Saturday, December 03, 2005

What a meal!

I just finished what hands-down is the best meal I've ever cooked. Ever.

No, it's not some obfuscated pseudo-French fusion dish with un-pronounce-able names. It was a simple dish of pasta. Yes, semolina flour noodles. But oh, what a meal! I can still feel the bold, VIBRANT, concentrated taste of the shrimp sauce exploding on my tastebuds. My god. It was so good I had to finish the whole damn thing immediately! I actually picked up my camera, then said fuck it this is too good to wait.

I still can't believe it. This is the first time I've cooked something, and later surprise myself with how good it is. And I'm shocked at how simple it was: Garlic, cili padi, green chillies, one tomato, about 20 medium shrimp. THAT'S IT.

Imagine the taste of 20 shrimp extracted into stock and concentrated to less than a teacup's worth of sauce. As I watched the sauce bubble and boil around the cheery green chilli and purple cili padi, I couldn't resist tasting a bit. I was blown away. The taste of umami utterly saturated my taste receptors. It was like someone squeezed the essence of taste into a tiny singularity and let it explode on my tongue. It was staggering. It was awesome. I waited to see what would happen if I let it reduce even more.

The sauce started to acquire a brown, creamy, caramelised consistency. I had another taste and was blown away once more. The first thought that appeared in my head was My god, why did I cook this now? There's no one to share it with me!(It was 2 am in the morning and it was time for second supper)

I poured the frying pan filled with fettucine, soft green chilli, curled up shrimp and the chewy flakes of garlic into a small bowl, threw the frying pan into the sink, and wolfed down a huge mouthful of the wonderful concoction.

Oh, the taste. The texture. The layered flavours!! First the biting heat of the cili padi, then the shrimp sauce slowly saturated your tastebuds with that incredible flavour, the crunchiness of the shrimp, and finally the slightly tangy, amazingly savoury taste of saute-ed tomatoes would creep up and surprise. Oh the joy. At first taste, I knew that this would be an incredible meal, so I squeezed a huge glass of orange juice to go with it.

It went perfectly with the pasta. Each mouthful of incredibly-focused flavour was chased with a gulp of OJ, clearing the palate with the cheeriness of citrus, only to be followed by another mouthful of pungent, spicy, shrimp-infused flavour.

What a meal. What a meal!

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