For about two years now I have been learning to cook Chinese food. The cookbook I got to learn from wasn’t helpful, and the recipes were lackluster. As a result, I have just experimented by buying anything that looked interesting at the local Chinese market at 22nd and Irving Streets in San Francisco.
I’ve been planning to make a cooking channel on Vimeo.com, the video hosting community site similar to YouTube. I got a turkey fryer for Christmas two years ago. I asked for it because I hoped to use the burner as a high heat wok burner, not to deep fry a turkey. I have used the turkey burner once, at full heat. It was so hot it burned the dish, so I need to conduct more experiments. I suspect half of the maximum flame will be ideal.
It’s a big project to video tape cooking, and I’m not there yet. But I made a dish tonight that I particularly like, so I thought I would just write up the recipe here. It will be tough for me to lose it once it’s on my blog, an added benefit.
My wife Monika is vegetarian, and is our housemate Denise, so this is a vegetarian dish. But I also made a variation with chicken and cashew nuts that was also good.
So, this is my first published recipe. I did not borrow any of this from a cookbook, so all the blame or credit for how it tastes rests with me.
I call this recipe Zucchini and Pepper with Peanut and Garlic Sauce
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 medium white onion
3 cm piece whole ginger
1/2 small red bell pepper
1/2 small yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground bean sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ripe Roma tomato
1 green onion
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Dice the onion. Fine chop the ginger. Dice the bell peppers. Chop the green onion into 1 cm sections.
1. In a wok over a high flame, add the butter and heat for 30 seconds
2. Add all the ingredients at once except for the tomato. Stir with a spatula until the onions are translucent and the zucchini is still not yet translucent, about 6 minutes.
3. Add the tomato, and stir for 2 more minutes.
Serve immediately over rice.
I went shopping today at Rainbow Grocery, a most amazing grocery store unlike any other I’ve been to. It’s at 1745 Folsom Street in San Francisco. The web address is Rainbow.coop. I had never seen a site with the .coop extension before today. It’s a fitting address as the store is a worker owned cooperative.
This store has more variety than even the largest Safeway or Whole Foods Market, in my estimation. There is a bulk foods section where you bag your own ingredients, and it’s this section I most enjoyed today. They have perhaps 20 kinds of rice for sale. I bought two varieties today: Lotus brand Volcano rice and a different brand of rice called Wehani rice. The Wehani rice was the standout, though both were delicious. The Volcano rice is light brown, and the Wehani rice is dark brown. When the Wehani is cooking in the rice cooker, it sort of looks like melted chocolate cooking.
The prices are higher than Safeway, but lower than Whole Foods, I estimate. There is only one Rainbow, so it’s not a chain. The staff really seems happy to be there, and so do the customers. It’s actually an adventure just walking the isles, as there are few national brands for sale.
I’ll need to return with my video camera to do a short walk through so you can see what an unusual store this is. Highly recommended.
If you try the recipe above, please let me know and provide feedback, as I know nothing about writing recipes. I hope you like it.