And it turned out very well. (It took kind of a long, long time though.) We made it last week at my cooking class, but I somehow ended up doing not much cooking and a lot of washing dishes that night – all the dishes are washed both before AND after, because it’s a communal room and we don’t trust anybody else to have kept the dishes clean or not put their fingers all over them, or whatever. Anyway, it’s a chicken / cashew / bamboo dish with leek and green pepper, and it was very tasty.

I was dubious about my ability to deep fry – both the chicken and the cashews (raw cashews initially) were to be deep fried just a little. It turns out, however, that deep frying is really easy, though of course it takes a whole lot of oil, which then has to cool, and be set aside, blahblahblah. Japan uses a really light oil, which I think is healthier than most of the oils America uses for frying. (In a different way from olive oil, which is the good kind of fat but still very thick, the Japanese oil may or may not be particularly GOOD for you but it’s very thin and light, and I think the food absorbs less of it.) Anyway, now I have a fat tupperware dish of used oil. (I wonder if this should be refrigerated. Hm. It’s sitting in my pantry right now, but maybe I’ll move it to the fridge. It certainly can’t HURT.)

But like I said, I thought it would be complicated but aside from requiring a skimmer tool and a place to drain – wire baskets: \o/ – I just had a bunch of oil in a sauce pan and went to town. I decided not to do it in my frypan, because it’s got a much larger diameter, and that = more oil used to get about 1 inch deep. It could probably have been hotter, but … I’m working with electric here. There’s a limit.

Still, while the frying went well, the meal itself was kind of a huge pain. I only have two pans and two burners so preparation was .. complex. A stream-of-consciousness description of my cooking experience, for your entertainment:

Okay, soak the cashews in a bowl FIRST, but also, stick the hunk of bamboo in your one saucepan and boil! While that’s going, cut everything else up, and then marinate the chicken. Okay, now wait some more for the bamboo to keep boiling, because YOU NEED THAT POT for the next step.

Now drain and dry the cashews. Put the bamboo on a plate and wash the pot. Okay, now make sure it’s dry because you’re about to deep fry things in it. Let the oil heat… let it heat some more… and some more… Put together the flour / salt / pepper breading for the chicken. Put in the cashews, but DON’T DIE when you didn’t get them quite dry enough because you forgot to buy paper towels and the oil splatters kind of violently. Oh hey, how long do they take? SKIM A COUPLE OUT. Hm. They look… the same. Stick ’em back in. Okay… now? no. Now? no. Now? Ah! maybe! Okay, get them all out! NO! STOP! DON’T DRIP OIL EVERYWHERE YOU MORON. Okay, we’re ready for the chicken! 1/3 chicken pieces covered in flour, carefully drop in oil but DON’T BURN YOURSELF. Huh. Where do you put the skimmer? It’s all covered in really hot oil. Okay, use one hand to hold the skimmer and check on the chicken while your other hand dips more chicken pieces in the flour. How can you tell if the chicken is cooked all the way through? NO FUCKING CLUE. *sigh* Just take it out when it’s brownish – it’s gonna be stir-fried some more anyway.

Okay, chicken all fried. Put that to the side and turn off the oil. Hey, awesome! Everything else is easy stir-frying in your other pan! Awesome! Oh, wait, the bamboo.

Okay, just chop this in bite sized pieces on your table in the other room… oh goddamn it’s totally full of water! Of course it is, because bamboo is hollow inside, genius. *eyeroll at yourself* Do try not to spill bamboo-juice all over carpet, bring back to sink and finish cutting. Now, time to stir-fry! *putters around sauteing ginger and leek and green pepper and bamboo*

OH WAIT FUCK I NEED RICE. AND MY SAUCEPAN IS STILL FULL OF REALLY HOT OIL. *facepalm* …maybe you should turn that heat down before you overcook your stir-fry while waiting to be able to make rice. Okay, pour used oil into wide mouthed tupperware container, CROSS FINGERS THE OIL IS COLD ENOUGH THAT CHEAP KNOCKOFF TUPPERWARE DOESN’T MELT AND SPILL OIL ALL OVER YOUR CARPET. *success!*

Wash saucepan with lots of soap. Okay, it’s still oily, wash it AGAIN. Start rice. Wait for ten million years for rice to cook. Eat super hot rice with slightly lukewarm but still delicious chicken dish. Vow never to bother EVER AGAIN.

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