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#18 Cooking for Lent
A few readers have emailed asking me to post recipes for Lent, and I tell them there is NO need for NEW recipes. Instead, they should try digging into the seafood, mushrooms and tofu recipe archives.
Well, that’s the short version of most of the emails. I think there is a misconception that because it is Lent, I’d be cooking nothing but seafood and vegetables at home for our family meals. And that’s what they hope to see in the blog.
The truth is, we don’t observe Lenten traditions. I used to make fun of people who do, but I’ve matured enough to stop.
That said, if you’re looking for no-meat recipes, let me make a few recommendations.
Chinese broccoli-wrapped mackerel in coconut milk - Wrapping whole fish in leaf before cooking it is a good way to seal in the juices. Braising leaf-wrapped fish in coconut milk gives it a sweet creaminess that's hard to beat. Get the recipe.
Shrimp and fish ball ramen - For days when you just aren’t in the mood to cook, there’s such a thing as a pantry dish. This is one of them. One of the best pantry dishes I have ever cooked, seriously. Get the recipe.
Air fried shrimp lemongrass skewers - Shrimps, ginger, garlic, onion, chili, cilantro roots and stems, and fish sauce are processed into a paste, wrapped around lemongrass stalks and air fried for 12 minutes. Get the recipe.
Mushroom yakisoba - While pork is the default protein for this Japanese stir fried noodle dish, chicken or shrimps can be substituted. In this meatless recipe, mushroom is the protein component. Get the recipe.
Crispy fried mushrooms and basil - Cooked a la Taiwanese popcorn chicken, fresh oyster mushrooms take the place of meat in this recipe. Serve this ovo-vegetarian dish as a snack or finger food. Get the recipe.
Grilled skewered shiitake and bell peppers - Whole caps of shiitake, chunks of bell pepper and diced tomatoes are tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (yes, essentially a salad dressing), skewered and grilled over charcoal. Too plain? The smoky flavor and aroma will surprise you. Get the recipe.
Crispy tofu skin fingers with spicy honey lemon ginger sauce - Cakes of fresh tofu skin are cut into fingers and fried over low heat until golden and crisp. Make a no-cook sauce for dipping and you have a lovely snack or appetizer. Get the recipe.