March 19, 2009

What's Cooking?

One of the cooler things about living in another country is truly getting to experience its culinary delights. Sure, America is "the melting pot" and all, but being truly immersed in another culture, its foods, grocery stores, etc... has proven to be one of the the biggest pleasures for us while in Asia.

Among our friends are some very talented chefs. One of our Singaporean friends has been piquing our interest in the food of Singapore by providing us little containers of delicious dishes such as Malay Chicken Curry and Singapore Chili Rice (this includes chilis, peanuts, and cocunut rice - wow!). Since we've loved all the tastes, we decided to go a step further. Ilena has now had several "cooking lessons" with her friend and has successfully made (on her own) Malay curry and Chicken Rice.

We love the Asian flavours. We have integrated fish (the only cheaper item in grocery stores here comparison to back home), rice, soy sauce, ponzu, mirin into much of our everyday cooking. In addition to all the cooking, we have definitely adapted our tastes and are now quite used to many Asian "treats" like furikake (a rice topping that Jacob cannot get enough of), tsukemono (i.e., pickled things), rice crackers of all sorts, nori, green tea and eggs on just about everything. Ilena has also spent several sessions in local cooking classes. We posted previously about her Japanese Nabe class, where she learned such dishes as Chicken Meatball Nabe and Shabu Shabu.

Most recently, Ilena has taken up quite an interest in Thai cuisine. In two separate classes, she has been working on 8 separate Thai dishes, each more delicious than then last. We're working hard to try and find the necessary ingredients (around here the absolute best spots are some hole-in-wall shops in Motomachi, Kobe's China Town) to make the dishes and are optimistic that we'll be able to find the same ingredients back home in New Jersey (i.e. banana leaves, coconut powder, special Malaysian curry powder). Mitsuwa, or NY China Town, here we come!


jmgesq said...

I found a Thai market in Chinatown that we can check out when you are back plus I'm signing on in advance for shopping expeditions and cooking lessons!

Mike said...

You got it!

Lisa said...

Yeah, there's supposedly a great thai market in chinatown.