Thursday, March 17, 2011
Not All My Experiments Work Out.
It occurs to me that in posting successful and interesting recipes, I give a somewhat mistaken impression of my cooking. Not everything works.
Of course, I'm long past the early, foolish stage of throwing together something new and trying it out on people. Nope: when I want to try something different, I do it quietly, and consider the results for myself.
Case in point: I was just preparing some twice-cooked pork, and I really went the indulgent path, shallow-frying the already steamed, marinated, and seasoning-coated pork-belly pieces in vegetable oil. (Normally I'd stir fry them with veg. Or even grill them.)
There was a half-packet of Udon-style Japanese noodles on the countertop, left over from young barf-boy Jake's luncheon. (He had a tasty, easily digestible soup with a little thinly-slivered spiced beef and fresh vegetables as well as the noodles.) Seeing as how I still had a pot of hot oil after the pork came out, I figured I'd chuck in the Udon noodles and see what happened.
For those who may not know, Udon noodles are a relatively thick rice/wheat noodle which you can often find in Japanese soups and stews. They're a bit chewier than your usual rice stick, and actually, they're a big favourite around here. I wondered what would happen if I dropped 'em into oil hot enough to give 'em a crunchy outer surface.
The answer? Nothing good. By the time the outside goes crunchy, the middle has become very damned chewy indeed. I may consider trying this again with MUCH hotter oil, but for the meantime, the idea is: don't deepfry Udon noodles.
To which you might reply -- why the hell would I want to do that in the first place? And I'd have to say: I'm not sure. But you never know. Sometimes these odd experiments turn out very, very well indeed. Like making ice-cream with Mascarpone instead of cream, for example. That works brilliantly.
But not fried Udon noodles. Nope. Yuck.