Tofu lovers, your collective minds are about to be blown; tofu naysayers, you can easily swap this crispy good stuff for something that’s more suitable to your tastes, like shrimp, chicken, chickpeas — whatever. You do you.
All I truly care about right now is the fact that I’m bringing some bright flavors to the blog. Throughout the dark days of winter, we’re so engrossed by deeply-flavored dishes like chickpea curries, smokey chilis and belly-warming bowls of soup. Now that March is approaching and we’re showing symptoms of Spring fever, visions of grilled food and dazzling veggies are dancing through my head.
We are so close to warm weather. So close, in fact, that for the last three weeks my husband and I have enjoyed our weekly Taco Tuesdays on our fave local taco joint’s patio. THE PATIO. Let me remind you that I’m from Southern Ontario, where lake effect snow can haunt you well into April, so to enjoy dinner beneath the stars in February is unheard of to me.
When I hear the word “Foodporn”, I think of three things:
Pizza slices with an arms length of stretchy cheese
Burgers stacked with crisp condiments + oozing sauces
A tower of pancakes being drizzled with maple syrup
Despite the fact that pancakes are super delish and easy to whip together, they somehow remain a once-in-a-while thing. Growing up, my Ma kept weekday breakfasts nutritious with toast, cereal, oatmeal, etc. — but on the weekend, we would let loose with buttery scrambled eggs, crisp greasy bacon and, every once in a while, fluffy AF pancakes drizzled with maple syrup from sugar-maple farms in Quebec.
Fast forward to now, in my own home with my own routine and traditions, and it’s the same gosh darn thing — pancakes happen two to three times a year. WHY.
I’ve always been able to appreciate a classic burger stacked with the usual fixin’s — lettuce, tomato, a slice of melty cheese, etc. But there’s something about a burger that screams docrazy things to me! once in a while.
However, this burger wasn’t my Plan A; in fact, I can’t even say that it was my Plan B. This bad boy was a Plan C after two other failed attempts.
Plan A was to create a sweet potato burger — but not just any sweet potato burger, y’all. This was going to be an ube (purple sweet potato) burger with a glorious violet hue that would entice even the most carnivorous of people. Unfortunately there was some sort of tomfoolery at the supermarket that day, because what I grabbed from the “Purple Sweet Potato” bin was white when I cut into it (albeit very purple on the outside, I swear). DISAPPOINT. I’m pretty sure I yelled an obscenity or two, and I’m pretty sure some neighbors heard me (it’s been nice out, and I keep forgetting that I have the windows open).
Onto Plan B. I had white cannellini beans in my pantry, so I figured I could use those for a hearty plant-based burger. Not as pretty as a purple burger, but hopefully delicious all the same. I adapted a recipe from BHG, and it was plain AF. Flavorless. So then what?
Onto Plan C. Back in my meat-eating days, I had made up a stellar burger that I named the Bangkok Burger. The patty was made up of a beefy mix of soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hoisin sauce. I remember it being ridiculously flavorful and all kinds of swoon-worthy, so I brought that and smashed it into this white bean burger concept because, I *will* say, that cannellini beans make for one hell of a sturdy veg burger. There is no falling apart here; the only thing that will crumble is you, in a state of elation.
This post is sponsored by Arbor Teas. Killing Thyme has been compensated monetarily, although all opinions remain my own.
THIS RECIPE IS PART OF MY EAST SERIES.
In this series, I’ll be covering dishes from Japan, Taiwan, China and Korea to cover East Asia, followed by dishes from Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia to cover Southeast Asia.
This series will extend over the next few months. Scroll past the recipe to learn more about Ochazuke and Arbor Teas.
Much like the Okonomiyaki I made back in December, I’d never tried Ochazuke until I whipped it up for this series. If this series has taught me anything, it’s that if you find yourself intrigued by a dish you’ve never had before, you can still attempt it at home and totally nail it. So okay, you lack the satisfaction of a proper comparison, but when you dig in and take that first bite you will definitely know whether you’ve done the dish justice or not. Just follow a solid recipe from a trustworthy source! *ahem*…
Ochazuke (ocha meaning tea and zuke meaning submerged) is like nothing I’ve ever had before, and I mean that in the best way. It’s a fuss-free lazy day fave amongst the Japanese (and now me) that is typically served in an overly large bowl, because let’s face it: the bigger with some foods, the better. This is why bowl meals are trending, folks. But a large mug, cereal bowl or soup bowl will work just fine. The idea is to be able to curl up and get comfy with this bad boy, so if you have a vessel that allows you to do that, all is right in the world of Ochazuke.
Bowl meals are kind of the best. You simply pile a bunch of ingredients that play well together into a bowl, curl up, hide under a blanket and mow down with ease without the worry of dropping food between your couch cushions.
This post was supposed to go down differently, though.
I spent Tuesday afternoon preparing, chopping and cooking ingredients while recording a How-To video on making wonton potstickers. I stuffed and folded 48 of those buggers only to have 43 of them fall apart on me as I cooked them. I even tried four different cooking methods.
So yes, potstickers indeed. At least they remained true to their name.
Despite feeling completely dejected after all of that work, things came through in the end. We ended up with a real gem.