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Exploring a Cookbook: East by Meera Sodha

Exploring a Cookbook: East by Meera Sodha
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  • Post #31 - November 8th, 2023, 4:45 pm
    Post #31 - November 8th, 2023, 4:45 pm Post #31 - November 8th, 2023, 4:45 pm
    Ron,

    Would love to see you take on the Korean Egg Bread. I have been too chicken (no pun intended)!

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    Perhaps a bake-off? :)
  • Post #32 - November 9th, 2023, 12:45 am
    Post #32 - November 9th, 2023, 12:45 am Post #32 - November 9th, 2023, 12:45 am
    LynnB wrote:Ron,

    Would love to see you take on the Korean Egg Bread. I have been too chicken (no pun intended)!

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    Perhaps a bake-off? :)

    That looks great. I'm definitely up for it, though I'm sure mine will be damned ugly! :)

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #33 - November 12th, 2023, 10:50 am
    Post #33 - November 12th, 2023, 10:50 am Post #33 - November 12th, 2023, 10:50 am
    Kimchi Fried Rice

    Not sure why, but I'd never been to Joong Boo on Kimball. I decided to use this recipe as a reason to go check it out yesterday and buy some kimchi. Not a huge fan of the parking lot, but loved the market. It smelled fantastic in there. I had Audrey with me and she went a little nuts in the ramen aisle. So we're stocked up on that for awhile. She was very excited to see the cream carbonara style she's been wanting to try.

    I had no clue which kimchi to select. So many choices! Considering it has to be chopped for this recipe I went with a jar of sliced which made the chopping pretty quick.
    Ms. Sodha warns to check the ingredients if readers want to keep vegetarian/vegan. I did see some labeled "vegan" but opted to veer off and go for a version with fish sauce & dried shrimp.

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    Here are the recipe ingredients:

    Jasmine Rice
    Chopped Kimchi
    Toasted Sesame Oil
    Gochujang Paste
    Soy Sauce
    Garlic
    Green Onions
    Baby Spinach
    Fried Eggs, to serve

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    Simple, flavorful, comforting. I will likely make this again soon. 2 Carrots Up!
  • Post #34 - November 12th, 2023, 11:24 am
    Post #34 - November 12th, 2023, 11:24 am Post #34 - November 12th, 2023, 11:24 am
    You got the good stuff: the "Grandma" Kimchi is outstanding, it's my go to.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #35 - November 12th, 2023, 11:56 am
    Post #35 - November 12th, 2023, 11:56 am Post #35 - November 12th, 2023, 11:56 am
    LynnB wrote:Kimchi Fried Rice

    Simple, flavorful, comforting. I will likely make this again soon. 2 Carrots Up!


    Really nice!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #36 - November 12th, 2023, 12:21 pm
    Post #36 - November 12th, 2023, 12:21 pm Post #36 - November 12th, 2023, 12:21 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    LynnB wrote:Kimchi Fried Rice

    Simple, flavorful, comforting. I will likely make this again soon. 2 Carrots Up!


    Really nice!


    Its not brand specific, but I always look for junrado or julrado style kimchi. It should be on the label. It looks like the typical cabbage kimchi but is made with shrimp and/or anchovy sauce.

    It doesn't taste fishy at all but I feel like it creates a more pungent taste as it ferments longer in the fridge.
  • Post #37 - November 12th, 2023, 4:18 pm
    Post #37 - November 12th, 2023, 4:18 pm Post #37 - November 12th, 2023, 4:18 pm
    WhyBeeSea wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:
    LynnB wrote:Kimchi Fried Rice

    Simple, flavorful, comforting. I will likely make this again soon. 2 Carrots Up!


    Really nice!


    Its not brand specific, but I always look for junrado or julrado style kimchi. It should be on the label. It looks like the typical cabbage kimchi but is made with shrimp and/or anchovy sauce.

    It doesn't taste fishy at all but I feel like it creates a more pungent taste as it ferments longer in the fridge.

    Nice looking kimchi fried rice, Lynn! Kimchi is such a great way to intensify the flavors in anything but especially fried rice and especially with the non-vegetarian styles of kimchi.

