Thursday, May 22, 2008

What part of the fish do you like?

There's been very little sunshine since we put in the first plantings. Nothing but rain. I feared that some of the miniscule seedlings would get washed away. I'm happy to report that the cilantro is doing awesome. We're going to have a lot of cilantro this summer.

So I need to brainstorm what we can use it for, like guacamole and Thai beef noodle soup.

Interestingly, I think white people only use the top part of the plant or the leaves, discarding the rest, whereas Asians also use the stalk and Thais consider the roots to be the best part of the plant. In conventional supermarkets like A&P, my mom was mystified that they don't even sell the roots, the clueless white people cut off the cilantro roots!!!

This reminds me of a few anecdotes:
1. We once took a co-worker out to Wu Lang Ye, an authentic Szechuan restaurant where you can get a menu in printed only in Chinese. He ordered in Chinese and a variety of interesting-looking food stuffs arrived. He was so excited and relayed to us how special all of this food was and how hard it is to find it in NY. He encouraged all of us to try but no one was brave enough except a white co-worker. As he started chewing on the food, he asked what he was eating. My Chinese co-worker non-chalantly pointed to each of the dishes in front of him and recited, "Tongue", "Pork Stomach", "Intestine". My white co-worker nearly choked and the rest of us were laughing so hard, we were tearing.
2. A Chinese friend of mine from childhood told me a story about a fish that only has one eye. When that fish is served in her family, her parents fight over who gets to eat the eye.
3. My aunts in Thailand only eat the head and the tail of a fish. My mom claims that the best part of a fish is the cheek.
4. Another childhood Chinese friend told me a saying that Chinese people will eat anything with a stomach pointing down. She clarified that it meant Chinese people will eat all animals.
5. I think the best part of a crab are the eggs. When cooked, they look very strange and are bright orange in color. When I order crab in a non-Asian restaurant, I'm always disappointed that they've scraped out the eggs. I can hear my mom thinking suspiciously, they're saving the best parts for themselves, but I'm pretty sure they scrape the eggs out of the crab (consider it innards) and chuck it. Probably the same thing happens with fish. I'm always disappointed when I order whole fried fish and the eggs are not there. I console myself by thinking that I got a male fish. Fried fish eggs are just so heavenly.
6. Another friend interned at Per Se. Part of his job was to do arcane things like remove a tiny little part of a lettuce and discard the rest.

1 comment:

violetta said...

i love fish eggs too. that's the best part.