1) What is your favourite food?
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer. I will instead give a list of several different foods that i considered my favorite over the years.
- carnitas burrito (Mexican tortilla filled with rice, beans, crispy pork, guacamole, cilantro and salsa)
- pad krapao (Thai stir-fry of basil, chili and ground pork, usually served with fried egg on rice)
- nasi lemak (Malaysian rice platter with curry, peanuts, cucumber, boiled egg and dried anchovies)
- 麻婆豆腐 mapo tofu (Sichuan spicy and numbing tofu with ground pork served on rice)
- 重慶小麵 Chongqing xiaomian (Sichuan spicy and numbing noodle soup with bok choy)
- 涼麵 cold noodle (Chinese dry noodle stirred with cucumber, peanuts, chili and cilantro)
Common thread: chili. If you don't put chili in your food, it's basically a waste of a meal imo. No chili, no favorite. Spam, popcorn and roasted sweet potato are some chili-free exceptions to the rule, all things that will instantly make me happy when i eat them.
Hmm. I have many favorite foods.
2) What is your favourite food preparation method?
Stir-fry, it's not even a question. If you cannot cook it in a wok or frying pan, i will not make it, period. I don't even cook rice, i'd rather put the food on a puffed rice cake.
3) What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking?
"Chinese" is probably my favorite, but that's too broad. I like Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan cuisine - they all heavily use chilis. In North America, Mexican cuisine is best.
4) Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?
I don't have any official dietary restrictions, but i choose to avoid meat and other other animal products (dairy, egg etc) as much as possible. Very occasionally i will still eat them, usually when i am out and it's impolite or difficult to find an alternative. At home i only eat vegan, so i make plant-based spins on my favorite foods, or put together other bean-centric concoctions.
5) If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?
空心菜, 通菜, ong choy, kangkong, water spinach - it is all the same thing. It is a type of river weed that grows in hot and humid environments. In many countries all over Asia it is harvested and cooked with garlic and ginger and chili, plus whatever liquid you like (fish stock, mushroom soy sauce etc). Because it is hollow, it sucks up the juices inside it like an Italian penne noodle and it is fantastically pleasurable to eat. It's fun like popcorn, except it's greens.
Here is a bonus pic, not related to the Friday Five in any way, i just went for a bike ride.