Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thu 5th Apr - An evening with Uncle Boogie

J Boogie was on the Asian tip again last Thursday (Apr 5th, 07). His menu, mainly fish and fruit, represented the typical pan-Asian diet – lean oceanic protein, rice, fresh fruit and vegetables, very little red meat and no dairy. According to all sorts of research, the Asian diet prolongs life by reducing cholesterol in dairy and meat, and adding cancer-fighting compounds only found in fresh fruit and veg. So I felt super-virtuous wolfing the stuff down, not just because it’s good, healthy stuff, but it tasted so damn good.

I showed up a little early at J’s house, range the bell and I couldn’t find the man anywhere. I eventually caught up with him around the corner in the Associated supermarket, staggering around half in the bag. He had been in a public house all afternoon, and he could barely say his name, let alone prepare a meal. So he needed some help, which I gave, while he retold the events of the night before and his afternoon’s entertainment.

He had steamed the mussels the night before, fortunately, and then Boogie beer- battered them, deep fried the buggers and served them up with two dips – coriander-curry mayo and lime-mayo. I can honestly say, they were amazing. It was 9pm, and I was ravenous, BUT I don’t think that accounted for my enjoyment of them. They were crunchy, soft in the middle, seasoned with Old Bay, lubed with the dip, texturally so satisfying.

Next up was a perfectly cooked piece of salmon. Well done Boogie, most people overcook the stuff. I mean, it was almost creamy in the middle. He’d glazed it with ginger, mirin and sake. What a delight. The fish needed no effort at all to eat because it was so soft. No chewing need. And packed with flavour. The bok choy was pretty tasty too.

We had a rather Caribbean-inspired dessert, but with a Japanese twist. Sake soaked chunks of melon and papaya. Let’s call in Japabbean. I was in need of a drink after that and we retired to Satsko for some refreshments in the form of sake bombs. A good night was had by all, especially Boogie who was simply topping up from his beery afternoon.

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