My son and I love Chinese food, Vietnamese, Food, Japanese and Korean…it’s our jam, one of our genetic bonds. Ever since he was little, we’d have a special lunch and he always picked Asian cuisine. I remember he had done something really cool at a group he was in at the local YMCA and he was so proud, he suggested we celebrate over Chinese food. He was just 4. For for six consecutive March Breaks, we have been on the All Chinese food get away. It started as a 3 day trip then it dwindled to 1 day as he got busy with hockey and his life, but we made time for it. We start with Dim Sum and any meal we eat on those three days or that one day is Asian cuisine. We also made a deal with each other that if we ever had anything special to tell each other, we would do it at Rol San on Spadina in Toronto, if possible.
With this love of the same cuisine, it was only fitting he felt, that I teach him how to make something close to Asian food. That, and the fact we were not able to head to Rol San for March Break this year because of the Covid 19 virus. Logan decided to try making vegetable fried rice, fried chicken and a vegetable dish. There was not a lot of variety in the grocery when it came to the seasonings we would want to use because of the effect the Covid-19 pandemic is having on deliveries. So, we used what I was able to buy along with the seasonings we have on hand and get creative.
I am teaching Logan to cook using all his senses. He smells the food, the seasonings and is able to identify them by smell and sight. He listens for the sound of the oil to know when he can add food to the pot. He touches everything to experience the different textures and he tastes the food as we go along. He is learning the way I learned from my mother and there is so much more than cooking going on. There is conversation and not just about things going on in his life or what is happening in the world with this virus. I’m telling things about other countries, talking about the different currencies around the world. I give him tidbits about history, climate, all the bits and pieces of trivia my mom and dad told me randomly, so that I would know more than just what was in my school books. I’m talking about art and music and he’s listening. You see, I think as parents we get lost sometimes in the boxes we put ourselves and our children into without realizing that the most successful of us were allowed to be creative. We had open, honest conversations and we were encouraged to think and to try and to fail and to try again. sure, Logan is doing his school work but he is learning from us as we have this time together while we are locked down. He is not scheduled to go to college until January and he still needs to figure out where and when he will start playing hockey again and his plans to go out east to university in 4 years is still in place. We will take his path as we have always taken it – one day at a time and while we wait for this virus to be defeated, we will teach, he will learn and he will be more prepared to venture out on his own.
And Now – Chinese food Logan’s way.
Fried Rice – Boil some white rice. We used Jasmine rice because that is what we had in the pantry. Once done, set aside. Next he put some sesame oil in his pan and scrambled 2 eggs.
Next, he added in his ginger, mushrooms, peas and carrots, corn and chives and chopped onion and gradually folded in his rice. He mixed in some Soy sauce and a little Hoisen sauce, tasting all the while until he got the flavor and color he liked. The fried rice complete, he set it aside and started on the chicken.
Logan seasoned the chicken with black pepper, garlic, onion powder, ground ginger and cooked it up with some sesame oil in a large iron pot. Once again he added in soy sauce and some black bean sauce we found. He let it cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally adding a little water to the pot if he needed it so that the chicken would not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. While that cooked, he made a vegetable dish.
Looking at what we had to work with he chose the water chesnuts, baby corn, bean sprouts, broccoli and green onion. He tossed them in a pan of peanut oil (any oil will do if you have an allergy to peanuts) and stirred in some orange ginger sauce. Once the veggies were coated he sprinkled with sesame seeds. Earlier, I cooked up some greens that were beginning to look a little sad. I didn’t want them to go to waste so I tossed them up in a little rice vinegar to go with Logan’s meal.
And there you have it – Logan’s homemade Asian meal. It had a great smell and it was full of flavor and most of all it was delicious and he was so proud of himself. He has impressed us in the kitchen once again and now there is one more dish he can make. By the time he is on his own, he won’t always have to rely on take out when he wants Asian food. I do hope though, that we will continue to go to our favorite Asian restaurants once the pandemic is over, pick up our chop sticks and spend some mom and son time savoring all the flavors we love.