Indo-Chinese Feast.

Chinese food is wildly popular in India. Over time, what was once probably authentic Chinese has evolved into a sort of spicy, Indianized version commonly referred to in India as “Hakka” cuisine. I haven’t done my research but Hakka was probably a provincial type of cooking that whoever brought Chinese food to India really liked. Anyway, Indo-Chinese is now the second ranking cuisine in India after the ever-#1 North Indian Mughlai.

Chinese Veggie Fried Rice

Whenever we come back from vacation, I get into a cooking frenzy. This time it translated into a Chinese food craving. In our two and some years here in Northern VA we haven’t yet found a place that serves Indo-Chinese food we like. So whenever I get a hankering for the stuff I end up cooking it myself. Every time I vow not to do it again because of all the chopping and slicing that is required for this particular type of cuisine. Until I do.

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I’m loath to providing a recipe here for this Fried Rice because basically I didn’t follow one myself. My method is to toss a whole bunch of veggies in the pan (making sure to include the mandatory Chinese ones like spring onions and bean sprouts, if possible) along with salt, white vinegar, soy sauce. Adjust seasoning depending on color and taste.

A new recipe to try was Chili Garlic Broccoli. It was my first time, and it came out pretty good. The recipes I looked at asked to blanch or steam the broccoli, but I did neither. I just tossed the florets in with some sliced onions, garlic (2 cloves) and a AP flour based “sauce”.

Garlicky Broccoli in Hot Sauce

The “sauce” is made up of 1 tbsp AP flour mixed with enough water to make a watery paste. Add to it some soy sauce, white vinegar, ketchup, hot sauce of some kind, salt. Dump into the broccoli and onions and cook covered for a bit until the flour cooks out. Garnish with coarse red chili flakes. Serve hot.

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Even without MSG or ajinomoto, Chinese food is fairly salty so you can only eat so much at one sitting. It digests fast but because you down so much water while eating it, you’re bound to be full for a while. This is one food to be enjoyed while it’s piping hot. Chinese food and lukewarm just don’t go together.

On a side note, I’m going to volunteer as an assistant to the chef at a neighborhood cooking school! I’m more excited about this opportunity than I’d ever imagined. When food and its prep’s become so important to me I cannot say, but after attending their orientation and experiencing the rush of being in an actual commercial kitchen, I cannot wait to get started.

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