For our last feast, we decided to whip up some delicious Asian Cuisine. We lacked appetizers, but made up for it in sheer quantity of our main meal. For our two main dishes we had tofu stir fry and chicken pad thai (https://sarahandrachel13.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/recipe-chicken-pad-thai/) (although we had to be very creative for the pad thai to come out successfully). We also made vegetable moo-shu with moo-shu pancakes (https://sarahandrachel13.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/recipe-moo-shu/). Finally, we concluded the meal with coconut milk sticky rice and a store bought green tea moshi.
The first plate to be made was the moo shu. It was quite a simple recipe, mostly just finely sliced cabbage and bean sprouts. However, flavored with the hoisin, it tasted quite authentic, and paired well with the other flavors at the table. The moo shu itself may have been easy to make, just a bit of stir frying, but the pancakes were another story. To make them so thin, they needed to be rolled out in pairs, one o top of the other. After they were cooked i a pan for just about a minute on each side, the too pancakes were supposed to be able to be peeled right apart. However, something went wrong because ours ended up a bit raggedy. As we peeled them apart, most of them broke a bit, forming pancakes which our parents so kindly called amoebas. Luckily, the pancakes tasted fine, and there appearance didn’t stop them from being enjoyed by all.
Our second dish was a tofu stir fry. We tried to keep this as authentic as possible, using sesame oil to fry, and soy sauce, ginger, and garlic to flavor. The colorful vegetables added depth the the dish, and made it look eve tastier. The only real room for improvement lay in the tofu. It came out fine in the end, but because we had not pressed out the water well, we ended up having to cook the tofu for a bit longer so that it would brown.
Pad Thai finished off our main courses, and we were quite excited to make this dish. Amazed by the strange looking noodles, we were interested to see how it would all come together. Unfortunately, the recipe we were using never gave us that feeling of accomplishment: the translucent noodles, white chicken, and pale bean sprouts looked bare with no real sauce to garnish them. So, we improvised. Since peanut sauce is another large part of thai cuisine, we threw in about a half cup of peanut butter and some more soy sauce. The end result was not that pretty (I guess plating isn’t our fortay since we seem to have this problem a lot), but well received by our families.
We closed our meal with dessert of course. We opted for one prepared dessert, mochi, and one home made dessert, sticky rice. To make the sticky rice, we first had to cook the rice. This may sound simple, but it turns out that sticky rice does not cook like white, or brown, or basmati, or any other rice we could think of. Sticky rice must be steamed. Technically we were supposed to use a steaming cone, but since we didn’t have one on hand, and had no idea where to buy one, we improvised. We made a double boiler of sorts, putting the rice in a fine wire mesh strainer, balanced a top a pot of boiling water and fitted with a lid. The rest of the sticky rice process was easy, and the general consensus was that it tasted yummy. However, the mochi, which we bought on a whim, did not go over so well. Our families did not like the texture to the dough which surrounds the ice cream, and so most of it went uneaten.
Despite the issues with presentation, our final feast was well received, and the general sentiment of the evening was that our meals would be missed.