FictionFood - Tengo's Wok from 1Q84

"Where is she now, and what could she be doing ? Does she still belong to the Society of Witnesses ?"

I've spent a wonderful couple of weeks in the parallel reality called 1Q84. This Haruki Murakami's novel is inspiring in so many levels and not the least in the kitchen. Food has a crucial role in the story. What the characters eat reflect both the situation they're facing and their natural reactions to it.

In Book 2, Chapter 4 the reader is taken through Tengo's memories and self analysis while he gets his groceries and prepares his evening meal.

The trip down the memory lane starts in the supermarket.

"What reminded him of Aomame was buying edamame in the supermarket." 
(Aomame means green peas...)

While cooking, Tengo keeps pondering how big an impact did the meeting when 10 years old have in in his life and thoughts.

"Why has that skinnyt little ten-year-old girl stayed in my heart all these years ? She came over to me after class and squeezed my hand without saying a word. That was all."

The self analysis continues at the table, in front of a plate full of steaming wok, with a cold beer.

"Really, isn't that something! How many years will it take me to reach full maturity at this rate ?"

Between the philosophical lines Murakami gives us a recipe for a delicious wok. I just couldn't resist the temptation to replicate his recipe.

The smell was just intoxicating. The taste was something new to us. After the last bit we thought that we need to do this again. Delicious.

Tengo's Wok

Take a small bag of Edamame-beans and take them out of the pods. Rub some salt on them and drop them to boiling water. Let them bubble for a few minutes.

Mush some fresh ginger, slice a couple of celeri branches, and chop a packet of shiitake mushrooms. Chop some chinese parsley (we just had normal flatleaf...). Thaw the amount of frozen tiger prawns you want per each person.

Put a splash of sesame oil in the pan. Add the ginger and let it simmer for a few minutes on low heat. Add the celeri and mushrooms and increase the heat. Add a bit of salt and pepper. When celeri looks cooked, add the tiger prawns. When they've blushed, add a small glass of sake and a couple of tablespoons soya sauce.

Plate with the edamame beans and parsley.

If you are really hungry, like the Husband, add udon noodles under your wok on the plate, but it is not really necessary.

Tengo had a beer, we drank a glass of water.

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