    Going back to your post upthread suggesting we try the Korean Egg Bread (page 208), I couldn't resist. It's totally out of my comfort zone -- which is always fun -- and it looked damned good, so I decided to give it a try . . .

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    Mise En Place & Hitohira TD Blue #2 (Stainless Clad) Kurouchi Gyuto, 210mm
    Grated aged cheddar, 'spice' plate (salt, baking powder, gochugaru, pimenton, cayenne pepper), confetti'd parsley, unsalted/melted/cooled butter, whole milk, raw eggs, peeled/hard-boiled eggs and self-rising flour.

    I didn't have any self-rising flour, so I made my own, adding baking soda, baking powder and fine sea salt to some AP flour. The recipe calls for spicy pimenton but I only had non-spicy, so I used 50% of it and 50% cayenne pepper. Assembly is pretty much what one might expect. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine the milk, butter and raw eggs in another. Once the wet stuff is homogenized, you add that mixture to the dry mixture to create the batter. The only twist is those hard-boiled eggs. They actually go into the loaf pan whole, placed end to end, about halfway down into the batter. The idea is that they will end up in the middle of the loaf, and that each slice of the finished loaf will showcase a slice of the egg. Remember, that's just the idea . . . :lol:

    From there, into a 400F oven and bake it for ~55 minutes or until it's brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. After the bake, let it rest in the loaf pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack until it's ready for slicing (Sodha doesn't not specify how long on that) . . .

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    Korean Egg Bread
    Mine came out a tad lighter in color than the example pic in the cookbook but it had a nice crust and smelled fantastic.

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    Sliced
    Delicious and very fun to make. Clearly, I pushed the hard-boiled eggs a bit too far into the loaf pan. I was worried they wouldn't be covered otherwise but I didn't account for the rise. Ah, yes. The rise. In any case, if I were to make this again (almost certainly will), I'd take most of that pesky parsley out of there and sub in some chives. I'd also love to make a yeasted version of this because I think it'd be even better (kind of like the bing bread at Parachute) but I'm pretty sure that's beyond me.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #38 - November 12th, 2023, 4:42 pm
    Post #38 - November 12th, 2023, 4:42 pm Post #38 - November 12th, 2023, 4:42 pm
    Ron,

    I am impressed, looks great!

    I may give it a shot sometime Thanksgiving weekend. And now I will benefit from your experience. I definitely prefer chives over parsley.
  • Post #39 - November 15th, 2023, 8:19 pm
    Post #39 - November 15th, 2023, 8:19 pm Post #39 - November 15th, 2023, 8:19 pm
    When I make soup, I usually do so a few days before I plan to serve it.

    After perusing this recipe I sensed it might not be necessary and decided it could work as a weeknight meal. Happily I was right. This is one of the more subtle recipes in the book that I have tried so far but the flavors build and ultimately satisfy. We all went back for seconds and enjoyed it with some warm Naan.

    Black-Eyed Pea and Chickpea Usal

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    Ingredients:

    Red Onion
    Finger Chile
    Garlic
    Ripe Tomatoes
    Salt
    Kashmiri Chile Powder ( so happy to see this as I purchased some a couple months ago for another recipe and was glad to have another use.)
    Garam Masala
    Cumin
    Turmeric
    Canned Black-Eyed Peas
    Frozen Petit Peas
    Can of Chick Peas
    Fresh Snow Peas
    Lemon Juice
    Cilantro

    Most of the cooking time is used to really create a paste of the onion, chile, garlic, spices and tomato.

    Giving this one a Broccoli Spear, only because at this point other recipes have just been more Carrot Up-worthy. Still, a solid soup.
  • Post #40 - November 26th, 2023, 8:37 pm
    Post #40 - November 26th, 2023, 8:37 pm Post #40 - November 26th, 2023, 8:37 pm
    Tonight I made the Mushroom Bao. And also the Thai Salad with Grapefruit and Cashews.

    I've never made Bao before, or any steamed dough that I can think of, and WOW was it fun! Felt kind of magical.

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    Portioned dough after the first rising

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    Shaped and ready for second rising. With a bit more practice I think these could turn out more consistent and generally prettier.

