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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Microwaved Cabbage and Carrot, a Bachelor’s Tale

Microwaved Cabbage and Carrot

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!

Cabbage Tomatoes Carrots Bell Peppers

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. Coriander Cumin Peppercorns Mustard Seeds

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.

Needs salt.

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!

Indian Kala Namak Salt from Spice Hound

Here’s the final product.

Microwaved Cabbage and Carrot Finished

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!

Aloha, Nate

Annie will be back to the House soon, cooking legitimately good dishes. So subscribe to our site and receive all our latest posts to your RSS reader or to your Inbox.

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.

Wanna read about more of my cooking experiments? Click below:

Leftover Turkey Omurice

Mushroom and Gruyere Omelette, Banana-Nut-illa

Evolution of Dinner: Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Evolution of Dinner: Grilled Halibut

Evolution of Dessert: Sake-Poached Asian Pears with Ume and Li Hing Sauce


Kalyn Denny said...

It sounds good to me, especially for something cook in the microwave!

Diana said...

Great job Nate! Anytime an experiment turns out edible is a success! Love that you made it in the microwave.

Sippity Sup said...

You have no idea how many times I cook exactly the same way! Bachelors RULE! GREG

Carolyn Jung said...

What? The wife and kids are gone, and there's no party??? I thought husbands always do that. Hah. Just kidding. I must say you obviously have a most loving wife, though. Any woman who leaves her man a good chunk of pork belly truly cares. ;)

Srivalli said...

Hah, that really looks good Nate. Glad you are enjoyed making that!

Suma Gandlur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suma Gandlur said...

Veggies with an Indian touch! Like that idea.
Have you used kala namak before in any dish? Indians usually associate that with chats.
Have a great weekend.:)

Jenster said...

You inspired me ... Tonight in the microwave, I steamed green beans, topped with a soy sauce/oyster sauce/orange juice/Thai sweet chili glaze (thickened with a little cornstarch) to go with our dinner. Total time: 4 minutes! Results: Delicious and ono!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@all - thanks for your comments!

@Kalyn - who knew?

@Diana - heheh thanks.

@Sippity - Hey! share some microwave tips!

@Carolyn - you know it! ;-)

@Srivalli - thank you.

@Suma - I've used it before, but not on a chat.

@Jenster - that sounds really good!

noobcook said...

wow, not bad at all for a bachelor meal. It looks better than some of my dinner dishes hehe

smile4me8p said...

Hahaha! What an enjoyable post to read. Thanks for eating all the leftovers and experimenting in the kitchen so that Annie & the kids can come out to see Mark & I. Wish we got a chance to see you too.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@noobcook - I cannot believe that. Your dishes are beautiful!

@smile4me8p - next time, Annie stays home! NOT. heheheh