Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Rendering Unto Caesar

For those readers who live in the U.S. , I'm sure you are all well aware of what day it is. For those readers who do not reside in the U.S., April 15 is tax day. Fortunately I had already done all my bookkeeping and basic calculations, and only needed to fill in the forms and dispatch them to the IRS. Not an especially joyful event, but it went off easily and efficiently as I opted to file electronically this year.

But even in the midst of all those dizzying calculations and mind-numbing government documents, I still managed to treat myself to some tasty Asian fare. In anticipation of the chore, I decided to buy a couple of sushi bentos at our local gourmet grocery to have waiting for me in the fridge. When my appetite beckoned around lunchtime, I enjoyed my favorite guilty pleasure: nigiri tuna, salmon and hamachi, with a side order of a dozen spicy tuna rolls. It definitely took the drudgery out of doing taxes.

For dinner, I marinated several plump chicken drumsticks in soy sauce, nuoc mam, brown sugar, mirin, and sesame oil. To be sure that the meat would be falling-off-the-bone tender, I let the chicken bake in the oven for nearly two hours, covered for the first hour. The results were exactly what I'd hoped. For side dishes, I revisited the Cambodian Ginger Cole Slaw from last month's Dinner & a Movie, and ramen noodles with garlic, cabbage, mushrooms, and beni-shoga, the tart and tasty pickled red ginger typically served with Japanese yakisoba. Oishii!