Monday, February 19, 2018

Cooking for One, Part Three

I've become cavalier in my cooking. This is a disclaimer for the recipe below. I haven't actually measured any of this yet, but it was quite tasty. My only real training in food preparation comes from my mother and from watching Guy's Grocery Games. Oh, and from eating. I've been eating pretty much my whole life, at least three times a day. But I think it's watching Triple G (and Triple D: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, though he doesn't seem to visit many real dives, or drive-ins, for that matter) that have set me free from a prior enslavement to measuring spoons.

I'll go by look, feel and taste these days. Especially for add-ins, like walnuts into brownies. Half a handful seems right. But the real secret that I want to share with you today is about dumplings, the pan-fried Asian kind. I don't make those. I buy them. Either from the little Chinese place at the strip mall a few blocks over in the bad part of town (that place is a bit of a dive), or in the frozen food aisle, ethnic section, at Publix. Both of those come with sub-par dumpling sauce, though, and my prior attempts to whip up my own were unsatisfactory. I knew it was a soy sauce base, but that's all I could ever taste when I made some. Neither ginger nor garlic cut the over-salty, over-soy-y taste. And water just, you know, watered it down.

The secret? Rice vinegar.

As warned above, don't trust my measurements, they may lead you astray, trust your instincts, Luke, but these are my guesses at what I put together. Worked wonderfully:

   3 tbsp Lite Soy Sauce (Kikkoman is the name brand, but I don't think it matters)
   2 tbsp rice vinegar (I got Nakano All Natural, again, probably doesn't matter)
 1/4 tsp sesame oil (go easy on this, it can overpower everything)
 1/4 tsp ground ginger (I would've preferred 1/2 tsp fresh grated, but I didn't have it)
 1/4 tsp garlic powder (again, fresh, like one clove, would've been better)
 1 tbsp diced green onions

Mix it up in your favorite small monkey dish.
Dip away.

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