Friday, November 21, 2008

Lamb in Creamy Coconut Milk and Mint


When I saw people posting great dishes using fresh ingredients from their own garden...I turned bright green, full of envy. It gets even worse when I see them submitting their fabulous entries to this fantastic foodblog event called Grow Your Own. I always thought...damnnn!! When do I get to have my very own garden...where I could pluck sprig after sprig of fresh herbs, basketful of fruits and vegetables...with a serene look on my face...and maybe a flower or two in my hair (OK, yuck! My apologies for going a little overboard with the flowers there, guys).

Why can't I grow my own stuff?
I live in Hong Kong. If I told you that I had a garden with a capacity to hold an extensive collection of fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers..chances are: I am either...a tycoonista/gadzillionairess/married to a gadzillionaire/an heiress/lying to be any of the foresaid people/living in a village so far away from Hong Kong city center...it's probably China. Well, I am none of the above. From
my crappy photoshoot post, you can see how teeny tiny my flat is (it can barely contain my huge azz hehe). I don't have a little balcony or an empty windowsill to place even a pot of plant. Sob sob.

And it's not only about the lack of space. I am a notorious plant murderer. When I was browsing through Prince Edward's flower market, it was all "Oh, I've killed this one before, and that one, and that one...and those ones too (basically almost everything)", and I could feel that all the plants were fearing the possibility of going home with me, which would make them my latest potential victims (if they could speak, they'd be saying "pleaseeeee, don't buy me, I don't wanna dieeee!!!").

Nevertheless. I was determined to give it another try. So, I picked a (lucky or unlucky?) pot of mint, and brought it home. I heard stories of raging mint plants taking over food bloggers' whole freaking gardens, and they are almost impossible to stop, let alone kill, yada yada yada. Let's see how they hold up with me. I bet they were either planning a strategy to take over my flat or crying their way to my home. Plus, I love the fresh, fragrant scent of mint, and they normally are not available in wet markets.

I was so nervous that the mint was gonna be dead the moment it arrived my home, I literally looked at it every few minutes, giving it lots of love. I took care of it according to what the seller told me (water when the soil feels dry, about every other day, give it a bit of sun tan every day)...and surprise surprise! It looked like it was dying the day after. HAHA! Sous chef came to the rescue...by giving it more love than one can imagine. The plant was being fed the leftover water we use to wash rice, egg shells, the sun tanning sessions were strictly supervised, the dying leaves were trimmed, and it now has a cute, adorable, Hong Kong nickname, mint jai. It is now a he.

The lack of space I mentioned earlier is true...mint jai is experiencing it first hand. He is pretty much a nomad mint. It doesn't have its own space. On the TV stand near the window? or the dining table next to the laptop? too much radiation. In the kitchen near the stove? Too hot. On the sofa? People sit there. So, poor mint jai shuffles from one place to another, depending on which activity is being carried out at home. When there's no cooking going, he stays in the kitchen by the stove. Otherwise, he has to move to the tiny side table near the window, unless if there's a food blog photo shoot, then he has to move to the dining table, and so on, and so forth.

Our love is not purely unconditional though (hehe, we are selfish bitches after all). We expect mint jai to give us minty fresh leaves for our culinary experiments and gastronomical enjoyment. Here's one:

Lamb in Creamy Coconut Milk and Mint

Recipe
- 1.5 lbs thinly sliced lamb (for sukiyaki)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 cloves shallot, thinly sliced
- 5 cm ginger, crushed
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground corriander seed
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk
- a bit of water, a bit of olive oil
Saute shallot and ginger in a bit of olive oil, add garlic, add lamb, ground cumin, ground corriander seed, salt, sugar, white pepper, add a bit of water, bring to boil, cook until the meat pieces are cooked through, add coconut milk, mix well until heated through, add fresh mint leaves, mix a little, turn heat off. Serve with more fresh mint leaves.

