Sally and I run separate cooking classes. Sally is Chinese and her classes are fabulous and very popular. I mostly do sourdough bread workshops but a few other things too. We each send out emails advertising our next classes. I forward her emails to people on my list and Sally forwards my emails to her list…… it is all very complicated and sometimes people end up getting the emails several times. So today I went to Sally’s beautiful new house and we combined our lists.
Then Sally made us a quick lunch. It was so delicious and simple. Here’s what she did:
Into a wok put about 6 Sichuan pepper flowers and turn up the heat. Then add a dash of rice bran / peanut oil. Leave until it is really hot and the peppercorns turn black.
Turn off the heat and let it cool while you chop a spring onion and slice a piece of ginger and add then to the pan gently so it does not splatter and burn you. Leave for a couple of minutes.
Turn the heat back on and add some bottled tomatoes, about 1 – 2 cups water, a few fermented black beans and a dash of soy sauce.
When this is coming to the boil, add a good handful of thin, dry noodles and cook as per the packet.
Meanwhile chop some greens from the garden and add them to the wok just before serving, along with 2 raw eggs (which cook gently in the hot soup). Drizzle over some sesame oil.
Top with some edible flowers, such as these bok choy. The whole thing took about 10 minutes. Sally and her husband often have this for breakfast in winter. Serves 2.
Sally made fresh soy milk too, which she usually drinks hot, during the afternoon, with a teaspoon of honey. She has made it in a Thermomix but says it works better in her Chinese soy milk machine which looks just like this one. This took about the same amount of time as the soup, after she had soaked the soy beans overnight. The soy milk tasted so different and fresh compared to the commercial stuff from the shops.
The lunch and the soy milk were a real treat. Sitting there talking to Sally was a very relaxing and lovely way to spend the morning and, as it turned out, some of the afternoon as well !! I will definitely make the soup often and I have asked Sally if I can provide her with all the organic, Australian soy beans she ever needs, if she will make me a litre of soy milk once a week. Nice.
ps Sally uses the pulp left over from making the soy milk, in her spring onion pancakes, with some polenta and egg.