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Monday, March 17, 2008

Those Bittersweet Memories

Cola Chicken

Some call it Coke Chicken. To me and M, it is known as Cola Chicken (コラチーキン). I received this particular Japanese cookbook from him. During weekends, I would go to his place. Either to clean the house together or cook for him. Mainly, to try out the recipes in the book. We felt like a married couple. One day, when he came home and I presented him with this dish from the book (with some of my tweaking).

Upon hearing what I added to this dish, he said, '冗談ですか, you're joking right?' For the first time, he refused to eat what I cooked. He jokingly remarked, it was 'Kuro (黑) Chiikin' not "Cora Chiikin'. It was when I pointed out the recipe to him and started to sulk, he relented. He loved it and had seconds. He suggested that should we get married, this will be on the family menu. It was not to be. Many years later, when I asked him if he had this dish again, he said, 'No, not for a long time. No one does it like you did...' It brought me to tears.

Last Saturday was the first time in so many years that I cooked this, Ah Girl loved it to bits. I was surprised that no matter how many years had passed, I could still recall the recipe and how I did it. It is that vivid, like it is being etched there. I guess I avoided this dish all these time as it would remind me of what I have missed and given up. What might have been. So Ah Girl, mommy wrote this recipe down for you. In a way, through food, mommy shares her memories with you. cry

Cola Chicken

12 Chicken Drumlets
1/4 Large White Onion
8 to 10 no.s French Beans, cut (optional, I added this to 'liven up' the dish)
1 no.s Red Chilli, de-seeded and cut (optional, I added this to 'liven up' the dish)
2 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp Sake
Juice of 2 small lime

3/4 can of Coca Cola
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce

Some Salt to taste
Some Sugar to taste
Some Olive Oil
Some Corn Starch solution

1) Marinate the chicken about 1 to 2 hour prior to cooking. Drain dry and set aside the marinade for later use.

2) Heat up some oil in a wok, fry the french bean and sprinkle some salt. Set aside when cooked or colour changed.

3) Add some oil to the wok, fry onions and the chicken till slightly cooked. Pour in the marinade and cook the chicken on high heat. Add in mirin and sake. Add in some sugar to adjust the taste if necessary. Bring to a simmer.

4) When the sauce starts to dry (not too dry though, the sauce is addictive), add in the corn starch solution, french bean and chilli. Drizzle some lime juice before serving with rice.

じゃね~ bang head


Yuri said...

Hey Rei, thanks for sharing something so touching ...

Anonymous said...

Such a bitter, sweet life story..makes it all the more heart-wrenching, unforgetable..and truly romantic. Now, whenever I cook this dish, I'll be reminded of your story - cookingmonster (TANIA)

Gina Choong said...

Rei, hahaha, another Notebook story. :) Thanks for visiting me. I am very touched. Sorry, you had to leave suddenly without a proper good bye, nurse just talk and talk, never give chance.

KWF said... this your very own story rei? very touching. sounds like those movie we catch. lovely story behind my kid's favourite dish.

Rei said...

WF, Ya.. it's my story lah.. but too bad dun have happy ending.. :(

Gina, no worries. I still haven't catch that movie yet. Must watch.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

hi of cos u can link my blog. i don't know u but i wish i can help. i too had a shaky marriage bc of in-laws but we worked things out thru fights n tears n we r stronger than email me if u need any support...

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

hi of cos u can link my blog. wish i can help. there's always hope. i had in-law problems too :)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

and oh, i too have a cola chicken recipe given by a Chinese (as in China Chinese) girl. i've forgotten about it. will post it! ur dish looks more yummy tho.

Rei said...

Thanks Terri, you're too kind. :)

Anonymous said...

Came to your blog thro' yuri's blog. Such a touching story. My advice to you is even though your children are very important to you, you should nevertheless neglect your husband. On the in-laws side, whereever possible, just give and take. Life is short. Be happy. Sorry for kaypohing here.

Rei said...

Hi Delia

Thanks for the advice and for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

I've heard about this recipe for long time and I knew some of my friends tried but I haven't ask if it turns out well or not. Even my mom made for me before but I missed the dinner so I had no idea how it gonna tastes. Maybe I should make it for mom and families for the X'mas gathering

Rei said...

Chumpman : I'm sure your family will love the idea.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rei

I guess everyone has a past. You need to look ahead and move on. Relationships are very complicated - it is not any of your just needs more understanding, patience and compromise from both parties.

I wish you well.

Rei said...

Anon : Thank you. I wish you the same. :)