Who says that busyness can hold you for dreadful hours attending to some corporate, personal and just a mere job demands without taking a gleeful time to devour truly Asian cuisine? And who says too, that it’s when you travel to places is your only chance to get a mouthful of savoring pride of Asia?
Couple of weeks ago, I’ve been so engrossed with some stuffs, the so called “add up” to my ordinary routines that I get to embrace my origin being an Asian- born individual. It’s been a blessing in disguise, indeed! I’ve discovered a very cozy, just started anew, and an attractive stall called”wild rice” A taste of Asia. As I’ve read the menu/poster, I was absolutely thinking of paying few pesos just to satisfy my curiosity, and it was so affordable.
On my first day, I tried Nasi Goreng. I thought it’s just a sheer food name whatsoever, but when I did a little research on that, it is literally “fried rice” in Indonesian and Malay, and it can refer simply to fried pre-cooked rice, a meal including stir fried rice in small amount of cooking oil or margarine, typically spiced with chili sauce and other seasoning. Nasi goreng has been called the national dish of Indonesia, though there are many other contenders. There are many Indonesian cuisines but few national dishes. Indonesia’s national dish knows no social barriers. This one is Malaysian style with chicken satay, stirred-fried vegetables and egg in yellow curry spicy sauce. A rice in a box. Still caught between the rush hour of deadlines? Bring it with you, it’s cute and handy with it’s firm handle in white plastic (hard bound).
My next Asian experience is the long time craving for Korean Kimbap. It’s like sushi but korean style. This one has no content of raw fish inside, but some colorful vegetables, and sometimes bulgogi (marinated beef) or kimchi. It’s stuffed with either vegetables, mushrooms, meat, with sesame seeds, etc. It is made from steamed white rice (bap in Korean ) and various other ingredients, rolled in gim (sheets of dried laver seaweed) and served in bite-size slices. Gimbap is often eaten during picnics or outdoor events, or as a light lunch hence it’s called Korea‘s picnic food. My students have been telling me about it since last year, but I couldn’t get hold even just a slice of it. So when I finally dropped by at E-Mall, I happened to see slices of kimbap. 4 slices for 25 pesos? Wow, So I bought 12 slices. It’s ideal for busy individuals. Rice with rolled dish inside is perfect when life is amidst a fast pacing cadence.
The next bound brought me again to get wild with the wild rice in a box. This time I got myself Spicy seafood Teriyaki. Teriyaki is a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled in a sweet soy sauce (tare in Japanese). Teriyaki is served in most modern Japanese cuisines. The word, teriyaki is a combination of two Japanese words “teri” and “yaki.” Teri means luster and yaki means grill or broil”. But, this time it’s mixed in rice, easy and efficient for busy individuals. And what’s more? Wild Rice can offer you a very efficient way of eating your truly Asian food even when you’re rushing for everyday routines.
This one is my real favorite. BIBIMBAP. Bibimbap (비빔밥, Korean pronunciation:(pibimp͈ap̚) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed meal” or “mixed rice”. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It is sided with strips of carrots, cucumber, beans sprout, sliced white radish. I finally had one at Koreum restaurant inside Robinsons Cybergate.
Asia is not just rich in culture and tradition, but as well as in culinary and international cuisine, not to mention Chinese foods, Filipino Foods and cuisine from the neighboring countries. It was somehow an unfortunate time when I had traveled twice to Singapore and never had taken the photos of Spicy Crab spiced with seasoning. It was just a lucky day when a Singaporean friend brought us to class A restaurant to taste it’s pride. The Spicy Crab and the Fried cultured frog. Another thing I missed for photo collection is the chicken curry of Bangkok Thailand. If God-willing, someday, I might get an opportunity to travel back to Thailand, and this I will make sure, I’ll have my own camera. Truly Asia.