Thursday, September 16, 2004

Eat While It's Hot

"banana rice" with spicy lemon chicken

It wasn’t my idea. Someone I know (a cook) gave me this idea of cooking rice with banana!

Last night at work, he told us about the “banana rice” they make at another restaurant he works at in the daytime. At first no one believed it. I know there are such sweets as banana-rice pudding or banana-rice custard, but just simply boiling rice and mashed banana together sounded terrible to me. But he didn’t look like joking. He said that they add, to rice and water, a little mashed banana and herb such as rosemary (salt optional), and cook in an electric rice cooker. When the rice is done, mix in butter while still hot and add other herbs, if preferred. He said they serve the banana rice with spicy ethnic dishes.

At that point I was almost bursting with curiosity, and determined to try it out myself at home. I spent the rest of the night thinking about what spicy food would go with the sweet banana rice, and finally picked spicy lemon-chicken.

Today, for lunch, I cooked the “banana rice” as the way he told me. (He didn’t tell me the amount of ingredients in detail, so I just followed my hunch.) After I put everything in the electric rice cooker and switched it on, I prepared lemon sauce and marinated chicken pieces in it. I was too lazy to do an internet search for lemon chicken recipes, so I just mixed things that seemed appropriate: salad oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, soy sauce, salt and Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper, again just following my hunch. Then I baked the chicken in the oven.

It was an interesting experience. My kitchen was filled with the smell of lemon and thyme from the chicken in the oven, and banana and rosemary from the rice cooker. This was an enjoyable experience I’ve never had before.

The result: The spicy lemon chicken really brought out the subtle sweetness of the banana, and rosemary somewhat brought everything together. The harmony was interesting and I liked it… only while everything was HOT. Then, as the food cooled down……I became more and more unhappy.
And I still have some banana rice left!! I’m going to have to look for some good n spicy stir-fry recipe that would go with that sweet rice.


chika said...

Hi, I'm finally here, though a bit late...

My goodness, banana rice??? Halfway through reading your post I was dying of curiosity... rice cooked with mashed bananas, that doesn't sound good at all, but I know I am trying this!

BTW, my heart is taken by the yuzu koshos in one of the pictures from your visit to Sunday market! Wish I could go get one (or two).

obachan said...

Thanks for coming!!! I know how you feel now. Just be careful and don’t put too much mashed banana in. I used less than half of a banana for cooking 2 cups of rice, IIRC. (And 2 cups was a bit too much for an experiment. You know what I mean.)
About yuzu kosho, have you tried this site?
They seem to have it under ‘Spice, Oil, Dressing.’ I’m not sure if they have yuzu kosho paste or the kind you sprinkle on food, though.