Indio, California: We
are back in Indio, after a great long weekend
celebrating Dave's birthday. Our first stop was to lunch
at Tacos Gonzalez. Two chicken tacos and a bottle of
water, $4.58. Once or twice a week, you will find us
here at lunch time, where the small restaurant is
over-flowing with locals and tourists enjoying quick delicious tacos at a great price.
After all our indulgences over the weekend, I was
looking forward to a low-key vegetarian meal or two, so
again turned to my new The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island
Cathy Erway. Imagine my surprise when I saw her
Five-Flavor sauce included ketchup. The "five flavors"
are a very important aspect in Chinese cooking, where
sweet, salty, sour, bitter and spicy elements compliment
each other to achieve perfect harmony on the tongue and
in the belly. These five elements are also present in
Chinese Five Spice powder - usually as cinnamon, star
anise, clove, ginger and Sichuan pepper.
Ms. Erway's recipe was for the Five-Flavor Sauce to be
served over steamed white fish. I had some very nice
pressed tofu which I knew would also work well with the
sauce. But ketchup? How could a tomato-based sauce taste
Once, about 25 years ago, Mary asked me to pick up her
Chris, from kindergarten and babysit for the
afternoon. Mary probably had an appointment or
something... can't recall. What I do recall is going to
a McDonald's drive-through and getting a happy meal for
Chris on the way to our house. This is where the trouble
began. There was no ketchup in the bag. There was no
ketchup in my fridge. There was no ketchup. No ketchup. No French
fry dipping! Poor little guy could barely eat his meal.
I felt terrible, but we are just not users-of-ketchup.
(I can happily report, Chris recovered from this
life-altering incident, earned an engineering degree
from Purdue, is employed and happily married.) I am going to
assume there is always a bottle of the red stuff in
Five Flavor Sauce
recipe includes ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, water, fresh ginger,
fresh red chilies, garlic, cilantro and green onion. The only thing missing from
my larder was the ketchup.
I know. We are weird.
I made the sauce and with one taste realized it was
Taiwan. Cathy Erway nailed it. The pressed tofu was
cubed and browned in peanut oil, then the sauce was
poured over and served in a bowl with jasmine rice.
Five Flavor Sauce with tofu
The dish contained a perfect balance of the five flavors and I can't wait to try
it over steamed white fish.
There is a bottle of ketchup in our fridge now.
Until my next update, I remain, your surprised correspondent.
RV PARK: The
Motorcoach Country Club
Sign Up is NOT required! Anyone may comment. Sign
up only if you would like to add an avatar, or if you wish to be emailed when someone responds to your comment.
(Sign-up will take you to my safe and secure comment server, Pnyxe.)