I know, I know…yesterday was the day I was supposed to announce the winner, but for some reason, I hate putting up an entry that’s just text; I wanted to add a recipe, photos, and a little chatter. I plum forgot to plan ahead, plus, the week zipped by.
Initially, I was going to pile a ton of fruit on top of some pancakes I had for breakfast and exclaim ‘LOOK, this is what I had for breakfast today!’. To me, that was better than ‘just text’. Well, I forgot and ate the pancakes. Then I remembered my little take on the infamous Momofuku Ginger Scallion noodles I made last January. I hated the way the photos turned out, so it was one of the ‘meals in limbo’ as I call them. ‘Meals in limbo’ or ‘food in limbo’ are photos of dishes I make that sit in my photo program forever; a huge, invisible question mark looming over them. Should or shouldn’t I delete them? No, I just may need them one day for..for…for..
In any event, all of these limbo dishes are actually delicious, it’s just the photos that keep them from moving up and out. I mostly keep them as a reminder that I will make this dish again, and try to get better photos so I can blog it. My gosh, will you listen to me? I’m possessed by the food blog photography monster. A dish must be photo-worthy for me to blog about it. I need help.
Having said that, I have some nerve kvetching about photos, because, as I’ve mentioned about a million times, I don’t have enough natural light for photo taking, so I have to use artificial lights, aka Lowel Ego Lights. Look, I’m going to be honest here, no matter what 5000 artificial light photography tutorials teach you, unless you have a professional studio with $$$$ worth of lighting, you’re not going to ever get the same effect as a naturally lit plate of food.
You lose SO many details with artificial lighting, not to mention the color is always a little off (thank god for Photoshop). Am I telling you not to invest in some artificial lights for overcast days and photo taking at night? NO, because a Lowel Ego Light or two definitely beats home lighting (tungsten, flourescent etc), by a few miles, but again..natural light beats artificial by several hundred miles.
It truly breaks my heart when I cannot get a good shot of a particularly pretty dessert, or a savory dish where you really need those mouth-watering details to shine. For some reason, savory foods don’t seem to photograph as well as sweets.
OK, steppin’ off the whiny soap box, but it felt good to vent about it for the millionth time.
Now onto the ginger scallion noodles (I’m sure many already scrolled to the bottom to see if they won the dish. I know I would have). These are NOT David Chang’s Ginger Scallion Noodles, just in case you typed ‘ginger scallion noodles’ into a search engine and ended up here. However, these are also really good ginger scallion noodles, based on David’s, but tweaked to the way I like them. All I really did was futz like crazy with his recipe..ie; increased some ingredients, omitted some ingredients, and added some ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, his ginger scallion noodles are absolutely divine; I just felt like playing in regards to my tastes.
First I decreased the ginger a bit, then added extra garlic and shallots. I used dark soy sauce in lieu of light, increased the vinegar but used rice vinegar in lieu of wine (yeah, I know, like that really makes a difference), increased the grapeseed oil and added fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, honey, and crushed red chile pepper. I also ‘chopped’ everything and kept it rustic, nothing finely minced, although I did take care to make sure no one got a huge chunk of garlic or ginger to chew on aka minced enough.
According to my tasters, this is the freshest, most wonderful version they’ve had. Seconds and thirds were requested – clean plates all around. I ate a whole half pound of it last night. When tasters found out, I was scolded for not sharing. Two friends asked me to make this for a party they’re having next weekend “….lots of it. ”
I’d say it was a success. Please make this, then tell me what you think!
FINALLY, the winner of the Le Creuset Oval Baker! I didn’t use random integer because there was a pingback, a brief convo between me and someone, and well, just felt it would be more fair to do it another way. I wrote down every name in order, then placed the sheet of paper with the names across the room on the floor, and tossed a penny on it (I know what you’re thinking lol). The penny landed on…*fake drum roll*…LIA! Congratulations! I’ll email you to get your info and send it right out!
Ginger Garlic Scallion Noodles
- 1 large bunch of green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of ginger finely minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- ⅓ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil *
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce *
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar *
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 crushed red chile pepper or 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
- kosher salt to taste
- ½ to ¾ lb (8 to 12 ounces - depending on your sauce to pasta ratio preference) fresh noodles of your choice
- Heat up the grapeseed oil in a saucepan over high heat until the oil is shimmery and hot, but not smoking.
- Add the green onions, ginger, garlic and shallots at once, but be careful, the oil will bubble and splatter. The onions will sizzle and wilt almost immediately and turn a bright green.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir the sauce with a wooden spoon. Add the fish sauce, sesame seed oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, crushed red chile pepper and salt to taste.
- Let sit for 15 minutes, then toss with your favorite noodles. I used fresh Chinese egg noodles.*
While you’re here, and before you X out, please take a moment and click HERE to see how you can help the victims of the quake and tsunami in Japan. You can even text donations, which is what I did to start. Every little bit helps.