I don’t like going to a Chinese Restaurant here in Germany because a lot of stuff they offer tends to be really greasy and feels like it’ll stay in my stomach forever. I prefer the type of Thai/Japanese food, you know those fresh flavours, tons of herbs and exciting tastes. Big bowls of broth, noodles and veg, skilfully rolled Sushi, summer rolls, glass noodles, tart nuances of lemongras, lime and lemon, salty soy sauce, hot flavours from chili and wasabi, coriander, peanuts: that’s what I love about Asian food and that’s what I mean when I say “I’m cooking an Asian inspired dish”. Probably ‘real’ Chinese food in China tastes way better than it does here abouts, probably there are really good Chinese restaurants in Germany but I just haven’t found them yet and probably any person with Asian roots or any Asian cook will laugh about me because what I call Thai or Japanese is a wild mix of everything. Fair enough. But as long as it tastes good, I’m going to continue my wild freestyle-wannabe Asian cooking.
By the way: Wasabi is good fun I find. Ever tried a wasabi-contest while eating Sushi? You’ve taken enough wasabi when you feel the heat coming up your nose, clearing your brain…Oh and I really, really want to try fresh wasabi! It’s a radish variety and quite expensive, so any wasabi paste you buy in the supermarket or Asian food store, will only have traces of real wasabi in it. I read about restaurants in China for example where you get fresh wasabi grated over your meal. Going there as soon as possible.
This recipe is quickly made, contains lots of fresh ingredients and has a true soulfood component: creamy coconut rice.
For two persons you need:
- 1 small cup rice
- 160 ml coconut milk
- some water
- a few stems of each basil, coriander, parsley
- 2 large or 3 small carrots
- 1 large fennel
- 1 tbsp of each sesame, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds
- wasabi paste
- 1 tsp powdered sugar
- soy sauce
Roast the seeds in a frying pan without oil. When the pumpkin seeds start to pop transfer roasted seeds into a small bowl. Dust the warm pan with the powdered sugar and let it melt over a low heat (this will take just a few seconds). Add the wasabi paste and the nuts, give it a quick stir and set aside.
Wash your rice, put it into a small pan, add the coconut milk and some water until you have twice as much liquid as rice. I always take the same cup for both measuring rice and liquid. Add some salt, close the lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the rice simmer. Don’t panic if the coconut milk flocculates, that’s just what it does. Stir the rice from time to time to work the coconut milk in. That also makes the rice beautifully oozy, like a risotto.
Meanwhile cut the carrot and the fennel in bite-sized pieces. When the rice needs just a few more minutes, fill the bottom of a pan with water. Add some salt and bring to the boil. Blanch the veg for 5 minutes or so.
Roughly chop the herbs and once the rice is finished fold them in. On a plate arrange the rice, the carrots and the fennel and drizzle the veg with soy sauce. Sprinkle your sweet wasabi seeds on top. Dig in!
Oh and don’t forget to clear your plate. In Germany we say there will be bad weather if you don’t…