I’m a big fan of two-ingredient “salads”—if you’ll allow me to call them that. What makes a salad a salad? It’s not uncommon to see a “tomato salad” with just tomato and dressing. So is the imperative on fresh vegetables? (Not so! What about chicken, egg or grain-based salads?) Does it need to be cold? (No! Warm or room-temperature salads are a typical Moroccan side, like with carrots, for instance.) To me, it seems the word “salad”—and especially if we look at … Read More
Have you ever stopped and suddenly thought, is this the one? Could this be my perfect food? I thought this on maybe the third or fourth date I had with Hakurei turnips. It was a sneaky sensation, crystallizing with a subtle sweetness and juicy bite that was so unlike any other thing. I got the same feeling when I tried my first bite of miso-marinated, broiled fish—only it was a smack-in-the-head awakening, a firestorm of personal penchants as if from a … Read More
It’s slightly warm, but it’s a salad alright. The peas are still crisp but have deepened in color. The carrots are infused with a hint of ginger to bring out their sweetness even more. And the little, white turnips? They taste so much better than the raw, rigid slats after being tossed quickly in a hot pan. That’s the easiest solution that I can offer for an ingredient that’s been puzzling a lot of people I know.
There is a dish in Cantonese cuisine called turnip cake. Then there is a dish with turnip cake, chopped into cubes, and stir-fried with bean sprouts, scallions, some other veggies and often peanuts. I’m quite certain this latter dish was a leftover invention. The very best turnip cake (which is actually made from radish but I’ll get to that later) in my opinion is seared to a beautiful crisped surface, and is soft and mushy on the inside, like glutinous … Read More