Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The week of living meatlessly. day 3.

Today I headed to Uwajimaya, over at the edge of the International District. The couscous salad and spinach soufflé were both delicious, but I wanted to return to the kind of vegetarian cooking I was most familiar with, the foods of my childhood. I bought garlic and ginger and scallions, baby bok choy and green beans and eggplant, shiitake and shimeji mushrooms, spiced dried tofu - both kinds, one smaller and thinner and chewier, the other a little bigger and fatter and slightly softer - and plain soft tofu.

For dinner I sliced up the chewier of the dried tofus into batons, and stir-fried them with green beans and plenty of garlic, adding a splash of soy sauce with some water to steam the beans tender. There was rice, of course, and irregularly-shaped wedges of carrots that I had skillet-steamed and then stir-fried to caramelize the edges a little. I thought about Elizabeth Andoh's Japanese cookbook Washoku, where she talked about the philosophy of composing a meal by making sure you had different colors of food on your plate. I looked down at my plate, white and green and brown and orange. It was beautiful. Tasty, too.

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