- Helping People Cook (Nearly) Everyday: Interior of a Working Kitchen
Who knew a rice cooker could be used as a pot? Just fill it with hot water, click the on button, and once it boils, it cooks lettuce, eggs, and Dolls instant noodles (separately by the way).
My girl, and designer Fahmina had suggested instead of buying lunch, I could bring something and use her small kitchen at her store in Topanga Canyon.
She texted, "Where r u from? Singapore or Hong Kong? I am obsessed in loove w that side of the planet food."
A small kitchen, something local, easy to cook.
Dolls instant noodles of course. A staple in Hong Kong for every occasion. Something to have late at night after going out or a long game of mahjong. Something to have when friends were over, and everyone want to stay in. Something to have when there was nothing left in the kitchen or someone had never learned to cook.
But for me, it was the one thing I had to have while catching a boat to Cheung Chau, an Island off Hong Kong, on it an old fishing village, with no cars, and a pirate cave.
It took an hour on the slow ferry, and my cousins and I would go over to the food counter, and ask for the noodles, and think we were so grown up, ordering food ourselves.
Those were Fook/Lucky Brand noodles, not Dolls, but just as good.
The sailor, with his blue uniform and white trim, doubled up as the tuck shop keeper, turned on the electric burner and placed a kettle on top (it was on a boat!), heated up the water, and poured it into a styrofoam bowl where the noodles had been placed.
He would then put a piece of ham or pre-cut spam on top, and if we asked, an already fried egg with the edges brown and crispy that he kept in a red plastic box.
When it was done, the white opaque plastic lid would be pressed on tightly, and we walked back at a speed that was specific to balancing noodles on a boat. We had to be quick so not to burn our hands, but not run because the boat was moving, and we didn't want to spill or drop our bowls. It was always a relief when we reached the tables. We sat, waiting for it too cool, and when it did, our treat complete.
There was a rice cooker that she said we could cook in, despite being slightly skeptical, I tried.
We picked the beef flavored, and the sesame oil noodles.
Once the water in rice cooker heated up the water to boiling point, the lettuce cooked as fast as in a pot. The noodles softened, and the eggs which we poached, worked out fine as well.
In fact, the eggs came out at the optimum consistency so when the egg yolk was broken, it covered the noodles.
Then I discovered we had no bowls and no chopsticks.
We found two glass jars and two forks.
That would work.
I scooped up the noodles, waited for the eggs, and when they were ready, I placed the ham, pushed them into the soup, so they warmed up. We took the jars out to a small table, where the already boiled lettuce with a side of oyster sauce were. Unlike on the boat, we walked at a normal pace, then poured ourselves some San Pellegrino, with a twist of lime.
We had a picnic outside the store by a tree.
Had she not suggested it, we would have had another coffee, another sandwich.
But instead, we chose to cook with a little imagination.
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