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Why not Burmese?

This past Sunday, the Food Bloggers of Los Angeles, where I’m a proud new member, had their first meeting of 2017. Held at the lovely home of Judy Lyness, we were thrilled to learn how to cook some typical Burmese dishes, taught by Soe Thein, author and cook at www.cilantroandlime.com.
He taught us that the Burmese version of “tofu” is actually chickpeas! They call soy based version “bean curd.” Boy, this is MUCH better. You can see from the picture how sturdy it is. It slices beautifully and, like tofu, will take on the flavor of whatever you marinate it in. He put it in a fantastic salad containing cabbage and cilantro. They use cilantro like lettuce and the taste was out of this world! It takes very little time to make. One important point he made…DO NOT use Bob’s Red Mill chickpea flour. It doesn’t work as well. He suggested going to an Asian or Indian Market to get some.
The recipe is easy and you can find it here.www.cilantroandlime.com He also taught us how he makes garlic oil-he chops up a TON of garlic, heats a neutral vegetable oil until it’s just about boiling! THEN, he pours it over the garlic, stirs, then puts it back on the heat until the garlic starts to brown. Ta-da! Garlic oil. He made fried shallots the exact same way! And they were amazing. I love this recipe as it has lots of flavors and textures.
We were asked to bring an Asian-inspired dish and I brought one of my favorites from when I was in cooking school with Cathy Arkle (she brought an amazing chicken curry stew!).. You can see it at the left forefront of the photo. It’s Dry Fried Long Beans. Ok, full disclosure. I was at Costco and they had really nice looking haricot verts, so I used those. Still came out great!
Dry Fried Long Beans
1 lb Chinese long beans
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
2 scallions, white and pale part only, sliced
½ tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns (or regular pepper)
3 tbsps vegetable oil

Wash and trim the beans. Cut on an angle into 2” size pieces. Heat 2 tbsps oil over medium heat in wok, Add long beans and stir fry until they shrivel and start to brown. Remove long beans from wok and set aside. Heat remaining oil on high heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallions. Stir fry for a few seconds, then add chili sauce, dark soy, sugar, salt and pepper. Return beans to wok and stir fry until combined.
Soe has lots of interesting recipes on his blog. Why not try one for a change of pace? Especially if you like lime and cilantro!

One Response to “Why not Burmese?”

  1. Cathy A says:

    What a great recap of a fun event. Loved your Dry Fried Long Beans!