Monday, August 13, 2007
Mortar & Pestle
A while ago, I attended an interactive event at the National Museum. Part of the Food & Culture Series, this 2 hour long session was conducted by Christopher Tan, a writer and cookbook author. You see his name in the papers everyweek giving recipe and food advice.
'The Mortar & Pestle in Southeast Asian Cuisine' - that was what it was all about. Ya, sounds a little bit dry and I was almost expecting a history lesson. But it was much better than that. Kind of a like a fun cooking class actually. We learnt the benefits of using a mortar & pestle and by the end of the session we were all converts. It's fun actually.
We have a mortar & pestle at home but I hardly use it. Usually Dad's the one who touches it but in recent years, it's been left in a lonely corner. Dad uses the food processor for his 'rempah' because it's too much hard work I guess, to use the mortar & pestle.
But seriously, this amazing kitchen tool needs more credit. I learnt how to make two dishes at the session and one of them has a very strong Thai accent.
First you need to make a coriander root, garlic & white pepper paste. Then you use the paste and cook it with prawns and serve it with sticky rice. Apparently you an use it to marinate seafood before you barbecue it. It's seriously amazing stuff. I never knew that coriander root could do so much. I'm really impressed. This paste is really simple to make. All you need is a tsp of white pepper corns, about 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander root and 10 cloves of garlic. Use the mortar & pestle and grind it to a paste. Trust me, it's worth the effort! Right Dot? *winks*