A Post-Structural Critique Of Cultural Hegemony

I was out of town for a few days, visiting Providence and Boston. Most interesting culinarily was a trip to a Burmese restaurant in Brighton (or Allston, maybe) right near where the greatest Vietnamese restaurant in Boston used to be back in the 80’s. Viet Huong (in Allston) had about 4 tables, seated 8-9 people at very most, and had a lovely old couple who did everything: she cooked, he served. It was freaking genius. I miss it; it was easily my first food-geek experience. I’ll write a bit more about the Burmese food in a bit after I try something here at home.

The other night we had a mutated version of the chicken thigh escabeche I made a few posts ago, so tonight I cooked those bones with carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, a dried shiitake, and a scallion to make a fragrant stock. I pressure-cooked mung beans in the stock with a piece of bacon skin, removing it and puréeing the cooked beans with more stock when soft. I whisked in some miso, and let it sit while I crisped up little lardons of the latest batch of miso bacon. The result was very much what I had hoped for: an Asian-flavored take on split pea soup that was dense, creamy, earthy, and with smoky pork to set it all off. I sprinkled the top with scallions and togarashi.

On the side, we had king oyster mushrooms sautéed with garlic and deglazed with soy, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. I wilted some kale in the mushroom pan and deglazed again with a bit of the stock. Each made for a compelling and savory companion to the soup, and the combination made for good rainy spring evening fare.

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6 Comments

  1. Ant Kendall
    April 18
    Reply

    Nice sounding dish. >I've done similar with red split lentils and indian spices and it really works. Rock on with the fusion vibe!

  2. michelle @ thursday night smackdown
    April 19
    Reply

    miso bacon, you say?

    i don't know why i don't hang around here more. i'll start.

  3. peter
    April 20
    Reply

    Ant: Lentils go with anything. Mung beans are trickier, but only a little.

    Michelle: Holy shit- you commented?!? We would be delighted to have you.

  4. cookiecrumb
    April 24
    Reply

    Time.
    Please pass forward your blue books.

  5. We Are Never Full
    April 27
    Reply

    absolutely awesome. i swear, you should write a "japanese and japanese-esque food that non-japanese people really CAN make" book. i swear to the lord, i would buy it.

  6. peter
    April 27
    Reply

    CC: Go clean the erasers.

    Amy: That's a catchy title, in any case.

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