Thursday, February 03, 2011

Gung! Hey!

Happy Chinese New Year.
I will steal the cuisine from any culture if it appeals to me. Especially on holidays.
I'm not a native Jewish cook, but I do love some latkes. I have no Latino heritage, but I'm making burritos, quesadillas, pozole all the time. Fake, I guess, but tasty.
As for Chinese cooking, I've always found it daunting. Until we cracked the Ma Po Tofu code. And the fried rice.
Oh, yeah. I've got my chops. Chop chops.
So today I made a few little vegetarian egg rolls. Jean-Georges Vongerichten ran a recipe for some in the New York Times yesterday, and it gave me an idea. (I hate Vongerichten's food, by the way, so I didn't take most of his suggestions... like putting grated lemon zest in there!)
Here's the deal. I winged it. I cooked up enough filling (two kinds of mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, ginger and green garlic) for four rolls. How much is enough? I don't know. I winged it. It was perfect.
And instead of frying them in three cups of oil (come on!) I sauteed them, hot, in just a few tablespoons.
The dipping sauce was a blend of sambal oelek (thank you, Jean-Georges, I finally bought some), sherry and sherry vinegar. Oh!
I am also happy with the turnip cake we bought at the Asian market. Cut it into slices and fried them. They're very fragile. But blobby and cute.
Am I proud? Is it OK to be proud on Chinese New Year?
I feel a little like a Tiger Mother. But that's so last year. I must be a Rabbit Mom.


Heather said...

A proud tiger mother! You should be proud of your little rabbit rolls.

Gung fat choy to you, tiger mom.

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: I admit, I'm inordinately proud. And, yes, I'm a Tiger. Not a mom, though. (Although I will offer surrogacy to special people. As you know.)
Rabbit rolls! Heh.

namastenancy said...

You are a Tiger? I am a monkey so I think I need to keep my distance! But congratulations on trying turnip cake. Years ago, I took a class with Barbara Troop and one of the things we did was have lunch in Chinatown where she ordered the food. I ate more "weird" things than I ever had; most of which I've forgotten but I liked the turnip cake and order it whenever I am at a good Chinese restaurant.

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: Tigers fight with monkeys? I always wanted to be a flying monkey. You'd be safe around me.
Yeah, turnip cake! I just love it. Sweet, sludgy, with secret bits of pork.
Barbara Tropp was a genius. Wish I'd known her.

Nilcha said...

hi there.. happy golden rabbit year! nice post!

namastenancy said...

Well, I think we can take the Chinese view of Monkeys and Tigers with a large grain of salt. According to one web site, "Monkeys Usually erratic geniuses. You are remarkably inventive and original, and can solve the most difficult problems with a lot of ease. You are a vary intelligent and a very clever wit. Because of your extraordinary nature and magnetic personality, you are always well-liked. Your sign promises success in any field you try."

Yup - that's me. An erratic genius.
How about you?

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Nilcha! Thanks. Happy New Year to you.

Nancy: Maybe there's been a shift in the Chinese zodiac, too. Because I think I'm an erratic genius, yes I do, so I must be a monkey.
But no. "Tiger symbolizes such character traits as bravery, competitiveness and unpredictability."
Flying Monkey, Crouching Tiger.

Zoomie said...

Good job, both with the recipe and with reducing the fat. Bet it was really delish, Tiger.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: It did taste good, but I was most pleased with the mere accomplishment (even though I've made them before). Whoo!

Chilebrown said...

Yes, that will explain things. You are a 'Rabid Mom'.

cookiecrumb said...

Chilebrown: Har har! Nah. I'm just a little bunnykins.

Hungry Dog said...

Blobby and cute. Love it. Happy new year!

cookiecrumb said...

Thanks, Dog. I've got a cute blobby photo I may run! xx