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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Magically Delicious

My dinner tonight was magical and it was not lucky charms. I would have never thought this up in my mind, I don't think, nor will it ever wind up in one of my cookbooks. It's too weird, but oddly delicious. The weird part starts with a piece of jinenjo. A Japanese mountain potato. I like the hit of energy I get when I eat it, so if I'm gathering goods from an Asian shop, I'll usually pick up a little jinenjo to add to soups. I've had it in restaurants where they serve it peeled and grated to use as a condiment with soy sauce and ginger or placed in the bottom of a soup bowl. That is how I use it the most. When it is grated it turns into something like sticky sea foam. I like it best when dispersed in a watery soup. Once in a while I will peel it and use as a potato but it's sticky nature doesn't entice me to use it that way often.

Tonight I was in a bit of a rush to make dinner as I was later than usual getting in the kitchen and I was pretty hungry. Pasta is simple and I have some rice noodles so I was boiling up some with a thick broccoli soup and that was the quick and easy plan for tonight. Then I saw the lonely left over piece of jinenjo in my fridge. If I didn't eat it soon, it was going to turn pink and need to be tossed out. I decided to fry it up with some onions. I knew it wouldn't be like hash browns but maybe with some arrowroot added I might get a little jinenjo pancake? No such luck. I got a sticky mass with a mild flavor from the onions and a little soy sauce. Being hungry I decided to just put my cooked noodles in a bowl and toss the jinenjo on top. It needed some more flavor so a sprinkled in some ume vinegar and a little flax oil and it became magically delicious. Mixed with the noodles it gave me the impression I was eating macaroni and cheese - a very healthy version. I was amazed at what these simple ingredients became actually. I will eat this again - by myself. Not sure I want to ever serve it to anyone else really. But maybe. Then when I tell them what it's made of and the great energy they will have from eating it - they might love it too? Food really can be magical.

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