When most of us think "lotus," we may think of the beautiful aquatic flower or the yoga position. But did you know that the rhizome of the lotus plant is edible? On the outside it looks like a long cylindrical brown tuber, but slice one crosswise, and you'll be rewarded with beautiful, lace-like slices of a crunchy and delicious vegetable.
Just because we're eating light doesn't mean we can't entertain. Domino put together a Thai-inspired meal that can be prepared easily in a tiny apartment kitchen. (It'll work fine in a big kitchen too.)
Out here in California, we're a little bit spoiled by all the Asian markets and Asian produce available in the farmer's markets. Sometimes we forget that people in other parts of the country don't have access to fresh opo leaves, galangal root, or banana leaves.
One of our favorite herbs is shiso, which is also known as Japanese basil, perilla and beefsteak. It's been showing up in big, healthy bunches at the Alemany Farmer's Market recently - this bunch in the photo above cost only $1!
Last week's NY Times Dining section was heavy on the Easter goods, which might be why Melissa Clark's Thai soup stuck in our mind as something different. We couldn't wait to try it, and even though we couldn't get a stalk of lemon grass at our nearest market, the soup was exactly what we wanted — spicy, sweet, and full of fragrant green herbs.
We crave Thai food this time of year, and we're always looking for more resources on cooking authentically spicy and delicious Thai. We found Real Thai Recipes this week, and we've been voraciously combing the archives. We love the combination of great photography, well-organized recipes and integrated glossary of terms. When it comes to international cooking, it's one of the most helpful and lovely sites we've seen.
Check out the articles direct from Thailand, too. The photo is above is of Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp, which we would gladly eat right now. More of our favorite recipes below...
Southeast Asian cuisine is a study in contrasts. Sour, sweet, spicy, and savory all find a balance in the most perfect Thai and Vietnamese dishes. One of those is laab - a spicy and sour meat salad with strong savory and salty tastes that blend into an incredibly addictive dish.