The House of Annie has been pretty quiet lately, as Annie took the kids with her to Kuala Lumpur to visit with friends and family. I’ve been staying here at home in Kuching, living the bachelor life for the past five days. Fortunately, there’s a public holiday coming up on Friday so I’ll be joining Annie and the kids in KL for a few short days over the coming weekend. (Yay!)
So, what have I been eating? On Saturday, I ate pretty well, thanks to our friend Mike who took me to have FooChow beef noodle soup in the morning, Hainam chicken rice for lunch, and thosai and garlic naan for dinner. But the rest of the time, I’ve been eating leftovers for dinner.
Annie left me with a big dish of kau yuk – fried and steamed pork belly and taro . It took me three nights to eat it all, but I finally finished it. So here I am on Wednesday night with no more leftovers to eat. Besides finishing the prepared leftovers, Annie told me that I should cook the head cabbage that was left in the fridge.
What the Heck?
I rooted out the cabbage in the veggie bin and also saw some tomatoes left over from the braised pork belly dish she made last week, plus a bell pepper and a carrot. What the heck can I make with that? We don’t have any potatoes, so I can’t make colcannon (besides, there’s no corned beef to enjoy it with!).
On top of that, I wanted to make something fast, and I wanted to make something that didn’t require a lot of cooking implements. Life as a bachelor means a lot of eating in front of the tv or computer, and a lot of unwashed dishes in the sink. If I could minimize the amount of dishes to wash and maximize my time out of the kitchen, all the better. So I got the brilliant idea to cook everything together in the microwave.
Unfortunately, Google is no help in finding recipes for cooking cabbage in a microwave. But there is an Indian recipe site, run by my friend Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons, that talks about easy microwave cooking. And surfing her site brought me to Veggie Platter, which sparked an idea that I could actually toast spices like cumin, coriander, and mustard seed in the microwave, and use that to cook my veggies with.
I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m no gourmet chef. I am barely passable with a knife. But I’m only cooking for myself, so who’s it gonna hurt?
I started off by shredding the cabbage. Then I julienned the bell pepper, then thinly sliced the carrot. Finally I cut the tomatoes into chunks.
Hey, that didn’t take long at all!
In a large glass bowl, I heated a couple of tablespoons of oil on high for 2 minutes in the microwave. Meanwhile, I ground up some coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and white peppercorns in our mortar and pestle. When the oil was done heating, I tossed the spices in. Back in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, give it a quick stir, and two more minutes.
Then, I dumped all the chopped veggies into the bowl, sprinkled on a little curry powder, added a cup of water, and put it back in the microwave for 2 and a half minutes. I took it back out, tossed and turned the veggies, then cooked it for another 2 and a half minutes. When it was done, I tossed the veggies once more and gave it a taste.
I could have gone for the kosher salt, but since this was an “Indian-ish” dish, I thought I try sprinkling on some Indian Kala Namak salt that we got from our friend Tammy the Spice Hound. This salt is a finishing salt with a high sulfur content, so it tastes strongly of eggs. A little dash’ll do ya!
Here’s the final product.
How’d it taste?
I’m not going to say it was the best thing I ever put in my mouth. I thought it was lacking something, maybe garlic or onions or soy sauce. But it was edible. And I was hungry. So I ate it. In front of the computer. As I’m writing this post. And you know what?
It’s all gone. AND I only have one dish to wash!
I'm entering this post in the October edition of the "Microwave Easy Cooking" roundup, created by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons and hosted by Suma of Veggie Platter.