The one who sends me into an ecstatic egg white whipping frenzy on certain weekends has long since come and gone, but still I wanted to hang on. Cling to the memories. Stay in my souffle comfort zone. From the beginning, I knew it was to be that way, but the little fairytale princess in me still wanted it to last forever. Oh, how gorgeous a green tea souffle with lemon custard sauce would have been for Is My Blog Burning no. 17! Chai tea souffle with vanilla ginger creme anglaise would have been so perfectly...perfect for Clement’s host-theme of tasteTea. *sigh* But, at some point, you have to let go. You have to remember you’re an adult, you have responsibilities and you just can’t heat up the entire apartment in the summer time by turning on the oven, okay?! *sigh* again. The torrid, steamy affair is now but a simmering memory, and I am all but left clutching a wooden spoon, alone in the kitchen, stirring short-grain rice into...an Asian green tea risotto.
Risotto is such the wrong word since risotto is traditionally a fairly time-consuming, labor-intensive Italian dish made with uncooked arborio rice and onions first sautéed in butter then cooked slowly by incrementally adding hot stock to the pot and stirring ceaselessly. Gluten in the rice itself, which is released through the action of stirring, is what makes the risottocreamy, along with an addition of cheese. Mine is so much simpler it’s not fair to put it in the same class with the Italians, but "porridge" sounds nasty. "Risotto" sounds fancy, and I am, oh yes, a fancy girl. Glutinous Asian short grain rice that has already been steamed, which means, technically, you could be using, *gasp!* leftovers, is simply simmered with green tea and salt for some seasoning until it’s the right risotto-like creamy consistency. *tilts head* Yes, creamy. And rich. With a confident air of green tea. *hmm*
All the rest is pretty easy, and pretty self-explanatory. Mushrooms get sauteed with just a sprinkle of soy sauce for color and salt, but not too much, lest it overpower the scent of green tea in the risotto. Simple, plain mushrooms are my favorite, but shiitake can make it exotic, and enoki, with its little bulbous head and long tail-like stem, shaped like well, you know, is downright erotic. Thick blocks of raw tofu thrown into a bare skillet for a sizzling hot sear...well! This Asian risotto is pretty steamy after all ;)
If it were, oh, say about a year and a half ago, I would never have eaten this dish, let alone made it on my own accord. I don’t eat rice unless my wrists are bound and I’ve been starved for four and a half days. I would have picked out each piece of tofu, but as ickity pickity as I was, I wouldn’t have eaten any piece that had been tainted by even touching the fungus. Especially fungus that looks like overgrown sperm.
But it’s today, and I am EOE. Equal opportunity eater. I may not love it, but if I only stick to things I love love love, then it would be hard boiled eggs and kimchee tofu three meals a day anyway. No, really. And maybe a fresh fig for fiber every once in a while. Besides, I’m not getting any younger, and sometimes you just can’t wait around forever for the love of your culinary life. I mean, Asian risotto can make me happy, too. ;)