Monday, June 16, 2008

Simple Chinese Breakfast

Last night D and I found out we need to go on a business trip to Seattle again.  Last week while  sleepless in Seattle (lol), I had started this blog.  So this morning I made D's favorite, a simple and quick breakfast of congee, eggs with basil, and spinach with garlic.

Congee is basically rice porridge which is cooked with a little bit of rice and a lot of water.  You can have it plain with side dishes or add flavorings and ingredients like fish, chicken, vegetables, use stock instead of water, use beans instead of rice... You can be as creative as you like as long as your taste buds can handle it.  Today I cheated and used leftover rice and cooked it with water, so it became pow fan which is more like rice soup.  

I stir fried baby leaf spinach with half a bulb of garlic.  Yes, that's a lot of garlic, but we love garlic.  We are foodaholics as well as garlic-holics.  I feel garlic loses a lot of the harsh smell and taste and becomes really nutty and yummy once cooked through.  Or maybe that's just me and I've been walking around stinking like garlic all this time (lol).  The garlic is a little smashed and practically left in whole cloves since I'm very lazy with mincing garlic (takes too long and makes my hands smell).

I also made D's all time favorite of basil and eggs.  It's a Taiwanese dish that D has grown up with, and he requests on a regular basis.  When we've had it elsewhere, it's always been in an omelet form where as I've never mastered the art of omelets so I've always made it as scrambled eggs.

My baby up close

I've never eaten fresh basil before meeting D, but it's an important ingredient in Taiwanese cooking.  So he introduced me to basil when we first met, and I'm obsessed with it now.  I've even grown my own pot of basil, because it's expensive the way I use it, which is a lot, (now that I think about it, just like garlic).  

I've tried growing them in a garden from seedlings, and I ended up nurturing weeds that looked like basil for about a month before my mom told me that I wasn't growing basil.  I was so disappointed.  Then my father-in-law bought a entire tray of basil to be planted, but they only died within a week.  Again disappointed.  Finally, my sister from San Fran told me that it wasn't possible to grow basil in our weather.  She's been trying herself and hadn't succeed because we don't get enough sunlight or heat throughout the year.  I was so sad thinking I would have to control my basil usage.

My basil before a "hair" cut 

But a few months ago while at the local market buying basil, I came across small pots of basil that cost less than the tiny bag of basil I usually buy.  Of course I usually eat Thai basil, and I think this was sweet basil, but it was still basil, right?  So I picked the fullest out of all the 3" pots and went home so proud of myself.  D immediately was like "oh no, she's going to kill again".  

My basil afterwards and D oh so happy

Well, I did research on growing basil and got lots of tips online.  My basil travels from windowsill to windowsill following the sunlight around our apartment.  I give it bi-weekly plant food feedings, and when we are out of town for more than a couple of days, I find it a sitter.  It's even survived a case of fungus flies.  I was so scared it's little roots wouldn't make it.  D says I treat it like it's a baby.  And my baby has grown into an 8" pot!  I'm so proud.  Well, my next venture is to try to grow my baby a sibling of Thai descent.  Wish me luck!

No comments: