Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Sorry Beginning

One of Foodgoat's current favorite dishes is something he calls Blade Runner soup - an Asian noodle soup inspired by what for me is the most memorable scene in the film.

But our very first time making an Asian-style soup was a rare abject failure.

I read Saveur because the food is as authentic as it gets, it hasn't been emeril-ified or americanized or low-calorie-inated. Alas, that's the reason I don't often cook from Saveur: the ingredients are so exotic that I don't know what they are or where to find them.

That's the point where I usually give up. Fortunately, there is an Asian spice stand at the West Side Market, and she not only had kaffir lemon leaves and lemongrass and palm sugar, but she asked me if I needed galangal too, thereby sparing me from having to try to say it correctly.

Too bad the recipe didn't work out.

We neglected to rinse out the shrimp thoroughly, resulting in a gawdawful bottom of the sea taste. And the jalapeƱo we threw in made burn all the way down my throat, which is just too spicy. And we added too much water.

We ended up actually throwing the whole dish out.

Good things though: palm sugar in the soup rocked. And we discovered a new ingredient in galangal, a root related to ginger. Both are now in Foodgoat's repertoire, and Foodgoat managed to make Blade Runner soup, quite tastily and successfully, several times since then.


  1. There is a brand of thai pastes that come in plastic tubs at most regular grocery stores - Mae Ploy - that is very very good. I've been using their red and green curry paste for a while now, then I saw a new one! Tom Kha, which is that awesome chicken, mushroom, and/or shrimp soup with coconut milk at thai restaurants. I was favorably impressed, though I did dress it up by using homemade chicken stock instead of water, and adding fish sauce and fresh lime juice.

  2. I've seen that movie so many damn times I can recite at least half of the lines. For a minute when I saw the text highlighting most memorable scene I thought, in quick succession, snake soup? Soup with toy parts in it? Soup the colour of Rachel's lipstick?
    And I have no intention of bragging, ever, but really, try my Tom Ka Gai (under Thai category) it has been approved by natives and non- natives alike. Galangal, lemongrass AND kaffir lime leaves all freeze very well by the way so you can keep a stash around.