Mex­i­can recipe adds spice to your sauce

Sim­ply Ming 2.30pm, LifeStyle Food

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Scott Coomber

FOOD is the uni­ver­sal lan­guage, they say. For­tu­nately, French rather than food is the lan­guage of love, be­cause had it been food we’d be in deep mole, all hot and sticky but not quite sure what we’re try­ing to say.

That’s the Mex­i­can sauce — pro­nounced mole- ay — not the bur­row­ing ro­dent. Try of­fer­ing mole in place of a whis­pered noth­ing to the ob­ject of your af­fec­tions and she may well think you have served her a lit­tle of what the ro­dent lives in, mixed with wa­ter. You would have to do some quick ex­plain­ing along the lines that the sauce ac­com­pa­ny­ing her duck was like your amour: deep, dark, rich and spicy. Be­sides, it’s got choco­late in it.

OK, so that was a very con­trived vi­gnette, but you might try em­brac­ing the con­cept of mole af­ter watch­ing Ming Tsai in the first show of his fourth food se­ries, Sim­ply Ming.

Choco­late has come a long way from Milk Tray and the dessert trol­ley, helped along by movies such as Like Wa­ter For Choco­late, which show­cased tra­di­tional Mex­i­can cook­ery and used the bit­ter dark ver­sion of the con­fec­tionery in imag­i­na­tive dishes. Ming, an af­fa­ble bloke, whose roots lie in Asian tra­di­tions and French train­ing, prob­a­bly scares the oven mitts off most Amer­i­can view­ers with his ver­sion of fu­sion.

His take on the good ol’ rib- eye steak comes with a corn salsa and mole, his prawns stuffed with more of the same and a mix­ture us­ing Ja­panese bread­crumbs.

While pre­par­ing the stuff­ing, he brings this ex­ot­ica back home with sim­ple lines such as: ‘‘ There are prob­a­bly only three or four things bet­ter tast­ing in the world than things cooked in ba­con fat.’’ Yup, that’ll get ’ em back.

Speak­ing of lan­guages, there is a slight bar­rier to over­come in watch­ing this US- made show in the usual area of in­gre­di­ent names. While there is the more familiar cilantro ( co­rian­der) and bell pep­per ( cap­sicum), a few had me hit­ting the rewind. There’s panko, the afore­men­tioned Ja­panese crumb­ing favourite, which Ming ex­plains. But in a seg­ment with celebrity cook Tim Allen, the names start drop­ping.

Allen teams his duck breast and mole with what sounds like a ‘‘ hicko- mah’’ and ‘‘ erico’’ salad. Erico turns out to be French beans, aka hari­cots. Very re­spect­fully pro­nounced, con­sid­er­ing they still get St Louis wrong. The other one is ji­cama, a sub­trop­i­cal Cen­tral Amer­i­can yam bean still unfamiliar to most of us, al­though it has gained a foothold in South­east Asia. Know­ing the hunger for the next big thing, it should be in the green­gro­cer’s next week.

New take on good ol’ rib- eye: Ming Tsai of LifeStyle Food’s Sim­ply Ming

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.