Wednesday, August 08, 2012
It's still dark outside.
I wake up, rub my eyes and make sure I don't fall on my groggy way to the bathroom. Freshened up (barely), I switch on the kitchen lights, down a glass of water and turn on the electric kettle. Two pots find their way onto the hob, the chopping board ready to go with a small paring knife.
It's still dark outside, a bit too early for the chef’s knife.
From the fridge I retrieve a pack of tom yum pack (lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, birds eye chilies, galangal, a shallot and one big lime), my precious jar of homemade paste, some leftover Chinese poached chicken, coconut milk, a bunch of coriander and one egg. With the help of a trusty step bench, a can of straw mushrooms I suddenly remember owning is unearthed from the lost depth of my top most pantry shelf. I check the expiry date.
The egg boils for one minute, while the aromatics and mushrooms are prepped. I turn the heat off, cover the pot and set the timer for 8 minutes. I double check that the timer is started.
The other pot heats up some oil. I dig into the jar and sighed heavily. Only one more serving of paste will be left after this round. A heaped tablespoon of red paste makes friends with those aromatics, just for a short moment. Next goes chicken stock just enough for one, and a few dollops of heart-stopping coconut milk. In no time the concoction starts to boil. The mushrooms, a squeeze of lime and some torn coriander complete the orange, menacing broth.
The timer beeps sharply, I wake up for the second time.
A lump of dried shrimp noodle goes into the pot where the egg had been. I fiddle with the wobbly soft boiled egg out of its shell, trying not to put a hole into it. I drain the noodles, grab the biggest bowl I own and start the plating sequence.
Noodles (to one side).
Chicken (next to noodles).
Egg halves (in the center, but not quite).
Garnish (fill in the blanks).
The sides of the bowl get a wipe down, then the hob and counter. Dirty pots soak in the sink. Satisfied, I find a suitable parking spot. With a pair of chopsticks, a soup spoon and my current favorite magazine, I dig in.
I finally wake up.
Life Is Great explores the incredible world of food and cooking. We hope to share with you our most delicious moments and inspirations.
“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”
Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
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