The Microplane grater has been a frequently used instrument in my culinary toolbox. It handles citrus rind and ginger amazingly well, both of which appeal to me greatly as flavor boosters. I used Mr. Grater with fine results tonight, creating a bold dish of zesty rice and chard. I prefer my flavors to be bold – I don’t tread gingerly when it comes to taste — it grates on me when the aroma and flavor of food is hidden. Don’t hold back the flavors! (various puns, intended and not)
Ginger is notoriously difficult to process with just a knife. It’s a stringy, dense root that challenges the intrepid chef with it’s convoluted folds and narrow form. The first challenge is the thin, not-quite-papery skin which you must pare away without losing too much of the life-giving ginger. Then you have to transform the ginger into small pieces and/or a paste. This is because ginger is incredibly potent and large pieces have been known to make eyes water, although it’s a really magical and delicious kind of eye watering.
Below: Yes, the green mound on the rice is wasabi. Pow! And the red – Sriracha sauce, which does have fish sauce for you non-vegans out there, and lots of other smile-inducing compounds. Don’t you just want to reach through the computer screen and eat that rice?
On a related note, which I shamelessly re-post from Ken Rubin’s Facebook stream, this article on Technology Review‘s website discusses flavors, including the traditional East Asian combination of rice, sesame, soy, and ginger, which all appear on this dish.
And, another recent post of mine featuring those flavors.