I am currently in the masters program at Ashford University. The class I am taking right now is Human Relations and Learning in a Multicultural Environment. For the first assignment we are required to do something to expand our knowledge on a different culture and journal about it. Since I am trying to expand my cooking skills I decided to cook an Asian meal. Prior to cooking I did not think an Asian meal would be that difficult. How hard can some rice and vegetables be…. right… TOTALLY WRONG!
Spring Rolls and Sesame Chicken were the two recipes I choose to cook. I wanted to take in the whole experience of this culture so Bob and I headed to the Oriental Grocery Store on Sunday afternoon to get the items I needed. It was an experience! I had the recipe with me but I had such a difficult time reading what items were in the store that I could not concentrate on what we needed. Needless to say it took us forever to get the items we needed. Then when we finally got home……..the disaster began.
Spring rolls are similar to egg rolls but are wrapped with a different roll. They are meant to be “healthier” than egg rolls. The recipe was pretty simile to follow. Instead of using a deep fryer which we do not have, we just used a pan and oil to cook the rolls in….big mistake…..The oil was so hot that it burnt the rolls to a crisp the second they were in the pan AND filled our kitchen with smoke. The fire alarms started going off as Bob and I started coughing uncontrollably because the fumes were so bad. I thought we were going to have to call 911. I can’t imagine what our neighbors thought. It looked like I was crying because there was so much smoke in the air. After turning down the heat, we got some of the rolls cooked. We cooked the remaining rolls and were brave to give them a try…we decided that they were not worth the work…… just go buy them from a restaurant.
On to the main course…. Sesame Chicken. This can’t be that hard…right? Again, we prepared the veggies with the other ingredients. We were waiting for the pasta to cook to be able to add it all together. The recipe called for the pasta (We got it at the Oriental Store) to cook for 8 min. After boiling it for 16min. it was still rock hard.
By this point I was STARVING….. I tried to stay positive and think.. maybe the pasta is supposed to taste that way. I drained the pasta and mixed everything together and added the sesame oil just like the recipe said. OMG… the oil smelled so bad. After mixing everything together Bob and I forced each other to try the mixture….. TRY… is the key word…….. We drove to Jimmy Johns 20min. later for dinner because neither one of us could eat the dish.
Overall, it was an interesting experience. At first I was angry at the time and money we wasted, but looking back it was a funny and educational experience.