April 5, 2008

Thai Honeydew

This may not be the most dangerous way to start, but we'll get to that.  We'll get to that.

Honeydew melons were on sale at the dep on the corner recently and I was for some reason immediately struck by the possibility of a soup.  I went the Chinese Quarter for everything else and a couple of days later I gave it a shot.

The soup was a pretty standard affair otherwise, coconut milk, green onion, garlic, red peppers, silken tofu; rice stick prepared separately.  The melon, once I'd scooped it out, I added at two different times.  First I chopped the majority of it up into moderately small pieces (say, thumbnail sized) and fried it in sesame oil with the garlic and the white parts of the onion for a little bit before throwing in the red pepper and adding the coconut milk and a couple of cans of water.  I let that cook a bit while I cubed the tofu, which I added with chili paste.  The remainder of the melon, left in the original scooped-out form, I threw in at the last moment with the green parts of the onions.  The rice stick of course I just soaked in hot water to soften it, as I presume the Chinese directions on the package instruct.

In hindsight I would probably use more melon and go a little easier on the coconut milk - the end result was extremely rich and could have been a little sweeter.  The roughly 3-to-1 proportion of chopped vs. scooped melon was about perfect, though.  I might like to try the same idea with seafood instead of tofu sometime, as well.  The main thing I learned from this, however, is that half a melon makes a lousy soup bowl.  Good ideas for dishes sometimes start with terrible ideas for presentation.