeal me as a kid for a long time. I had an aunt who was known among “the kid community” for making mixed rice bowls – basically, she just threw a bunch of curries on rice, mix forcefully with her bare hands, and the meal would be exquisite. One day, she threw in eggplant curry while making a bowl for me, and my former perspective, rooted deeply on ignorance and assumptions, have forever changed.  Since then, eggplants have become my favorite food, and I have asked my moms and aunts for Burmese eggplant curry every time to Yangon. And they are usually nice enough to oblige. I went through a similar eggplant-like experience for Hawaii.
Taken at a scenic point right beyond Halona Blow Hole