Asian Burrito Bowl with Turmeric Chicken and Leek Couscous - A Tale of Hidden Harmony
Chinese cooking favours a range of aromatics and oftentimes, ingredients like ginger, garlic, onions and rice wine are used to form the base of its cooking. Like many signature Chinese dishes, for instance the Cantonese Fried Beef Noodles, Ginger Chicken and Fish Head Noodles, ginger slices are mixed into the food.
And then, there are dishes when the origination is implied, for example Dhal or Masala Fried Chicken. Although ginger has been assimilated into the broth or spice mix, it is integral to the dish. Not using ginger simply won’t do because it is just like … looking like a tiger but not having teeth.
My inspiration to create sometimes stems from ingredients I would like to focus on, but of late, I have been imagining my primary aroma and building my menu from there.
So just like my previous post on my Mexican Wrap, I imagined that I wanted something smokey. But this time, it will be more subtle with strong undercurrents of an ingredient that binds each component together.
This Burrito Bowl is built with ginger. The broccoli is blanched with a little salt and ginger. The beans are cooked with some cardamom pods and ginger. The couscous is reduced with chicken broth enhanced with rice wine and ginger. The turmeric chicken is marinated in cayenne pepper, turmeric and of course, ginger.
The only ingredient that is ‘the odd one out’ is the fresh red and yellow capsicums. The juicy, slightly peppery and slightly tangy capsicums offsets the beans and tie all the ingredients together.
But because ginger is only used in small amounts, its presence is only betrayed by the stronger and smokier aroma of the chicken.
Looking at this, I realise how ironic it is, since I used to turn my bowl upside down to be rid of any traces of ginger before I dig in.