Personally, this was one of the first dishes that I LOVED in Korean food.
I promised that I would write this recipe down for you last time when I posted on how to make Bulgogi. This recipe calls for a bit more work in terms of prep but the pay-off is really delicious so I think it’s worth it. And if you have spent enough time in the kitchen cutting veggies, then this should not be too hard for you.
Recipe for how to make this tasty, South Indian fried lentil snack called vada or vadai.
A few days ago, Nate and I were walking in Kuching’s version of a strip mall (more like a row of shop lots) looking for Christmas presents for our kids and we bumped into an Indian lady selling snacks outside a store. She spoke to me in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) which surprised me. I guess she must have lived here a good long time and have interacted with enough Chinese here to pick up the language. I bet her Hokkien is better than mine!
Anyway, she was selling vadai and some steamed chickpeas. Nate had been craving vadai for a long time so we happily snapped up some to munch on as we walked around shopping. Though they were tasty, they lacked the curry leaves that Nate loves dearly and they just didn’t have any heat to them. That is one problem with living here in Kuching—people don’t enjoy their food too spicy. My heat tolerance has probably gone down a lot since getting here. And being that this lady was local to Kuching, she has also tempered her food to match the local tastebuds.
Feeling somewhat deprived of good vadai, I decided it was time to try to make some of my own. I’ve had a Southern Indian cookbook that I bought many years ago that I’ve never gotten around to cooking from and I decided that it was time to look at the recipes again. True enough, there was a section on snacks and there was not just one recipe for vadai but several recipes.
Try this simple and delicious recipe with healthy black (wood ear) fungus, and you’ll be sold on it too!
Have I told you that I’m a pretty easy sell? I totally believe in sales gimmicks and this is why I never let those Kirby people in unless Nate is there at home with me. If I was alone, I’d be the proud owner of a really expensive vacuum cleaner (and I hate vacuuming). Why do I even let them in? Because I’m pake, see, and they always offer to clean one room for free! ^_^
I was at the market the other day buying vegetables and the vendor lifted this packet of black fungus to me. At first I didn’t know what it was she was trying to sell me but once I understood, I was tempted to get it. It’s not often that I can find fresh black fungus here.
Turns out, this vegetable vendor was a pretty good salesperson. “It’s very good for your health,” she said, “and it’s my last big pack.” She went on to convince me that it was really tasty and I would enjoy it. She could see that I was sold before I even nodded and, with a big grin, added it to my bag of other vegetables. Thankfully, in this case, it was just a pack of wood ear fungus that make for delicious eating and thus, totally justifiable. Right honey?
An amazingly simple and delicious new way to cook daikon radish.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I use an ingredient in certain ways and I can’t get past those styles of cooking to move on to other things. Yeah, let’s just call it non-creativity. I get like that some days (ok, most days now that I’m working). This is why I love browsing through cookbooks or going to try new restaurants. I get inspired that way.
Recently, I got inspired by a Malay colleague. She had brought lunch from home that her mom had made for her. Being the curious foodie that I am, I went over to her cubicle and asked what she was having for lunch. She said, “Lobak putih masak lemak” (daikon cooked in coconut milk) and showed me her dish.