Mates before dates. Bros before hos. Chicks before dicks. We all know we should put our friends first before the flavour of the moment, so why are some of us (me) still so quick to forget the friends in favour of the latest daydream?
We can probably blame hormones for forgoing the friends who have been there rain or shine. Our innate desire to fornicate and reproduce with those aesthetically pleasing boys and girls leave us blind to the way we treat our friends.
I was thinking how quick I am to go out of my way to entertain the latest and greatest. Why don't I put that much effort into my best friends? So today when the option came about I invited my best friend to dinner rather than some guy I fancied. I had a great time. I laughed at her sitting on napkins to absorb her thigh sweat and she laughed at me when I slurped laksa juice all over my face. We complained about how humid it was and compared the levels of boob sweat we were suffering. We window shopped past the closed stores and bitched and moaned about various males. We even felt up each others bums to see how sweaty they were. At the end of it we embraced and did this weird dance that rubbed our food babies together (ok that last bit was really weird haha). But the moral of the story was that I alway have a great time with her and the chat just flows naturally.
I can't think of many times I have had as much a good time hanging out with a love-potential as a do with my best friends. Crushes give you angst and feelings of doubt. Your best friend boosts your confidence more than a bottle of red wine. Seriously, remind we why we are all so desperate to get all coupled up when we have our friends to keep us company?
I think if I spent the effort I do trying to be nice to love interests and used it on my friends, I would be a much happier and more fulfilled young woman.
My best friend and I have a love of steamed buns. We often hide away in our favourite dumpling house and eat a multitude of dough encased treats. So to celebrate this love I have started to practice making my own so I can woo her over a bromantic homemade dinner. I started off with these Jamie Oliver Vegan buns. Vegan is a bit of a misleading label in this case. I can't think why vegetarian steamed buns would contain any animal product so they are vegan automatically. I am looking forward to making some sweet pork buns like my flatmate did last night. They were amazing, but for now I will attempt to be all healthy and clean and what not.
I added corn to these (why not? - it was in the fridge) and tweaked a couple of the sauces to taste. Other than that this is a pretty epic and easy recipe. You need a can of coconut milk and I would say close to three cans worth of the self raising flour. Jamie says two heaped but I found myself adding way more. Basically keep adding until you have a soft and only just sticky dough. You don't wan't it dry and dense. You can pick the steamer baskets up from Asian supermarkets but I got my stack of two from Kmart.
Vegan Steamed Buns
Adapted from the recipe by Jamie Oliver
For the filling:
400g button mushrooms, diced somewhere between fine and rough
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked (optional)
3cm fresh ginger, sliced into thin sticks
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 spring onions, sliced
1 red chilli, diced finely (include the seeds if you want an extra kick in the pants)
1/2 bunch coriander leaves and stems
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
400g tin coconut milk
3 tins of self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Hoisin sauce to serve
Baking paper squares or muffin cases
Pluck the coriander leaves from the stems and set aside then finely chop the stems. Saute the ginger, garlic, chilli and coriander stems in the sesame oil for three minutes until softened.
Throw in the chopped mushrooms, corn and sliced whites of the spring onion (leave the green tops to garnish) and continue to saute until the mushrooms have darkened and softened. Add in the soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin and sweet chilli and simmer away until it all thickens and caramelises. Set aside.
To make the dough, stir together the coconut milk, flour and salt. Bring it together into a dough and knead briefly until smooth. Roll the dough into a thick sausage and divide into 12 equal pieces. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before rolling each piece into a disc, 10cm in diameter.
Rest a disc in the cupped palm of your hand. Fill with about a tablespoon or two of the filling mixture. Bring the edges of the disc up towards the centre and pinch together. Place with the pinched side down on a square of baking paper or in a muffin case. Repeat for each of the buns.
Place half the buns in a bamboo steamer. I placed my steamer over a small saucepan filled with rapidly boiling water. Any pot will do provided it can hold enough water. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 12 minutes.
Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, coriander leaves and slices of spring onion. Serve with hoisin sauce steamed asian greens such as bok choy (it only takes two minutes in the top steamer layer).