Spaghetti, Spaghetti…if you know your obscure Dave Chappelle references. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I managed to make another trip out to the Grand Asia Market last weekend and finally put my fine purchases to use. I titled this Tricks & Tricks because with the right tools (or packaged goodies) you can throw together an almost restaurant-quality meal for $5!
1 Pack Soba Noodles (precooked or dried)
1 Pack Miso Soup base (usually comes with 5 in a pack)
Water…this seems to be easy to find
Put as much water as required by the Miso Soup mix’s instructions and bring almost to a boil. Add the miso soup mix contents and noodles. Cook until the noodles are just heated thru. That’s it.
The fun part, however, is really getting creative and turning this into something truly exciting. We, for example, topped our soup with slices of Meg’s leftover duck from An as well as a sprinkle of thinly sliced green onion for some bite. And don’t forget the hot sauce, Chulo! We both finished ours with a generous dotting of Sriracha, a Vietnamese chile sauce.
Speaking of Chulos, among the other items found at the market was green tea with toasted rice, something a few sushi places in town serve and I can’t get enough of. I also found a small bottle of sushi-grade soy sauce, some spices, and last but not least a Chula Honey Pineapple. This larger than normal pineapple was so intriguing I couldn’t leave it on the counter, it had to be mine. Finely ripe enough, I cut it up last night which seems to be a pretty daunting task for some so here’s my technique:
1) Cut off the bottom and top . If you plant the top another pineapple is supposed to grow, never tried it, although I do know that farmers at the Dole plantations in Hawaii used to cut off the tops of pineapples in the fields and allow them to ferment in the sun for a week or more, creating a stiflingly strong “brew” to get them thru the day. Eddie Aikau’s family had their own concoction called Swipe. Crafty!
2) Remove the skin by only cutting deep enough to remove the brown bits from the yellow flesh.
3) Cut the pineapple into 4 equal parts, the heart of the pineapple is pretty fibrous but some people enjoy it (myself included) so don’t cut too far towards the center, the knife should go thru easily.
4) Cut each “cheek” in half and then dice into 1″ pieces.
All you should have left at the end are the skin scraps, the core (fun to nibble on like a rib bone) and a mound of golden pineapple just waiting to be devoured.
This latin Chula was not nearly as spicy or sassy as I expected. Instead, the pineapple was mildly sweet with almost no acidity and tender all the way to the core (like my heart). I’ve said too much. Hope this helps, a freshly cut pineapple is a fine way to follow a piping hot bowl of soupy, fiery noodles. The Grand Asia market never ceases to amaze!