First of all, Happy New Year! It’s a year of a goat or sheep or ram, you can detect a confusion here, so I can only assume it will be a very confused year. Nothing new for me then.
Secondly, sorry for the quality of pictures, it was dark and gloomy. Good job I remembered to take them anyway.
On a new ‘confused identity’ lunar year, you should watch a film which I adore – ‘Raise The Red Lantern’. The film was directed by Zhang Yimou who also introduced us (the western world) to Gong Li, an amazing actress.
She plays Songlian, young girl who’s family becomes bankrupt after her father’s death. She marries into a wealthy family and becomes a fourth wife.
There is a constant rivalry between wives, secrets, never ending plotting. What’s interesting, we never really see the husband, who’s the master and commander of the household but also of the wives life, having the power to choose which one of them is in favour. And who’s in favour is important – the wife he chooses for the night gets a massage, special treatment, her favourite food, etc. His choice is indicated by lighting red lanterns at the entrance to the wife’s house.
It’s a very beautifully shot and quite dramatic film. I can’t stop thinking of the end of the patriarchate whenever I watch it. But I’m still drawn to Yimou’s beautiful world, even knowing, there can’t be a happy ending.
You can have it with a really quick and easy stir fry.
Smoked Tofu Stir Fry:
small chilli, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2cm ginger, grated
200g smoked tofu
200g shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 celery stick chopped
1 red pepper, cut into matchsticks
200g baby corn
1/2 cup chopped spring onion
200g snap peas
1 cup chopped bok choy
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp miso
1. Heat sesame oil in a wok or heavy pan. Add chilli, garlic and ginger. Fry for 1-2 minutes, add mushrooms. Fry for 4-5 minutes.
2. Add all vegetables. Fry till they are tender. In the meantime cook rice noodles.
3. When vegetables are softened, add tofu, soy sauce and miso. Mix well. Serve with rice noodles and sprinkled black toasted sesame seeds on top.