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    Steamed. Unfortunately I could only fit 3 at a time (recipe makes 10). Next time I will set-up 2 steamers.

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    Mushrooms (shiitake & oyster) in peanut sauce filling. Delicious. You also make some quick pickled cucumbers.

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    Salad, post-tossing with spicy dressing but pre-adding cashews and crispy onions. This was a perfect contrast to the soft bao.

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    Plated-up. Audrey said to be sure to give this 2 huge carrots up. I will definately be making bao again both with this filling and perhaps coming up with a few fillings of my own. Such a good time both making and eating!
  • Post #41 - November 26th, 2023, 9:25 pm
    Post #41 - November 26th, 2023, 9:25 pm Post #41 - November 26th, 2023, 9:25 pm
    Hi,

    Those bao are the same used by Sun Wah BBQ in their Peking Duck service.

    I may have to try the mushrooms in peanut sauce for a mycophagy (eating mushrooms) event sometime.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #42 - November 26th, 2023, 11:23 pm
    Post #42 - November 26th, 2023, 11:23 pm Post #42 - November 26th, 2023, 11:23 pm
    LynnB wrote:Tonight I made the Mushroom Bao. And also the Thai Salad with Grapefruit and Cashews.

    I've never made Bao before, or any steamed dough that I can think of, and WOW was it fun! Felt kind of magical.

    Way to go, Lynn and Audrey! I think one of the most satisfying parts of cooking is making something for the first time and having it meet or exceed your expectations. Not only does it speak to the skills of the cook and the quality of the instruction but it also immediately prompts the question: "What can I do next with this building block I've just learned?" Such a fun journey of learning, sharing and providing Sustenance+ for your family and friends. Thanks, for sharing with all of us and for introducing us to this wonderful cookbook. What few recipes I've cooked from it so far have been a joy. :)

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #43 - November 28th, 2023, 7:54 pm
    Post #43 - November 28th, 2023, 7:54 pm Post #43 - November 28th, 2023, 7:54 pm
    Tonight's dinner was Egg Fried Rice with Peppers, Peas, and Chile.

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    This came together quickly and was a solid version of vegetable fried rice. Nothing special though so Audrey & I agreed it's just a "one broccoli spear".

    I wanted to add something crunchy to the plate. Instead of my usual go-to of roasted peanuts I broke out a snack bag I had purchased at 88 Marketplace a few weeks ago.

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    I fully admit that it was solely the packaging that got me to purchase this. I was intrigued. I explained to Audrey that I used to do the exact same thing with record albums way back in the day. Sometimes I was happy to have picked a winner, other times not so much. So we opened the bag....

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    To find more bags....

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    They were crispy little spice waffles. Not overwhelmingly spicy though.

    And with that, I am going on a brief cooking hiatus to spend some quality time in my role as dance (Nutcracker) mom.
  • Post #44 - December 10th, 2023, 7:33 pm
    Post #44 - December 10th, 2023, 7:33 pm Post #44 - December 10th, 2023, 7:33 pm
    Finally got around to making the Egg Bread today. I took Ronnie's idea to swap out the parsley for chives which worked beautifully.

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  • Post #45 - December 10th, 2023, 7:55 pm
    Post #45 - December 10th, 2023, 7:55 pm Post #45 - December 10th, 2023, 7:55 pm
    LynnB wrote:Finally got around to making the Egg Bread today.

    Looks great, Lynn!

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #46 - December 23rd, 2023, 9:28 am
    Post #46 - December 23rd, 2023, 9:28 am Post #46 - December 23rd, 2023, 9:28 am
    Last night's quick & easy dinner was the "Sodha Family Masala Omelet". What she calls an omelet, I consider a frittata.

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    Sauteing chopped mushrooms with red onion, chile and garlic.

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    Finished "omelet" with lots of cilantro.

    I served this with a green salad tossed with a light vinaigrette. This was nothing special but was just what I was looking for after a busy work day followed by errands in heavy traffic.
  • Post #47 - December 28th, 2023, 9:27 pm
    Post #47 - December 28th, 2023, 9:27 pm Post #47 - December 28th, 2023, 9:27 pm
    Until this week, I can't recall the last time I bought a rutabaga. I know I have in my adult lifetime, but no clue when or what it was for.

