No matter how busy you are, there’s always time for a stir fry. So while I spent the last month a bit on the busy side, we’ve been eating a ton of the stuff. But last night I had a craving for a restaurant style meal with some real deal flavor. Making a stop at Kalustyans on the way home I picked up some must haves if you want to come close to replicating the distinct and bold flavors of asian cuisine. Ginger, hoisin, and siracha only take you so far, but Shaoxing style cooking wine, chinese five spice, and sichuan peppercorns are three ingredients that really transform an otherwise simple dish.
And after an awesome dinner and waking up to a perfect Fall day, I’m in the mood for some curry. But what the hell type should I put together…I’ll let you choose. Enjoy the weekend!
Growing up, the word “spices” meant dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, chili pepper, and a handful of other pretty basic cupboard standards. It’s only been more recent that I’ve begun to discover the truly delicious and absurd number of flavors and aromas available through spice markets like Kalustyans and Penzeys. Even still, when a co-worker handed me a nice sized container labeled “anjwain” I was stumped. But with a little taste and some great advice to “fry” up the anjwain before using, I was off to make a spice rubbed and seared skirt steak perfect for a summer salad.
That is until I came across this local day boat squid which was too fresh to pass up! And while I am sure the beef would have been delicious, the calamari was a perfect canvas for the anjwain to shine. Frying the spice in a bit of oil just before the quick squid saute really did make the difference here. The flavors were brightened with a squeeze of lime and the earthiness of the anjwain and black pepper made this otherwise simple salad, really damn delicious. With a flavor similar to thyme but with much more of a punch, anjwain is a great addition to the spice cabinet.
So, what are some of your favorites? Leave a comment here to be eligible to win a jar of my very own spice mix!