A sharp knife. When I travel for long periods of time I travel with my knives. Not my favorite knives. Those I leave at home (in case my bags get lost) but I do have a knife bag that comes with me. I also bring one of my immersion circulators and I few other things. I trust I will have pots and pans to work with wherever I go and that’s usually a mistake but what are you gonna do. Can’t move pots and pans across borders easily. It’s heavy stuff and it gets expensive. I know this because I’ve done it. I’ve moved my entire kitchen before once. Pots, pans, stand mixer, strainers, scales, etc… about 4-5 big and extremely heavy bags during a long stay in Vancouver about 2 years ago. This time I’m only here for a few weeks so I’ll make it work somehow.
Beyond that spice rack.
I miss having access to all my spices, herbs, etc which means having to simplify and improvise a bit to get good results but simplicity in cooking usually works in your favor so I don’t worry about that too much. Actually, the limitation itself is kinda fun and it helps reveal somehow what things are essential to me as a cook. For example, instead of salt, I bought soy sauce and fish sauce. I got some cheap frying oil and there was some olive oil in the apartment already. For heat, I got some spicy kimchi (nothing beats fermented hot stuff). Acid, I got apple cider vinegar and fresh lemons. Sweetener, I got brown sugar. And then the basic vegetables. Onions and garlic. I don’t think I could cook much if I didn’t have these 2. I also got red bell peppers and tomatoes, both fresh and canned.
Veal breast readily available.
If you know where to shop, you can find far more exciting protein here in Vancouver than what can be found in Los Angeles (ok, not entirely true but could cost you a very annoying long drive, at least for me it does and I seriously dislike driving in LA). Ok, chicken is the first thing I got. It’s expensive here but very versatile and I got plenty of uses for it. I also found a beautiful piece of beef brisket (the flat, just a tiny portion because it ain’t cheap). I also found a lovely piece of veal breast. I cooked both of these sous vide for 24 hours at 65C. I need to revisit this at some point and write about the veal breast which was just incredible.
King oyster mushrooms can be found easily here too. They’re beautiful and I was excited to be able to work with them again. There’s really nothing to cooking them. I think the tricky part is slicing them lengthwise and finely. Requires a sharp knife and some patience and precision. Once in the pan, they hold their own and take heat really well so don’t be shy and let them brown with some oil. I finished the dish with soy sauce, minced garlic, chopped scallions, and kimchi. No recipe. No need. I don’t think it needs it and I need to go to bed. Will try to post at least one full new recipe before I leave Vancouver. Hope I can find more veal. Take care guys!
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