i have finally perfected one of my favorite meals and am so excited to share it with you! i work in a part of portland where there is are myriad asian restaurants and grocery stores. at least once a week i make the short trek with co-workers to best baguette for a sandwich and some bubble tea. i will leave that job with a healthy (?) addiction to bubble tea and after about five attempts making it in my kitchen and i think i’ve nailed it.
when i first heard of bánh mì i was very skeptical. asian food on a baguette. what?! how can those two foods be put together and make sense? but the origins offer an obvious explanation; vietnam was colonized by the french. for over a century france is there shoving its moral and religious values on the native people, taxing them, profiting from opium and alcohol trading, and eventually exploiting the natural resources of the area. only to leave once they’ve created the conditions that will lead to the vietnam war and the arguable genocide of a people.
this sandwich, like many others, is a legacy of colonialism. it makes me wonder what a free exchange of cultures would look like rather than the dominant culture appropriating things (and selling things like the “navajo hipster panty”). this sandwich is also so damn good. it’s a bit conflicting when prefaced with that history. Continue reading
i’ve been craving sesame soy green beans lately but wanted to find a way to turn it into more of a meal than a snack or a side dish. i figured the easiest way to do this would be to add more vegetables or serve it with rice or noodles but that still didn’t seem quite right.
tofu ended up being the winner that brought it all together as a meal, and it also means that i get to share with you my favorite marinade for tofu. sure its good covered in peanut sauce or grilled in teriyaki sauce, but its even better if you marinate it like this beforehand.
this marinade is actually responsible for my present love of tofu. i used to hate the stuff unless it was in miso soup (weird, huh?). granted, when i learned to love tofu it was by frying it into crispy little bites to eat as a snack, and i think anything fried has a pretty good chance of becoming a favorite.
you’re going to kick yourself for not thinking of this first. it takes under ten minutes to prep and cook and it is deliciously simple.
however, i cannot take credit for this creation. a few years ago at the most meaty thanksgiving i have been to this was one of the only dishes i could eat, and i ate a ton of it. below is a rough recipe, though ratio is all you really need to know if you taste as you cook.
i was never a big fan of asian food until i started making it for myself. all too often stir fries contain giant chunks of broccoli or onion that you can barely fit in your mouth. i like small chunks of veggies, not only do they cook way faster, its also easier to make every bite the highly sought after “perfect bite” that contains a little of everything.
take this recipe as a guideline for an asian bowl full of veggies and tofu. you can make it with rice like i did here, use udon noodles, or rice noodles, only use broccoli, add a ton of zucchini.. you get the idea.