Narrated recipes

176

On Saturday I cooked for the third time at Escargot Bistro (at 101 Toamnei street, Bucharest). Well, for the fourth time if we count the episode from “România delicioasă” (“Delicious Romania”) that was filmed there. That place, with its open kitchen, in which the public can take a look anytime, gives me a feeling of absolute freedom and, at the same time, of total safety. The music is reasonably loud, the Red Hot Chili Peppers play whatever they want to play about (sometimes their lyrics are silly, but at least the music sounds awesome), while I cook whatever I want. I know what I have to do each second, I know what and whom I should ask it from, I know what I have to offer and nothing keeps me from completing my mission, nothing scares me, nothing alters my concentration, nothing is chaotic around me. I’m doing well like this.

adi hadean

adi hadean

adi hadean

During the weekend, for example, I wanted to take a trip to Singapore, a place where I had the first culinary revelations of my life, a place with flavors that I rememorize periodically to prevent myself from forgetting them. Singapore is a sort of Romania of Asia. There, you can find Southern Chinese cuisine and Northern Chinese cuisine well blended with the neighboring Malaysian one, Thai one, Balinese one, with the cuisine of India, of the Philippines, of Indonesia and of Japan. It is a big bucket where flavors melt, dissolve and are re-combined in surprising ways.

legume

On Saturday I played with my memories and it resulted a story which took place over 8 hours, during which people came, ate, left saying “thank you!” (some of them) and leaving, with no exception, empty plates.
The story began the night before, when I put the browned, well flavored meat and bones (veal bones, veal tails, veal shoulder) in two large pots, together with the oven baked potatoes (carrots, onions, garlic, celery, parsley). Until that point, the soup pot and the stew pot looked the same. After several hours of simmering, I started dividing the waters. In the soup pot I immersed a sieve with whole cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, a bay leaf, cilantro seeds and allspice. I let the soup slowly boil with the spices, for at least an hour and a half. I did not add salt to the soup, but fish sauce. I then strained the soup and I placed the meat taken from the bones next to the vegetables from the soup. When served, the soup looked like this: Chinese noodles, bean sprouts (this morning I ran to Dragonul roșu – the Chinese market – and bought fresh sprouts from a nice Chinese man), basil leaves, veal strips (tenderloin) marinated in lime juice and fish sauce and the hot soup poured over them.

supa asiatica

supa asiatica

Meanwhile, the meat for the stew had been thoroughly tenderized on low temperature. I removed it from the pot, I strained the soup and I let it boil further on. I took a part of it and put it in a pan, where I made a reduction with oyster sauce and fish sauce, which resulted in a thick soup with an intense flavor. I mashed the vegetables that boiled in the soup (you will not see this in Asia too often, but I wanted a thick sauce without starch, seaweeds or gums) and I mixed them with the boiling soup. I poured the sauce over the large chunks of meat taken from the bones, I sprinkled a generous amount of green onions and green garlic and I put the tray with the meat and the sauce into the oven. In a separate skillet, I stir-fried a bunch of fresh vegetables (carrot, bell pepper, green onions, green garlic, finely cut potato slice) which I seasoned with fish sauce, oyster sauce and a mixture of garlic and ginger purée with lime juice. The plate was like this: at the base there were the stir-fried vegetables, the stew with meat chunks, a reasonable quantity of bulgur infused with the strained soup, green onion and green garlic leaves, raw shimeji mushrooms, Sriracha and basil.

tocana asiatica

tocana asiatica

That was it. Stay healthy. Thank you for the opportunity, Răzvan.

adi hadean razvan exarhu

 

Special thanks to
Oana Bodnariuc, Authorized Translator
oana.bodnariuc@gmail.com
facebook.com/oana.bodnariuc

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