Some of my earliest childhood memories center around Asian food. But not just any Asian food. I’m talking about the food at The Golden Dragon Restaurant in Boise Ida., city of my birth and the home of noodles and spare ribs swimming in the most beautiful and delicious brown sauce.
To my 5-year-old sense of fine cuisine, that dish was to die for. My favorite thing in the whole, wide world!
For me, it was all about the sauce. Brown sauce. Yummy, amazing make-my-mouth-water kind of sauce. I poured it on my noodles; would eat it with a spoon like soup. I can remember exactly what it tasted like, too. It was definitely brown, kinda’ sweet but a little tangy and shiny—not clear like broth but not dense like gravy, either. And smooth. No chunks or chewy bits. No onions, peppers or pineapple pieces. None of that. Just glorious, shimmery, fabulous Chinese sauce over tiny beef spare ribs and sticky white rice on the side. I would all but lick the plate clean. Wait, maybe I did that.
We moved when I was 10. It never dawned on me that might be the last time in my life I would experience that level of Chinese food. But it was. That is, until just a few months ago when I had a true Eureka! moment. I discovered Nagi, the food blogger at RecipeTinEats.com.
Seriously, for decades I have been on a mission to learn how to prepare really great Asian food—Japanese, Chinese, Thai—all of those cuisines, and sadly without much success. I could never get the sauce right. That’s because I’ve depended on bottled stuff in the Asian aisle of the grocery store. Over and again I would be so disappointed. I wanted to figure out how to make the kind of cuisine I loved as a child, myself—at home. Read more