Asian Food Foray

Wow! Really getting into world culture with some food weekends. Recently, we had an ‘Asian’ week of food. YUM!

So let’s define Asian food. Nope, you can’t. Its not that easy. Found this definition on the internet.

I knew that simply saying ‘Asian’ food was a misnomer and Eric is not a purist with his cooking. Let’s just say we’ve (1) consumed food at home with Asian influence and (2) visited a f.a.b.u.lo.u.s dumpling restaurant that WILL have numerous repeat visits.

Let’s start at home……………

Our home Asian dining started with Eric visiting Lotte Market. LOVE this place – almost as much as Lucky’s Market. Still shedding a tear for Lucky’s. 😦

He started our night of Asian influence with Miso soup – from scratch. It was tasty. Not something I’ve ordered when we were out, but it was a nice start. A little glass of sake accompanied our meal.

LOVE a salad with ginger dressing. Visiting a friend years ago, she served this dressing and we asked for her recipe. Yep, straight from a bottle. Can’t do better. It’s the only one we’ve seen in Publix, but no need to search for another brand.

Iceberg lettuce, grated daikon radish and ginger dressing = a very simply but delicious salad. The chopsticks are not for decoration. It has taken me quite a while and I am by no means proficient. During my 6 months in China, I refused to ask for other utensils. If I think about the chopsticks too much, disaster. If I just pick them up, dive in and eat, things go waaaaaay better.

This next thing wasn’t my favorite: sea scallops with a pepper-based sauce. It’s a texture thing – I didn’t like it, but I tried it.

The main event of our evening were these bowls. While similar, Eric catered to my tastes.

Ginny’s bowl (L) Eric’s bowl (R)

Ginny’s – starting at top center, going clockwise: sliced cucumbers, diced white tuna, shredded daikon radish, diced salmon, sliced cucumbers, chopped tuna, avocado and diced yellow tail.

Eric’s – starting at top center, going clockwise: kombu seaweed, salmon, avocado, white tuna, shredded daikon radish, tuna, sliced cucumbers, yellow tail and scallops in the middle. Sprinkled with flying fish eggs (orange stuff).

Dessert had nothing, I mean nothing to do with Asian cooking, but was my request: fried fruit pies. Full disclosure, they were supposed to be peach pies from last year’s Florida peaches we froze. Alas, it was not to be. Ask Eric what happened to the peaches………….. Therefore, at the last minute, Eric had to drive to the grocery store to get pie filling. I requested cherry pie filling and OMG, these fried fruit pies so, so, so delicious.

Another evening we had fried rice, similar but different than our previous renditions. Here was the inspiration. See Eric – tearing pages out of magazines do serve a purpose!

LOVED the thought of putting an egg on this dish. Our fried rice ingredients were bits of pork, sliced carrots and one and half yellow onions. Add a (healthy) drizzle of sirachi sauce and here’s your finished product. Going forward, soft-cooked eggs will always be included.

Now, time for our restaurant dining……………….

Our Asian restaurant choice started with this article seen in The Orlando Sentinel. Soup Dumplings are one of my best memories of living in Shanghai. They’re special. Any time we hear of a place in Central Florida with them, we stop by. Thank you Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel food writer.

Before leaving home, the morning started with a Bloody Mary, topped with an oyster. Notice there’s only two, not three. I did not partake. Adrienne was the third for this Asian food adventure.

Shanghai Lane restaurant, located on west Colonial Drive in Orlando. Even their sign has the soup dumplings. 🙂

Another reason this was the real deal – we were the only non-Asian patrons. Just like in China, we ordered a variety of dishes and they arrived sporadically. First to appear was the fried rice. It looked so good, another family nearby decided to order it also.

Next came the star of the show – SOUP DUMPLINGS. We got 2 orders of the pork dumplings (they always come 6 to a tray).

This looked good, especially when the nearby table got it, so Eric went up to add it. Fried bread. Yep, it was fried bread. Probably not going to be a repeat. Fried bread.

This next item was featured in the paper and seen above – fried pork dumplings. They were okay. Hard to eat with chopsticks. Definitely would order more of the soup dumplings – just saying.

Our final order arrived and it was another reminder of our time in China – fried pork cutlet, exactly like we used to get at Din Tai Fung.

Look at those happy smiles!

We’ll be back!

Ginny

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