I’ve been feeling in a bit of a recipe slump these days. Even though our trip to Hawaii inspired me in a couple of very tasty ways, the dishes were not in the main meal department. Instead, since we’ve been back, I’ve been turning to my favourite tried and true recipes instead of trying new things. All of this is totally normal and fine, except when you are trying to run a food blog. Luckily, last week I had a meeting right next to a very large Asian supermarket and I decided to stop in for a couple of things that we can’t normally get our hands on. While perusing the produce aisle, I saw some fresh lime leaves, which I have never used before. Needless to say, they made me very excited and I knew my slump was over (for now).
Let me start this post off by saying that I am not 100% sure what gado gado is supposed to taste like. My one and only experience with it was at the Naam, a vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver (that is certainly not known for authentic Indonesian food) with a perpetual line. We ate there the last time we were in town. It was an awkward time, between when you’re supposed to eat lunch and you’re supposed to eat dinner, and we hadn’t eaten anything. I chose the salad because I thought it would be light and wouldn’t ruin my appetite for the ample amount of sushi I needed to eat later that night. But I was wrong. I left the Naam pretty full, and with gado gado on my mind.
I’m in a dough kind of mood. I’ve been craving carbs lately and have also been eager to try and make all sorts of doughs from scratch. A few nights ago, I saw some contestants on Masterchef Australia cook some bao and a lightbulb went off in my head. I had never thought of making bao, and haven’t actually been able to enjoy them very much. If you’ve never heard of bao before, they are basically steamed buns filled with some sort of filling, found all over China. There is a wide variety of bao: ranging from 5-10 inches in diameter, filled with various meat, bean paste and even soup broth (if you’re in Vancouver, the xiaolongbao at Lin’s are award-winning)!
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a vietnamese sub from a small place close to my boyfriend’s work. In all honesty, my hopes are never very high with regards to restaurants here in Calgary. I know that there are a lot of more expensive places that are supposed to be great, but we won’t spend the money. Usually when we go out, it’s ok, but nothing fantastic. I don’t know if it was the mood I was in but that sub was absolutely phenomenal. I haven’t eaten something, outside of our own kitchen, that I have so thoroughly enjoyed for such a long time. Although I have not tried to replicate it exactly, it made me think that it would be a great dish to make at home. Here it is.