Help me with this craving!
November 10, 2022 8:23 PM   Subscribe

Recovering from a very mild bout of covid and feeling like Rapunzel’s mother with an craving for vegetables and a specific balance of umami and spicy. Help me find recipes? I want a veggie dish that is crunchy, not creamy or fatty. savory but not an overdone umami bomb, and spicy. Miso soup was good, but not looking for a giant bowl of ramen. Should not be raw, but also not looking for a stew. Should be crunchy but not cold. And then pickled would be good too! Ideas?
posted by haptic_avenger to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: OMG I figured it out you guys! Papaya salad. Yes it is raw, but shredded in the acid dressing makes it what I need.
posted by haptic_avenger at 8:30 PM on November 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

I was about to suggest smashed cucumber salad for a very similar flavor profile.

Also, if you have any kind of spiralizer or a julienne peeler or just a knife and some patience, "noodles" of cucumber, jicama, radish/daikon, cabbage, and/or carrot (plus apple or pear if you like) tossed in basically the same vinegar-sesame-soy type of dressing also scratches my umami-pickle itch.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:46 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Roast broccoli with a little soy sauce?
posted by panhopticon at 9:01 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by MagnificentVacuum at 9:35 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Kimchi fried rice!
posted by gryphonlover at 9:48 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Kimchi fried rice should be right up your street!
posted by Iteki at 9:49 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Roasted asparagus drizzled with tamari-mirin-ginger-garlic glaze or balsamic vinegar.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:00 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Add red pepper flake or minced Thai pepper to the glaze if you need heat.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:30 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I was going to say a shredded cabbage salad with lime juice/fish sauce dressing and fresh mint and peanuts and chunks of tofu
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:33 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by aniola at 10:47 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Spicy pickled okra!
posted by Mizu at 12:14 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oden is things boiled in an umami broth. You don't have to eat all the broth; and you can freeze and reuse the broth with that sort of recipe. Traditionally you would probably put in fish balls and boiled egg as well, but you don't have to (at which point it probably isn't oden so much as a starting point for haptic_avenger's unique Japanese fusion food).
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 12:14 AM on November 11, 2022

Bok choy stir-fried and then dressed with soy/vinegar and browned garlic (ie simplified Filipino adobo).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:18 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have two quick-pickled go-to salady things and I always have one or the other "on the go". I often top up the marinade with more sliced vegetables as they get used up during the week rather than starting from scratch. I don't have a way to describe when the marinade is "done" and needs to be tossed but trust me you will just know!

I eat these salads straight, or as a side dish. They make a great lunch with some tuna or tinned fish and some crackers, and both versions (not just the "Soy and sesame" version) are great just piled on some warm rice with a fried egg or some leftover protein from last night's dinner.

The only rule for each version is if the vegetable is soft like cucumber or tomato it can be thicker slices, if it's something like carrot, make really thin slices.

"Soy and sesame" version:

My go-to vegetable choices here are cucumber half-moons, halved cherry tomatoes with the seeds and gel squeezed out, round carrot shapes "shaved" on the mandoline, and scallion/spring onion. If I am too lazy for the mandoline I just shave strips of carrot with the vegetable peeler.

1 part white or rice vinegar (white is much stronger so you can cut it with a little water, and I've used cider vinegar here as well just because it's what I had and it was great)
.25 part soy sauce
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
A sprinkle of MSG (optional but great)
1 or 2 cloves garlic- smash the clove(s) but leave mostly whole
1 small chunk ginger- as above, smash it but leave it mostly whole

Mix in a container with a lid (glass is best, never metal), add vegetables, If they are at least 80 to 90% submerged, that's great- the marinade will break down the vegetables a little and add their juices to the mix so it will be fine in an hour or so. If you still need more liquid after it's been macerating for a while, I normally just add cold tap water with an extra splash of the vinegar.

"I don't know what to call this one" version:

This is the one I go for if I have more cruciferous vegetables around. Broccoli (peeled and sliced stems are PERFECT for this), chopped kale, brussels sprouts shaved on the mandoline (I get the biggest ones I can find so the shaving process takes less time). The version I have in the fridge right now is shaved sprouts, red onion, and mandoline-sliced carrot coins. I had it as a side dish last night with a rich baked mac-and-cheese and it was the perfect counterpoint.

1 part cider or red wine vinegar
Generous three-finger grab of sea salt, more or less to taste
drizzle of the best olive oil you have
Finely chopped fresh rosemary (if you don't have that a little dried is fine)
1 or 2 smashed-but-still-mostly-whole garlic cloves
Sprinkle of MSG
Drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of brown sugar (not too much, just to take the edge off)

As above, if you need more liquid, top up with some tap water and maybe another splash of vinegar. This is more likely to happen here if you're using lots of cruciferous veg as it will give up less liquid.

IF YOU WANT TO BE FANCY: Add dried cranberries and/or toasted pecan pieces. I would keep the pecans on the side and add them to each serving if this is something you're keeping in the fridge and eating over a few days.
posted by cilantro at 3:44 AM on November 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Korean food has what you need. Cucumber salad, random pickled veggie side dishes (banchan) and bibimbap (rice bowl with pickled veggies) will all give you this satisfaction.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 4:26 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Korean food has what you need.

You could be right … I’m thinking a lot about this vegetarian Korean place I used to go to on 33rd St in the early 2000s NYC. “A vegetarian shrine in another place and time …”
posted by haptic_avenger at 6:11 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

I bet Burmese tea leaf salad would hit the spot too! One of the best foods on earth in my humble but correct opinion. It's cold in the sense of "not hot" but can be eaten room temperature.
posted by babelfish at 6:58 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

« Older Zinc supplements for covid-19 recovery?   |   Moving to freelance from a large organization:... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments