Sunday, 4 August 2013

Another Dimension

Maiale e Verdure Miste con Maltagliati di Riso
"Kaiju" Pork & Vegetables with Rice Flakes

This afternoon's entertainment for me was the movie Pacific Rim- with giant monsters (Kaiju is the Japanese word for monster), from beneath the sea attacking us and giant robots being built, so that we can go out and bash them up before they stamp all over every capital city in the world and make a horrible mess... That is of course very, very silly stuff! But you know what? It was also GREAT FUN!

The idea of people expecting the unexpected (aliens in this case) to turn up from outside, whilst all the time they are here amongst us (well- deep beneath the sea), where they come through a portal to another dimension- was silly but fun! But what about if you could prepare something new and unusual out of very ordinary ingredients?

This was basically a rather ordinary stir-fry dish- what made it different was a new and unusual ingredient for me... Viatnamese rice flakes. You are all familiar with those delicious Viatnamese spring rolls, wrapped in transparent rice-paper? Well these are made of the same thing essentially, only a little thicker and cut into nifty little triangles :-) Another dimension indeed compared to glass noodles or regular rice noodles- and to an inquisitive cook and shopper such as myself, simply irresistible! 

I prepared the rice flakes, by putting them in a bowl and pouring enough boiling water over them to cover up, then leaving them to sit and soften and swell up for 15 minutes or so, until the water had cooled off. I then repeated the procedure, which gave me 15 minutes again until the noodles were done to get back to the other ingredients...

Oh- and one more thing... don't anybody DARE say anything about the brand name for this product! :-) It was of course one of the main reasons that I bought it!

The pork I used was some tenderloin, cut into small slices, the vegetables were celery, green beans, carrot, Spring onion, and a little fresh galangal. I heated some peanut oil up in a pan until it was just beginning to shimmer with heat and added the pork, carrot, celery, and beans, tossing it so that it all became lightly coated with oil and then after 2-3 minutes, I added the finely chopped galangal- just about a 1" slice of it... delicious! I love it's tangy, lemony flavor- perfect for a dish like this. I added a pinch of salt and pepper and also some finely ground szechuan pepper.

After 3-4 minutes of stir-frying at a high heat, I added the rice flakes, the Spring onion, a last drizzle of sesame oil and tossed it well, as stirring it with a spoon would probably have caused the rice flakes to break up. I added the juice of a small lime, a splash of fish sauce and a little light sesame oil.

After 2-3 minutes the noodles were done, the pork and vegetables nice and tender, but still with plenty of "bite" to them... and the cook was beginning to feel mighty hungry! So I dished it all up and added a last squeeze of lime, a drop or two of sesame oil and drizzle of hoisin sauce. A sprinkle of chili flakes was the finishing touch now I could finally dig-in!

So yes, this all may seem like very ordinary stuff- but it is just different enough to make it cool. And yummy. And much, much easier to eat with chopsticks! Now that's a good reason to be enjoying this sometime soon, no?

No comments:

Post a Comment