A couple of days ago, I wrote about cooking from cookbooks, so it figures I would do something completely different tonight. I needed to use up some coconut milk, so I decided to try some of the panang curry paste I got at the Asian supermarket a few weeks ago. I mixed the coconut milk (about a cup and a half) with a cup of water, heated it and sauteed a heaping tablespoon of the curry paste. I added about four ounces each of canned bamboo shoots and sliced water chestnuts and cooked them. Then came two tablespoons of fish sauce and about eight ounces of precooked udon noodles. After heating the noodles through, it was time for dinner.
For a random non-authentic dish, it was pretty good. The bland appearance of the food would’ve been livened up by some garnishes, or by including colorful veggies like carrots or tomatoes. Taste-wise, it was more varied, with the curry paste giving a nice but not overwhelming bite to the creamy sauce (Thai food fans who are less timid than I about heat might want to at least double the amount of curry paste). The bamboo shoots were juicy and the water chestnuts crisp (stir-frying them in oil might’ve added something). All in all, a successful improvisation and a good basis for future tinkering. Plus I have leftovers for tomorrow.
Tonight’s music to cook by: Tone Poems by David Grisman and Tony Rice (1994). Very mellow mandolin and guitar music played on vintage instruments. Good Sunday morning music.