a coming-of-age dish

As a kid, there are some things you would eat only if threatened with a journey to hell and back. Spring onions. Chinese coriander. Celery. Ginger. Century egg (which 3/4 of the world, even the grown ups, won't eat).

They are adult foods. And one day when you find that you don't really mind eating them, and may, in fact, quite enjoy their taste - aha, friends, you have grown up. Officially.

This ain't no food blog. But this dish is vegan, delicious, and has all that stuff to prove you are no longer a child. I call this dish - Grow up & eat ginger, you! In short, G.U.E.G.Y, which you can pronounce as Gu-Ee-Gee.

Ingredients for 2-3 hungry adults
The main ingredients are:
  • 1.5 cups of long grain rice (black, red, brown or white - I use black rice because anything black is *cool* ha.)
  • 2 pieces of Firm tofu  (Tau Gwa)
  • 200-300gm of Mushrooms (I use Korean Shimeiji mushrooms)
  • Cherry tomatoes (20 of them? Go with the flow.)
  • Wolfberries (1 handful)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
But the really important ingredients are:
  • Chopped garlic (3 cloves or more)
  • Chopped young ginger (2-inch. If you are not quite sure about the adult world, start with 1 inch of ginger.)
  • Spring onions (5-8 stalks. Chop the white-ish parts, and cut the green parts into 1.5inch bits. Keep the green parts for the last)
  • 1-2 regular red chillies (Slice, remove seeds. Don't use chilli padi, the ginger is the star here, please.)
The seasoning is just:
  • Chinese cooking wine  
  • Soy sauce (the most fragrant kind you can afford!)
7 steps (30-45mins) to G.U.E.G.Y.! 
1. Cook your rice first. While the rice is cooking, cut and chop all your ingredients.
  • Start with the really important ingredients, which can all go into the same bowl.
  • Cut each tau gwa into 3, then slice each piece into half-inch pieces.
  • Half the cherry tomatoes 
  • Slice or quarter your mushrooms
2. When the rice is cooked, loosen it up and leave it to cool. In the meantime, pan fry your tau gwa when the rice is cooked. When the tau gwa is lightly browned or have shrunk a little, take them out of the pan/wok.

3. In the same hot pan/wok, fry the really important ingredients - add a little more oil if necessary. It smells amazing, and it's all because of the the ginger, I kid you not.

4. When you have your fill of smelling all that ginger-garlic-spring onion-chilli mix, add the mushrooms, tomatoes and wolfberries into the pan/wok. Stir well, and add your chinese cooking wine... generous dashes! There should be some liquid from the cooking tomatoes...

5. Add the tau gwa, and then add the soy sauce - to taste (maybe 4-5 tablespoons?) There should be more liquid in the pan/wok and it should be good.

6. Add the rice and the green parts of the spring onion. Stir, taste and add more soy sauce if you think necessary. You can sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dish.

7. Eat your G.U.E.G.Y. and feel all grown up.

As my nephew in all his three year-old sweetness used to say: "you try, you try".


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