You’d think that living in Thailand would teach me a thing or two about Asian cooking.
Well…if you thought that, you thought foolishly wrong, my friends.
For 10 months, I subsisted on a diet of (a) khao pad topped with kai dao (vegetable fried rice with a fried egg) (b) vegetable + meat stews over rice from Talat Wongsakorn, my local market and (c) som tam polamai, spicy papaya salad. Since eating out was much cheaper than cooking, if I did get my teacher self behind our kitchen’s one gas burner to make dinner, it was usually to heat up a can of Campbell’s Soup or mix yogurt, muesli + fruit (no burner required).
I didn’t dip my homemade food in delicious Thai sweet chili sauce.
I didn’t touch Sriracha.
I didn’t buy bok choy, daikon radishes and other mysterious Thai vegetable staples at the market.
And when I did cook, I certainly didn’t make Asian food.
Seriously, you try eating rice and veggies for EVERY meal of the day and tell me how long you last before all you want is to scarf your face with a plate of Italian food. Or a gigantic turkey sandwich. Or a melty waffle cone of REAL ice cream.
In my defense, I did take a Thai cooking class while in Bangkok. We made gang pet ped yang (red duck curry), prawns in tamarind sauce, som tam and a spiced chicken dish wrapped in pandan leaves. I’m pretty sure Thomas and I almost got kicked out for our inappropriate, borderline violent use of the papaya-cutting machete, but once our teachers saw how how talented I was at arranging food presentation, we got to stay.
A food blogger-in-training, me thinks.
Today, I vow to include more Asian-inspired meals in my Everythingtarian repertoire.
Today, I am going to take some help from my friend Ted, who spent a year in Taiwan and actually took the time to learn about Asian cooking, and tweak my Make-Your-Own Quinoa Bowls recipe to include an Asian variation based on his own.
Today, I will redeem myself for stooping so low as to eat overpriced Campbell’s Soup purchased from the American grocery store in Bangkok.
You’d think living in Thailand would teach me a thing or two about culture too, no?
If you thought that, you thought foolishly wrong, my friends…again.
Make-Your-Own Quinoa Bowls (Asian-Inspired Remix)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 T coconut oil
1/2 T minced garlic
1 t freshly grated ginger
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 heads baby bok choy, roughly chopped*
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen edamame
3 T sesame oil
3 T mirin (rice vinegar)
2 T soy sauce
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t freshly grated ginger
drizzle of honey
Sriracha, to taste
salt + pepper, to taste
*roughly equal to two cups
**omit eggs to make dish vegan
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, boil quinoa and water. Once water comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the coconut oil, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add halved tomatoes, bok choy and edamame. Let cook, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, drizzle of honey and Sriracha, salt + pepper, to taste. Add more Sriracha if you want a hotter, spicier flavor. Set aside.
To serve, there are two options:
(1) Once the veggies + edamame are lightly browned, add in the cooked quinoa and scramble the four eggs, continually stirring and mixing until the eggs are cooked. The mixture will look very similar to fried rice. Toss in sesame soy vinaigrette + more Sriracha and devour!
(2) Fry eggs in 1 t of coconut oil. While eggs are cooking, add the cooked quinoa to the veggies + edamame. Mix. Add the sesame soy vinaigrette, and toss until mixture is completely coated. To serve, plate up 1/4 of the quinoa salad and top with a fried egg + more Sriracha. Devour!
Makes 4 servings
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