corn·starch [kawrn-stahrch]

my little brother and sister-in-law were in town and the first thing he noticed was the language. he had just come from phoenix where everything is in español, here, he said, everything was in asian languages. it’s true. nearly every corner beckons you to eat phở (which i haven’t yet) among other eastern cuisines. i grew up loving japanese food and i’ve expanded to love chinese and thai. to be fair, i have tried vietnamese food twice, and both times i was less then thrilled. my boss treated me to dim sum once and i now know to never let that happen again! but despite the countless offers, i am perfectly happy with my pad thai or sushi.

above all, teriyaki bowls are king. thankfully, seattle boasts just as many teriyaki bowl stops as it does starbucks. some nights, the only thing to satiate me is warm sticky rice with steaming chicken and sauce. my hole in the wall taco cravings have been replaced (or maybe they have just moved over to share) with countless little teriyaki joints.

for the past few days, i’ve been craving teriyaki. we didn’t get around to eating it, so last night i was on a mission to make it. i found a stir fry recipe in my trusty book and got to work. the recipe called for a tablespoon of cornstarch to be added to the marinade. i added it and mixed it and thought the recipe must have been mistaken. i kept adding little heaps of cornstarch and whisking away… finally i poured it into the pan and was so confused when it instantly morphed into a nasty looking gel. i quickly scooped out the goo and poured in water, soy sauce, teriyaki… ANYTHING to get the consistency back to normal. i warned christian that i had re-created the recipe. he didn’t think anything was wrong. i, however, learned my lesson about cooking with cornstarch!


5 thoughts on “corn·starch [kawrn-stahrch]

  1. >For me, no pho, from head to tho! I don’t like the taste of rotten fish oil in my otherwise healthy-tasting meal…As to corn starch, I make a little hole in the food in the bottom of the wok and add it at the very end. It is “gravy” in one minute! The teri(sanspho)yaki needs the sweet.

  2. >Aha! The less-is-more idea with corn starch. My problem is I rarely measure it and thus my sauces are either two thin or that lovely gel as you describe. 🙂

  3. >I miss those Seattle teriyaki restaurants! A huge pile of sticky white rice, topped with a sliced half chicken breast, and smothered in sauce. Mmmm. And it was so cheap too!

  4. >oh no! don’t hate me, but i was just in seattle over the weekend for bumbershoot. i had to work the whole time, so it wasn’t even like we would have had time, but next time i insist we grab some teriyaki bowls and catch up.

  5. >Karl and I laughed when you said that there are as many terriyaki places as starbucks! It’s so true..funny that they are mostly owned by koreans not japanese. I share your feelings about dimsum. I am asian but even Karl had to convince me to try asian food. He was successful with thai (which I love now) and indian. Kudos to you for at least trying vietnamese food twice. I think once was good enough for me 🙂 We should have you guys over for filipino food although I only know how to cook like three dishes.

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