Still on my quest to clear out everything in my kitchen! I'm making progress!
I have finally used up all of the two curry packets that my aunt gave me several months ago. I think I used 1/3 of a single packet each time I cooked some curry, and one dish would last me four meals. Kenji's kare raisu recipe has been my go-to way of preparing curry, even when my curry powder is Malaysian and not Japanese.
When I made spring rolls a couple of months ago, I had some leftover vermicelli (because I always have leftover noodles), so I made some Singapore noodles with them. I sort of referenced this recipe on Budget Bytes, but I didn't measure anything, so I'm sure I used more curry powder and soy sauce than what it called for. Noodles were a little soggier than I'd like, but that was to be expected, and it was still delicious.
Something else that I had leftover from the spring rolls was toasted rice. I was looking up other ways to use toasted rice, and I saw that it's used in larb! I've never made larb before, but my aunt makes it (and hers is delicious), so I wanted to give it a try. The Woks of Life recipe said that you can serve it with some sticky rice, and I just happened to have a bag of in my pantry. This was tasty, but not nearly as good as my aunt's.
Finally, I had a little bit of cornmeal still sitting in my pantry, so I decided to use it all up and make some cornbread. I just followed the recipe that was listed on the container, and I had exactly the amount of cornmeal that it called for! I also figured this was a good reason to use my square muffin pan. The cornbread was easy to make, but it did have some weird volcano-like action going on while it was baking, and each piece had a little point at the top which was not what I expected.
Oh, I impulsively bought some "Mediterranean spiced salmon" from Aldi because it was half off, even though I'm pretty sure I've had more than one person tell me that the pre-marinated pieces of fish at grocery stores are terrible. Well, I had never tried one myself, but uh, I have to agree. It was really bad. It would have tasted better if I had just baked a piece of plain salmon.
I also had spinach leftover from that sad chicken alfredo pasta, so I decided to go full-on Boston Market and make some creamed spinach. This was pretty bad. I should have just made a salad and eaten the spinach raw.
But look at the bright side. I'm getting closer to having empty kitchen cabinets 🤩
Along with the cream of mushroom, my aunt also left me large container of curry (to eat) and a tiny container of red curry paste (to cook). I wanted something simple, so I searched Budget Bytes for a curry recipe and I decided to make Braised Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Thighs.
Budget Bytes isn't really the place I turn to for Asian recipes, but I still like her take on them. They aren't as flavorful as I want, so whenever her recipes call for soy sauce or fish sauce, I know I need to quadruple that amount.
The other thing I did to increase flavorful-ness was add salt to the chicken. Another tip I got from Salt Fat Acid Heat is to season your chicken with salt well in advance. I seasoned these chicken thighs with salt about 8 hours before cooking. I also added peas because I didn't think the dish had enough veggies in it as is.
I'm really happy with how this turned out! I thought the curry had a good amount of flavor with just the right amount of kick for me. And tossing green onions and cilantro on top right before serving adds a nice crunch to the dish.
Just showing you the two things I cooked this past week.
First, Thai Green Curry Chicken. This is the second time I've made this recipe, and it's very flavorful. Preparing the veggies takes a bit of time, but I'm just slow at cutting things, so it's really easy to make.
Also, this made a huge batch, so I'm probably going to freeze some of this.
Later in the week, I made Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage. Did you know I used to hate Chinese sausage 腊肠? I was a really picky kid, but my tastes have evolved a lot since then.
I did use sweet rice in this, which worked out really well. This is the first time I've ever cooked sticky rice and it was pretty easy. The combination of sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese sausage was great.
I even attempted to form this in an upside down bowl shape. But I was being lazy and didn't pack it very well, so I had to quickly take this picture as it was slowly falling apart.
Everything was delicious.
Remember how I said I was super busy at work, but I had some breathing room? Yeah, work got super busy again.
Day 36 (Thursday): I had this warm cauliflower salad on my to-make list for a while. And now I always have Tahini stocked so it felt like a good time to make it. I was a little concerned this wasn't going to be enough food for dinner, but we paired it with that pork loin we made the other day.
Yeah, that really dry pork loin. You can even see how dry it is in the picture!
But the salad was delicious. Warm salads are great.
Day 37 (Friday): One of the things I've had sitting in my pantry for waaay too long are canned bamboo shoots. I don't really like bamboo, but my sister really likes it and I don't mind it so much in curry. I had some other veggies that would go well in curry (frozen green beans, carrots) so we decided to make some.
Unfortunately, Aldi was out of chicken thighs when we went, but that's alright. This was still delicious with chicken breast. This was super easy to make and very flavorful, so I'd definitely make it again. And adding limes made it even better!
Day 38 (Saturday): Somehow with all the stay-at-home orders, I still managed to have jam-packed weekends. I had a virtual hangout with my friends during the day, and a virtual hangout with my cousins at night. So I wanted to make something easy for dinner.
I've made this beef and cabbage stir fry a few times in the past, and it's easy and tastes good enough, but I feel like it was lacking something. Maybe it needed more fish sauce and sugar. The sriracha helps though.