Thursday, February 28, 2013

I hate snakes, will all year and forever

There is nothing I hate more in this world than snakes. I'm a tad odd, as I can watch a snake in an open area without a hint of Whitney Houston pitched screaming. But put me in a dark enclosed reptile house and I am running for the hills. The strangest part of my "condition" is that is it a million times worse if it is just an image on TV or in a magazine. I would often have to drive past a furniture store called the Cane Cobra and their sign with a badly drawn not remotely realistic image would freak me out. AB has been nothing but a rock when it comes to this phobia, especially when he had to show me every plastic snake in Toys R Us, there wasn't chasing more just running away. So great is my hatred that AB had a dream about there being a snake in our backyard but didn't tell me for weeks in fear that I would put the house on the market that morning.
I am sounding like a total wimp but I have touched a snake, on my 25th birthday at a reptile park. Yep I was taken (the man who hates snakes) to a reptile park for my birthday, this was only topped by my cake which was topped with more plastic snakes than the set of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
So you can imagine my despair about this Chinese New Year starting the year of the snake, I am concerned it will impact on my Yum Cha experience if I have to be constantly on the look out for snakes. With snakes at the end of the hate spectrum, Yum Cha is worlds apart on the absolutely love immensely end...ahhh my poor brain!

The first thing I always get at Yum Cha is the chickens feet, it's like a code to the staff to not just send the spring rolls to this table. It proves you're hardcore and can handle the tendons, jellyfish and tripe, oh then tendons.
In Eurovision terms it means you're not just after ABBA and Lulu, but bring on the Bulgarian stilt walkers.
My other must have item is sui mai, those steamed morsels of pork and prawn goodness. I'm not proud of it but there is probably nothing I wouldn't do for a sui mai......I mean nothing.
I'm late for Chinese New Year but I have been making a couple of inspired dishes, more a homage than truly authentic, and sometimes the eating has gotten in the way of the photography.

Enjoy the year of the Snake, just keep em far away from me.

Seafood Roll
  • 250grams green prawn meat
  • 200grams boneless fish fillet (I used Basa)
  • 2 chopped spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon schezwan pepper
  • 1/2 thumb ginger grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame Oil
  • 1 packet rice paper
  • extra cornflour
  • In a food processor add prawn, fish, spring onions, schezwan pepper, ginger, salt and a couple of drops of sesame oil.
  • Pulse to mince the prawns and fish, but not into a puree. Some rough bits add texture.
  • Wrap a small amount of the mixture (however big or small your like) in the rice paper.
  • Coat the wrapped rolls in a little corn flour
  • Fry in hot oil for about 5 mins or until firm and slightly golden. You will know when they are cooked by the colour, so you may need to make a few extras to try just to make sure it is right, bonus!
  • A tip I learnt for the rice paper is to not over water them, 2 seconds max in the water and then onto a barely damp tea towel.
  • The 2 dipping sauces in the picture are quick and tasty, not really cooking more combining.  To 3 parts kewpie mayonnaise add either 1 part sweet chili sauce or kepis manis.
  • Bamboo shoots can also be added for extra texture, either chopped separately or towards the end of the pulsing.
  • If you would like me to add some pics of how to roll the rice paper, let me know and I'll make it happen


  1. Not sure where you came from Jason or where you've been but I like reading what you write. I'd like to sign up to get your posts delivered to me but they only go through google reader so I will just have to remember to come back and visit. I love the sentiment about yum cha.....start with the feet, I'm sure it probably works too. happy year of the ssssshhhh

  2. Hi, thanks for the feedback i'm glad you're liking what I write, i'll keep it up!
    I've added a follow by email gadget so that might help with the google reader problem, let me know if it doesn't work and i'll try something else.
    btw your blog looks great