Our diets lay bound, gagged and locked in the trunk as Nancy and I sped toward our date with Wretched Excess.
I knew it was wrong but I did not care. After almost a month of celery stick subsistence -- no pasta, no cheese, no bread & butter, no nothin' -- it was time to break out. All it took to recruit Nancy was one email. The next day our spouses and friends at T&T Seafood Restaurant in Edmonds watched in fascinated horror as we ingested industrial quantities of sum of the best dim I've had anywhere.
Did you notice in the picture that I'm not using chopsticks? That is because I am a terrible chopsticker. Once, while attempting their use in the card-room where I play poker, Peter, a Korean player at my table, laughing hysterically yelled "For Godsakes will you please just get a fork? It's driving me crazy just watching you!''
Every now and then I like to make a few dim sum items at home. When I do I refer to Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's stellar The Dim Sum Book Here's one of my favorites from it.
Steamed Black Bean Ribs
Combine in a large bowl:
2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon White wine
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons fermented black beans, washed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons tapioca flour
pinch white pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes. fresh red bell pepper, sliced (optional
2-12 lbs spare ribs (after trimming and cutting)
1. Cut ribs into 1-1/2 inch cubes.
2. Add to marinade, mix thoroughly and refrigerate overnight.
3. Place spare ribs and marinade in a heatproof dish and steam for 30 minutes or until done.
4. Place in serving dish and serve immediately.
I've made this recipe innumerable times and it always comes out just like in the restaurant. Try it. And now for me it's back to the carrot sticks.
"At the end of every diet the path curves back to the trough."
-- Mason Cooley