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Monkey see monkey do

Posted Nov 05 2010 6:15am

young ginger

My husband has been shopping at a Japanese food booth at our local farmers market. I call it Japanese because it's run by a Japanese couple, and they grow and sell mostly Japanese and other Asian vegetables. At this stand we get our kabocha pumpkin as well as other Japanese squashes whose names I can't remember, and Japanese greens such as mizuna, plus roots like daikon. Recently, my husband came home with young ginger. The vendors explained that the ginger root we buy at the store is last year's, while young ginger is this year's crop. It has a thin skin that doesn't need peeling, and is sweeter and more moist. Young ginger has a full ginger flavor but is not astringent or spicy. You can really use a lot without turning the dish harsh. And it's so plump and pretty with small areas of deep purplish color. Zoa has been trying new things every day for veganmofo, and here I am copying her good idea by telling you about a new thing of my own.

Now you might think I'm still copying her because she loves to make hotpots, but really, so do I. I was kind of copying myself by making Japanese stewed vegetables, then changing it up by adding yuba, mizuna and rice noodles, along with tons of young ginger. The yuba sticks were soaked, cut, and stir-fried with a spicy mixture of chili paste, tamari, sweetener and peanut butter, and added to the soup just before serving. I could eat this every night, it was so good.

When I saw Kiersten's recent mofo post about curried fried rice with tofu, I knew just what to do with the leftover rice in my refrigerator. I couldn't find any frozen peas but edamame worked just fine. She didn't print a recipe, but the inspiration of her beautiful photo was all I needed.

This last dish was my husband's doing. It's a stir-fry made with pea vines, zucchini, tofu, pepper and young ginger, and he found the recipe here. Don't ask me how he happened to find pea vines this time of year. That's a mystery.

Mofo is driving me a little crazy with all the wonderful things everyone is making and sharing. I want to make nearly everything I see, and keep getting distracted from the task of making my own things to share.

Happy cooking. See you again on Monday!
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