Basics: Not really recipes as much as techniques, for the culinarily challenged like me! You have to know the fundamental skills before exploring and experimenting with food. I DON'T HAVE ANY. (Insert Jamie Oliver joke.) This series will document my personal cooking experiment, collecting my parents' gems of knowledge and sharing stories from the kitchen. Join me on my journey!
Lunch today |steamed sweet potato | locally grown carrots | sauteed purple cabbage | spicy zucchini | garlic mushrooms | toasted peanuts| Simple flavors, local produce, delicious, wholesome, nutritious nourishment.
Today's recipes are two of my favorites side dishes for lunch or dinner. They are super easy: minimal prep, 4 ingredients each, and around 10 minutes cook time.
Purple cabbage has got to be the beauty queen of the vegetable world. When I was photographing it, I for the first time, really examined it closely. It is so beautiful, and proves nature is miraculous. Similar to pomegranate, I can't comprehend how such a complex, intricate thing grows.
Basic Purple Cabbage
- 1/2 head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 pinches salt
1) Heat pan on high and add oil.
2) Fry the peppercorns to infuse the oil, then scoop out if you prefer.
3)Add cabbage and toss.
4) Pour in water, lower heat, and cover. Cook for 10 min, stirring every 3 minutes.
5) Salt to taste, mix well, transfer to a plate and serve!
My favorite way to eat purple cabbage. Hearty with a slight crunch! Delicious.
Next up, one of my favorite vegetables. Round zucchini! People in china call it "tender pumpkin". Whatever the nomenclature, it is sublime in this recipe. Round zucchini is firmer than regular zucchini, has fewer seeds, a bit more starchy, and has better flavor.
Do not fear the mighty cayenne. Just like spiders, they are smaller than you and cannot hurt you. No you cannot leave it out, it MAKES the dish. Seriously though! When I asked my dad how he made the dish and he showed me the bright red little buggers I freaked out but then I was pleasantly surprised that I could stomach them. The toasted pepper seeds are so so so fragrant and give just the right spice.
Basic Round Zucchini
- 1 round zucchini
- 1/2 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 dried cayenne pepper
- 2 pinches salt
- Wash and peel (optional) zucchini, cut inhalf, and slice thinly.
- Heat pan on high and add oil.
- Crack the pepper and pour the seeds + pepper into oil, and toast seeds until fragrant and pepper skin turns black.
- Add zucchini. Stir occasionally while cooking, about 10 minutes.
- Salt to taste, plate, and serve.
I can easily gobble down the entire plate. Shameless. Just be careful not to ingest the pepper! Flavor is good and all but downing a level-5 rated pepper might not be the best idea. You can scoop it out immediately after sauteing if you prefer.