When Cheryl of A Tiger in the Kitchen suggested this month’s theme, my first thought was, to be honest, less than enthusiastic… fusion, hmmm. I’ve had many bad meals in the name of fusion and am very wary of the word. Then I decided to try and be a bit more open-minded, and think back to some good meals I might have had…
In hindsight there have been so many! Oh they’ve come under other guises, hidden under innocent monikers, but in the end, it’s still “fusion”. Recent memorable meals include any repast at Wild Rocket, food from my cousin Sandy’s sake lounge, Snacky, in Williamsburg, NY (of special note is the kimchi hotdog which deserves its own post!), and of course my own kitchen. Having grown up Chinese-American (in the Midwest no less) and then having lived in Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, London, Burgundy and now back to Singapore for round 2 makes me at least somewhat qualified in this subject…
So on that note, I present the following dish, born out of combining leftovers from Chinese and Italian cuisines. See what you think!
Note: a couple of the ingredients may not be familiar to all so I will highlight them here. First up is kangkong, one of my favourite vegetables ever. It is available in Asian markets under the other names also, such as water spinach or ong choi (in France it was sold as liséron d’eau if that helps!). It has a hollow stem, which should be crushed before cooking and long slim leaves.
You need to wash this lovely green, get rid of the roots, tear the stems into approximately 2-inch/5cm and keep separate from the leaves which you will have ripped up into more manageable bite-sized pieces. The stems take a bit longer to cook, hence the divide and conquer tactic.
Next is Fu Yu or fermented or “magic” bean curd as I call it. Don’t be scared by the “fermented” word, it just means more flavour! It is also known as tofu cheese and I think that’s why it works here, pasta with a funky cheese, what’s not to love?
Before we get to the recipe, don’t forget to check out out posts from my fellow Let’s Lunchers
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Anastasia‘s Miso Salmon with Mango Salsa at In Foodie Fashion
Cathy‘s Bacon-Studded Polenta With Tomato Gravy at ShowFood Chef
Charissa‘s Gluten-Free Azuki Bean Bundt Cake at Zest Bakery
Cheryl‘s Goan Pork Curry at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Eleanor‘s Wok Picadillo at Wok Star
Ellise‘s Salty Lime Sablés (Margarita Cookies) at Cowgirl Chef
Emma‘s Kimchi Bulgogi Nachos at Dreaming of Pots And Pans
Felicia‘s Mexican-Lebanese Hummus at Burnt-Out Baker
Grace‘s Taiwanese Fried Chicken at HapaMama
Jill‘s Southern Pimento-Stuffed Knishes at Eating My Words
Joe‘s Grilled KimCheese Sandwich at Joe Yonan
Juliana‘s Fusion Chicken Casserole at Food, Fun & Life
Karen‘s Ukrainian-German Cabbage Rolls at GeoFooding
Leigh‘s Venezuelan-Italian Cachapas Con Queso at Leigh Nannini
Linda‘s Project Runway Pelau: Rice & Beans Trinidad-Style at Spicebox Travels
Linda‘s Edible Salad Totes at Free Range Cookies
Lisa‘s Sunday Night Jewish-Chinese Brisket at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Lucy‘s Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango at A Cook And Her Books
Maria‘s Spanish Shrimp with Bacon, Cheddar & Chive Grits at Maria’s Good Things
Nancie‘s Chili-Cheese Biscuits with Avocado Butter at Nancie McDermott
Patricia‘s Buttery Tofu, Pasta & Peas at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook
Patrick‘s Kimchi Jigae and British Mash at Patrick G. Lee
Rashda‘s Mango Cobbler at Hot Curries & Cold Beer
Renee‘s Asian-Spiced Quick Pickles at My Kitchen And I
Steff‘s Chicken Fried Steak at The Kitchen Trials
- For the Italian part of the recipe:
- 250g linguini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices of pancetta, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 red chili, deseeded and thinly sliced (if you like more heat, keep the seeds)
- 1 glug of Noilly Prat
- For the Chinese part of the recipe:
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of kangkong, cleaned and separated into stems and leaves, the former cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2-3 cubes of Fu Yu (fermented bean curd)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the linguini according to package directions.
- Whilst that is on, heat up a large sauté pan, in goes the olive oil and the garlic, and cook till the garlic just starts to colour and is fragrant.
- Next up is the pancetta, add that to the garlic and stir till it starts to brown and render its lovely fat.
- Pour in a glug of Noilly Prat and scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan to get all that flavour.
- Hopefully you have timed it perfectly and your pasta is ready. Drain it (reserving a cup of cooking water) and dump into the pancetta pan, tossing and stirring so that the pasta absorbs all the lovely juices. Set aside once you're happy with the flavours.
- Now to get on with the veg. Heat up a clean pan, them add the oil and garlic and cook for a minute or so till golden. Throw in the kangkong stems first with a pinch of salt, stirring them around till they soften. Then add the leaves and toss till the leaves start to wilt. Cover for a minute to let the veg steam, then uncover and mash the beancurd into the liquid that has formed in the base of the pan to make a sauce. Stir the kangkong around to make sure it is all covered with sauce and taste, adding salt and pepper as needed. Add the pasta into this pan, toss everything together with a bit of the reserved pasta cooking water if it looks a bit dry. Make sure it is all well mixed and serve immediately, with a fork or chopsticks as you wish!