Friday, January 30, 2009


When I was in my mid-20's, broke and destitute, I got a part-time job at a Thai restaurant. I loved Thai food, plus I loved the owners of the restaurant: Vang and Mina. Two very sweet, kind and generous people.

I loved working there. I made a lot of money with what amounted to not a whole lot of work. Plus, I got to eat Massamon curry every day (I seriously ate this curry hundreds of times over the course of the 3 years I worked there). I also got Feng Shui lessons from Mina (whose every spare moment was spent studying it), which culminated in allowing me to Feng Shui her living room. I got to tell my boss that she needed to "hang a prosperity crystal in her north west corner" and to, "goddamnit, turn that fountain around so the positive energy is flowing in the door and not out the window! Seriously!?"

When I started waiting tables, I wasn't a vegan. In fact, it was during a low point in my consumptive life: I was flirting with eating anything that was dead. I won't go into the gross acts of violence I was complicit in; I am trying to forget. I did, however, become a vegan after working there for about 3 months, although my conversion had nothing at all to do with the soup they fed me made of cow cartilage.

Now here's something surprising: my bosses were interested in helping me be a vegan. "Oh, that silly white boy and his eating experiments," they'd say. Vang, the chef, learned to create delicious curry without fish sauce--learning how to dump plenty of salt and sugar into the coconut milk to compensate for the rotten fish. Plus, they introduced me the power of hot sauce, namely Sriracha Sauce--a love affair that continues to this very day.

Sriracha, in my opinion, is the most delicious and versatile hot sauce that exists. Nevermind the neon color, it's good in or on everything. Just the other night, I used it to season a vegetable soup broth (and by season, I mean set it on fire!), and a certain someone I know told me it was one of the best soups he's ever eaten. Plus, if you are a lesbian or a hippie (or both), you can stir it into your beans and rice and witness it's transformative powers for yourself.

One of my uncles, who is possibly a little retarded and probably a little mentally ill, says that hot sauce kills all the germs in your body (yes, he claims all of them), thus making it impossible to get sick. Of course, this is bullshit, but don't let it stop you from a little delicious self experimentation.

6 comments:

Marky Mae Brown said...

I used to have some of this - I l-o-v-e LOVE IT and now that you've written about it I remember just how much I miss it.

Fuddles Le Roux said...

Was this period of your 20's before or after you started driving around to the all of the Checkers and Arbys's franchises in the bay area conducting "Taste Tests"?

jatingc said...

in many asian groceries, this is respectfully called "red cock sauce"...no asian pantry is complete without it.

verybecca said...

Isn't that stuff like 90% msg? Just sayin.

Marky Mae Brown said...

It's better for it to be 90% msg than to be 90% ham...

verybecca said...

Don't you get fresh with me young man!

Mmm...ham...salty and delicious...