    I was skeptical but curious about tonight's dinner recipe - Rutabaga Laksa. Seems a little bold to be leading with rutabaga but I decided to add a little adventure to my cooking life.

    Started by making a paste in the blender - garlic, ginger, Kashmiri chili powder (yay, another use!), cumin, lemongrass, cilantro stems, shallots, and a bit of veg stock.

    Warm some canola oil and fry this paste about 10 minutes. Then gradually add coconut milk, more veg stock and a bit of salt and sugar. Simmer 20 minutes. That's your soup.

    I did this earlier in the day as I am still on vacation. This would probably not be a normal weeknight dinner for us.

    Next, peel, halve, and slice your rutabaga. Peel, halve and separate the layers of 4 shallots. Toss in oil and a little salt and roast separately on 2 sheet pans.

    Cook your rice vermicelli. Drain. Reheat the soup base. Arrange all in bowls, ladle soup over. Serve with lime wedges. I also tossed in a few roasted peanuts.

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    Plated Up

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    And here's how Audrey's bowl came back to the kitchen.

    Didn't think I'd be saying it, but "2 carrots up" for the rutabaga!
  • Post #48 - January 9th, 2024, 7:44 pm
    Post #48 - January 9th, 2024, 7:44 pm Post #48 - January 9th, 2024, 7:44 pm
    Tonight's dinner was Sun House Chile Eggs.

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    Ingredients:
    Red Onion
    Green Finger Chile
    Garlic
    Cherry Tomatoes
    Salt
    Eggs
    Sharp Cheddar
    Cilantro

    Very simple and easy, but it hit the spot. I won't rush to make it again. A solid "Broccoli Spear".

    I served it with Neuske's bacon and warm samoon bread for scooping.
  • Post #49 - January 16th, 2024, 8:20 pm
    Post #49 - January 16th, 2024, 8:20 pm Post #49 - January 16th, 2024, 8:20 pm
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    This recipe intrigued me but I wasn't sure how it would fly with the family. Gave it a go tonight and was a bit surprised that Audrey loved it. Was definitely the biggest hit with her. I enjoyed it, especially the curry puree which had a rich depth of flavor and complimented the crispy eggplant nicely. Jonathan ate it, said little, & I suspect would prefer I not make it again. So between the 3 of us we had a "two carrots up," a "broccoli spear," and our first "1/2 an Upside-Down Turnip."

    I made the Curry on Sunday as the preparation was not particularly weeknight friendly:

    1 onion, chopped
    3 carrots, diced
    1 sweet potato, diced
    4 cloves garlic, sliced
    2 teaspoons grated ginger
    curry powder
    flour
    veg stock
    soy sauce
    ketchup

    Fry the veg in oil for 10 minutes, add garlic and ginger, cover and steam 5 minutes. Add curry powder and 2 tablespoons flour and stir. Gradually add veg stock and bring to boil. Add soy, ketchup and salt. Puree in a blender or food processor.

    The flavors melded well after a couple of days in the refrigerator and it was easily re-heated on a low burner.

    The eggplant was done by dipping slices first in flour, then a loose slurry of flour, salt and water, followed by panko. Laid out on a parchment-lined sheet pan, then drizzled on both sides with olive oil and oven baked. I was very pleased with how crispy they got while maintaining a soft center.

    While I did enjoy it, I felt like it was missing one component that could somehow tie everything together. Will have to think on it...

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  • Post #50 - February 11th, 2024, 3:31 pm
    Post #50 - February 11th, 2024, 3:31 pm Post #50 - February 11th, 2024, 3:31 pm
    I made the Sweet Potato Cakes with Kimchi Mayo last night. They were a tasty side dish. I think they would be even better made smaller as one-bite appetizers. The kimchi mayo was the star. These were a "broccoli spear."

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    Ready for pan frying.

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    We've really been digging this carrot salad lately, a Fresh Farms find.

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    Plated-up with some chicken-apple sausage.

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