Bad Ideas

Well, I strongly suspect that this shouldn’t have worked, but there you go. When you run the numbers against the development of our planet to its current life supporting state you start to think that about a lot of things.

There are times that I get an image in my head, and an occasionally alarming compulsion to make those things real. As I am a pretty useless visual artist, I will almost inevitably default to a medium in which I am competent. Which means either prose, roleplaying game design, or…

Food.

I don’t think that my teenage self would approve if they realised that I now considered this a means of self expression. But seriously, fusk ’em, I don’t give a fusk what my fourth dimensional selves think and they’re all fusked in the head.

Anyway, I’m in a Blade Runner kind of mood, so I’m making…

Curry Gyoza Noodles

Yeah, bit of a funny revelation, but Pythagoras got triangles, I get carbs. Here’s how you do it. 20161121_134536.jpg

First, you need some Gyoza. And if you think these little dumplings aren’t cyberpunk as fusk, then take one look at the ingredients and you’ll realise that they almost entirely epitomise the kind of shenanigans I’ve been trying to embody throughout this blog.

I don’t know if there’s a thing in there that isn’t a thing-substitute.

Anyway, you fry the gyoza then steam them. The trick here is not to use too much oil, because if you do it’ll attempt your murder when you pour the water in for steaming.

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Action shot!

Anyway, that’s pretty easy stuff. Take the now cooked gyoza out of the pan and set them aside somewhere. I mean you could use a new pan if you’re some fancy-pants multiple pan owning type, but I did it with one because that’s what I’ve got.

Next stage, sauce. I could have made something with vitamins and minerals and such, but that isn’t what I did.

Dice up an onion and a couple of small potatoes very finely. Using the (same) pan, fry these things, and once they have that tasty fried coating sprinkle them liberally with curry powder. VERY liberally, or you will be cast from this blog in shame!

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Anyway, from there its the simple addition of this blood substituting, incredibly cheap cleanskin, which is also our drop of the night. Day. Time has gotten slippery for me lately.

Add a bit of water to the sauce to keep it fairly thin, as its going to need to soak through both dumplings and noodles.

And now we get to those noodles! I personally use the very cheapest ramen on the market, not the instant variety but the serious bulk packs from Jinmailing. Though they usually require a second round of boiling to extract the unusually high amount of starch, but once you get over that little hurdle you’re away.

So cook the noodles. Please don’t ask me to teach you how to do that.

With that done, so are we. Place the dumplings on the noodles, pour the sauce on, and garnish with a little Japanese style pickled ginger and sliced raw spring onions.

Somehow, imaginary readers, it worked.

Keep on rockin.

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Frying the Trickster

It was a thought that startled a friend of ours when we stayed with her in the UK.

I said that I had never seen a fox alive. I know they’re a massive pest here in Australia, but the only time that I had ever seen one before this point was as a mangled shape on the side of the highway. Usually the Hume Highway, between Sydney and Canberra. I don’t know if that’s significant.

So our host put out some chicken offcuts in her backyard, leaving a low light on and keeping a firm hand on her little West Highlands Terrier. Soon enough, to the Westy’s unhappy growls, we watched through the glass door as a trio of foxes, barely more than pups, hopped over the rear shed and dropped into the back yard. They warily snatched up the chicken before departing again, and I couldn’t help but feel like these strange animals were more like possums than dogs, leaping and clambering over fences and knocking over bins. Maybe I’m just more used to having possums near the house. For any imaginary readers who haven’t been to Australia or New Zealand, consider it a mercy to have not heard a possum’s voice at night. Scary shite right there.

Anyway, I was talking about foxes. I had met them in another context, in which they were neither flesh and blood creatures or flesh and blood road markers. Fox Shrines dot Japan, often in wild and partially forgotten places, or clinging quietly to unseen corners in the grounds of larger shrine complexes. There is a beautiful one to the side of Kamakura’s Hachimangu whose approach seems little more than a narrow forest path, leading to a flight of weathered stairs and, for me at least, a haunting sensation of being watched.

What all this fox related jabbering is leading to is the noodle recipe that follows.

Now there’s a leap of logic for you.

To explain: not long ago I attempted to make some Kitsune Udon for my partner and Ghorb, who is currently living with us. A rough translation would be Fox Noodles. I’ve never understood what appeal fried tofu has to foxes, but then I’ve never really felt much of an urge to delve into it either. Just sort of took it as given that the folkloric tricksters of Japan’s unforgiving ecosphere would , like me, be really into soy products.

So here’s how I did it.

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First, I chopped up a whole bunch of Shitake Mushrooms for broth. Because mushrooms are great.

Arrayed behind said mushrooms are my other ingredients; red miso paste, sesame seeds and firm tofu. You’ll be able to tell from these that I’m not making a traditional broth… this is really more an homage to a memory than a real recreation.

Because I’ve tried to arrange for silken tofu to hold its shape through the frying process before, and we all remember how that went.

Well, you guys don’t I suppose… it didn’t end well. Silken tofu just kind of disintegrates when you try to fry it, and this little blogger had to walk all the way back to the supermarket, which is… admittedly, right across the road, to get firm tofu.

So remember: Firm Tofu.

Here’s what you do with it.

You slice it into little steaks. I made triangles, but you could equally make rectangles or any other shape your knife skill wpid-20150629_183335.jpglevels allow.

Give them a quick skin mixed from flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Fry in oil until crispy.

Fry the mushrooms, then drown them in hot water and add a goodly dollop of miso paste to make a tasty broth. Sprinkle in some finely chopped spring onions, and your golden. Throw in noodles for your audience and… hey presto.

Get those noodles and that broth into a bowl, place the nice little tofu guys on top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Much more attractive than most of the foxes I’ve encountered, to be sure.

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