From Goji to Gyoza – culinary ‘ignorance’

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I truly believe that anyone who claims to be an expert in anything should be treated with suspicion. I kind of trust people who’ve got letters after their name that they haven’t paid for but everyone else is making it up like the rest of us. Food is no different than any other area of life – filled with fashion, trend and ‘the next big thing’. Quite often the next big thing is a new health trend which uses those hard-to-get rid-of Scrabble letters or uses the previously discarded parts of a plant. It’s one small step from the legendary fugu fish of my youth to today’s fermented vegetables and goji berries. Quite honestly…why?

After a recent Food Bloggers hour I was prompted to buy a bottle of sriracha after thinking I was the only person on Twitter who had a. Never heard of it and b. Never cooked with it. I’ve used it quite a bit since – it gives a pleasant bit of heat and ‘zing’ to many a dish and in many cases less is more. I’ve always been open minded and willing to try new tastes. Generally it pays off but occasionally I’ve ended up with an ingredient without a cause – step forward …you know who you are (dried limes). My consolation is that for every ‘expert’ who knows all about how to deal with an artichoke there are many who couldn’t identify or handle my comfort zone of pease pudding, carlins, and cobnuts. Masterchef: the Professionals has the wonderful skills test which just shows how vast the world of food is and just how limited the human brain is to take it all in. Seeing someone in whites attack a mackerel in the same way I would go about a hedge gives us all hope.

One of the things I like about Costco is the easy access to vast quantities of food that is trending in USA. Another attraction is the American inherent sloth which leads to a variety of fast meals for midweek when you don’t have time to cook something special. I’ve already reviewed the Dell’Ugo pasta that we first tried there. After the opportunity to impulse-buy a treehouse the interesting food is my favourite thing about the place. Any decent rummage through the food aisles will produce a fair amount of new discoveries. Over the last few months I’ve enjoyed the bagged kale-, broccoli- and, most recently, the Asian salad. The Asian salad has crunchy cabbage (and a phenomenal shelf-life), a sweet dressing and a bag of crunchy sesame seeds, cashews and baked crunchy, nutty strips of some variety. As with most of the salads you don’t need anywhere near the quantity of dressing provided but it does allow you to have two goes at the large bag without hanging on to the first opened sachet.

imageThe only remaining question is what to put on top. The chicken satays are good but my latest discovery was frozen Prawn Gyoza. They are confusingly made by “Thai Tapas” and then described as traditional Japanese ravioli. I am confused before I even open the packet of roughly 40 pieces. Essentially they are dumplings in the form of mini Cornish pasties.

What is astonishing to me is that they cook in three minutes in the microwave from Frozen although the preferred method is pan frying for two minutes or steaming for 6-7 minutes. Whichever method you choose it really is an easy meal served with a dash of soy sauce. They are stuffed with 60% prawn and vegetables. Although they inevitably taste a little processed, it’s a pleasant delicately spiced flavour and the Gyoza ‘pasta’ is good. There are roughly 50 calories per parcel which isn’t too shabby either.

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About justaukcook

/kʊk/ Not a chef, not an epicure, not a foodie. Just one who likes to prepare food – What really happens in the kitchen and on the high street is what I write about. Follow me on Twitter @Justaukcook and on https://www.facebook.com/justaukcook
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