For the past two weeks I have been cooking within strict boundaries. Because I am leaving for a month-long trip to the US, and giving up my current apartment, I have not only been restraining myself from buying any new bottles of sauces, spices, and cooking oils, but also trying desperately to use up what I have left. Which is easier said than done. How many meals of basil-cumin pasta must I eat while fighting the urge to buy more dried oregano? Or chili garlic noodles, while convincing myself any new sauces will just end up in the garbage?
One item I desperately wanted to use up with an almost-full bottle of vegetable oil that I simply did not feel like packing. And what's an easier way to use up oil than frying? Fortunately, there was one dish I could make without buying anything except chicken and leeks. And whenever I teach it in my Sichuan cooking classes, all traces of crispy chicken are gone within 5 minutes.Read More