Money spent on groceries today:
Tiger prawns - 3.50
Vegetables - 4.30
Today´s major mistake: buying a 1.00 bag of sesame seeds, then coming home and finding a nice stash of sesame seeds in the spice drawer. Guess I did not clean that one out as well as I thought.
The dinner would have been ok without the prawns, but what can I say, I was really, really in the mood for prawns. Before I can become a true budget queen I must learn to control my cravings..
Kimchi pancake with prawns and spring onions
The pancake is incredibly simple: a small can of kimchi, chopped up and mixed into a pancake batter made with flour, water and eggs. The slightly sour, spicy-sweet flavor of the kimchi combines really well with the fluffy pancake batter. There are a couple of wedges left over, which will make great lunch tomorrow.
Cold udon noodle salad with steamed eggplant, cucumber and sesame dressing
Steaming chunks of eggplant is a nice way of getting them to that soft and luscious state that is so typical of well cooked eggplant, without having to use a lot of oil. The sauce is based on the sauce for ´Strange flavor chicken´ in Fuchsia Dunlop´s Land of Plenty. It´s a highly addictive dressing that´s great on cold noodles (although I sometimes use it for warm noodle dishes as well), salads, you could even try it on plain grilled or steamed meat or fish.
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 tablespoon peanutbutter
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon roasted, ground Szechuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or more if you want it really tangy - I often use up to 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of chili paste, chili oil, or even just some chili flakes (optional, I didn´t use the chili today because the kimchi is spicy, and I wanted one spicy and one non-spicy dish).
Mix everything together. It will probably ´seize´ into a stiff mass: instead of adding more oil or vinegar to make it smooth and runny enough to be a dressing, I usually add a tablespoon of water. Mix that in till you have the desired consistency. Taste, and add whatever you feel is necessary: a bit more sesame oil, some vinegar, soy sauce or sugar.