There’s no better place to take a leap of faith than when it comes to eating something new. I can appreciate genuine aversions but any downsides of trying a new flavour are minimal and short-lasting, versus, say, cutting bangs that aren’t even really bangs but just a slightly shorter layer around your face that your curly head somehow still manages to scrunch up to the size and shape of a fiddlehead within a minute of you stepping out of the shower. What I’m trying to say is, the adage is very often proven true: try it and you might like it. You might love it, this new flavour combo, so I encourage you to try it. And if you don’t like it, the taste will leave your mouth in far less time than it takes to try to dry the front of your hair very, very straight.
I’ve mentioned before that a sandwich of bread, butter and onion sambol is a thing of beauty. Cold or softened butter on soft, spongy bread is the base. From there you make a paste of chili flakes, salt and a tiny bit of lime juice or water. Or for a more authentic Sri Lankan sambol, add dried “Malive fish” and minced shallot. This is my mother’s go-to snack or breakfast with hot, black tea. But it’s also the first thing she’d let me eat after a bout with a stomach bug when I was growing up. Chilies never upset my little stomach so this was simple enough to make and get down and vibrant enough to entice turned-off tastebuds again.
There are some other odd pairings I’m highly in favour of like eggs with too much mustard on them, James’s lemon + parm magic sprinkles and noodle soup made especially carb-licious with rice. And speaking of rice, while it’s still fresh and hot, pick it up by wrapping seasoned seaweed around it–you will not be able to stop eating. Or while it’s still cooking, make a little sauce of Chinese red vinegar, tamari, sliced scallions, dissolve a little sugar in it and sprinkling chili oil on top. Then dip or drench a little mound of rice in it. Heaven.
Also on the list of things you must try: hoisin sauce in your scrambled eggs, this odd but addictive seaweed “caviar”, and ketchup + Pickapeppa Sauce should be a bottled condiment all its own. Try it. You’ll like it.