Submitting this recipe to Grow Your Own, hosted this time by Rachel of the Crispy Cook

Hmm, I could probably buy more plants and hang them out my window. But with the risk of killing a passerby, probably not. :p

24 comments:

Beachlover said...

Rita,you're so funny!! I like the way to describe your post!LOL!Good job with your own growing! Congratulation!! Your lamb look thus!333333222

Ning said...

Congratulations on growing your own mint plant! It is growing well (inspite of your funny story :) Delicious dish, too! :)

Jo said...

This lamb recipe sounds delicious and mint goes very well with it. I had a mint plant some time back but somehow or other I guess I don't have green fingers .. it eventually died.

deeTha said...

ng omahku akeh taneman,Rit.. koyok hutan. lah tapi kok aku g sneng bercocok tanam ik. mangan sayur jg g sneng. payah wes...
btw,ayo gawe brokus. gampang tur wuenak... hehe

Rachel said...

Thanks for the great contribution to GYO. I smiled throughout the time I read your post about your gardening trials, but that mint plant sure looks healthy and well-loved!

taste memory said...

i love all these spices you are using with the coconut milk esp. coriander, white pepper....I've been preparing foods with coconut milk a lot lately esp. with all the spice combinations similar to what you mentioned esp. ginger...YUUM!

Jescel said...

funny as ever! i too get envious of those who can grow their own.. but i just started growing a few herbs myself, and hopefully, i'll have a harvest soon! :o)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Your mint plant is growing so well. Too bad I cannot stand the smell of lamb, too strong for me.

jesse said...

Hahaha, you crack me up. The lamb looks good enough to dip my face in... =X

Cynthia said...

I do hope that the plant thrives.

daphne said...

oh dearie! That looks wonderfully healthy!

the lovely lamb in the clay pot looks fantastic as well.

FFichiban said...

Hee hee thats awesommmee! Now u need other pots of other herbs ;) Start a pot garden hee hee and the lamb looks sooo goooddd mmmmmmm

Cindy. Lo. said...

I tried to grow basil before..and it turned into a pot of brownish dried leaves...
Is it just me? Nothing survives here!

mikky said...

if there's a will, there's a way, right? ... what a lovely way to use your mint... looks so perfect with a bowl of a steamed white rice... :)

tigerfish said...

I'm trying to imagine how to grow something in a crowded space of living shelter in places like S'pore and Hong Kong. ;o

Dwiana P said...

Rita, sami mawon ama gw non. gw udah jarang blog walking. baru mood lagi ni hari keknya.
btw, foto yg pertama gw demen and itu mangkoknya weleh.... cakep bener.

elsye said...

ritaaaaa...fotomu iku loh makin toppp waeee....kerennnnn..btw, aku belum kirim imel jehh....hihihihi..lupa ae....

Tangled Noodle said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! I know what you mean about homegrown - we planted our first garden this year and I was so proud to use my own veggies and herbs. Now it's winter and the garden is gone so we saved some basil, mint and rosemary to grow inside - I hope they survive until next spring.

Sharon said...

Mint Jai looks very happy and handsome! The lamb looks delicious as well. I'm looking forward to seeing what else mint jai contributes to!

Retno Prihadana said...

Lamb pake mint....sambil ngebayangin rasanya Rit :).

ICook4Fun said...

ha ha..you are so funny. You never fail to amused me each time I visit your blog. The mint look so healthy. You can start planting some other kind of herbs now :) mint goes well with lamb.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

Thanks for the comments, guys...

Mint jai update: he is doing well, despite losing loads of leaves (for cooking)...and we still shower him with loads of love. If mint jai survives, he could be the start of a nomad herb garden ^_^

A.G said...

aku wes tuku mangkok ginian wingi wkt mudik neng cilik tp mayanlah bt properti wkwkwk

KC said...

Keep pinching bits off mint Jai (I love the nickname) and it will be bushier. My mint grew to be too leggy (not as desirable in mint as in girls) because I didn't pinch it.