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炎热夏日,来一碗非正宗的云南米线

更新时间:2017-7-22 10:31:41 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Hot-Weather Comfort Food
炎热夏日,来一碗非正宗的云南米线

Simone Tong was putting together a bowl of cold noodles, heap by delicious heap — salty ground pork, crushed peanuts, tiny mint leaves, florets of pickled cauliflower — a jumble of textures, lit up with vinegar and chile. It was a simple dish, and one she affectionately described as homey in an earlier conversation, when I told her that it was one of my favorite things, and that I wanted to learn how to make it at home.

西蒙妮·唐(Simone Tong)正在做凉米线,她把各种美味的佐料加进去——咸肉臊、花生碎、小片薄荷叶、泡花菜——混合在一起,用醋和辣椒调味。这是一道很简单的菜,在之前的一次交谈中,她充满柔情地说这是会让她想起家的食物,当时我告诉她,它也是我的最爱之一,我想学学在家里做这道菜。

At the restaurant she runs in the East Village, Little Tong Noodle Shop, Tong drops glowing charcoal into hissing oil, so that the oil is infused with its flavor. This way, she can add something close to the specific seared quality transmitted by a hot, seasoned wok, even to raw ingredients. She cures, smokes and dehydrates egg yolk, so that she can shave it in frills, simulating the umami of bonito, but with no tuna in sight. The shop seems cozy and informal, but that’s only because Tong is the kind of chef who doesn’t like to draw attention to her technique; you enjoy the food without realizing how much work has gone into it.

在她位于东村的餐馆小唐米线(Little Tong Noodle Shop),她把灼热的木炭放进烧热的油里,以便把炭的风味吸进油中。这样一来,她就可以做出一种特定的烧焦口感,就好像是用一口热的老锅做出来的,即便是对生鲜食材也是如此。她对蛋黄进行加工、烟熏和脱水处理,以便可以把它们刮成片,模仿金枪鱼的鲜味,但你却看不到菜里有金枪鱼。面馆看上去舒适温馨,轻松随意,但这只是因为西蒙妮·唐是那种不喜欢别人注意自己厨艺的厨师;你享受美食,而不会意识它们背后费了多少人工。

Rice noodles with spicy pork and herbs.
香辣杂酱米线。

Tong was born in China and eventually came to the United States for college. During that time, she cooked for her friends at school and went back to Chengdu for the summers to work as a translator in her mother’s restaurant. A friend insisted she start watching some new television programs, and after streaming an episode of a food show that featured the chef Wylie Dufresne, Tong applied to a culinary school and hoped to extern at his restaurant, WD-50, which in time she did. She worked for him, and for other chefs, for years, all the while revising ideas for her own restaurant.

西蒙妮·唐出生于成都,最后来美国念大学。在此期间,她给学校的朋友做饭,暑假回成都在母亲的餐厅里当翻译。一个朋友坚持让她看一些新的电视节目,而在观看了一集大厨威利·杜方(Wylie Dufresne)的主题美食节目后,她申请了一所烹饪学校,希望去杜方的餐厅WD-50工作。最终,她如愿以偿。在好几年的时间里,她一边为杜方和其他大厨工作,一边完善对自己餐厅的设想。

Tong is from Sichuan, but many of the flavors at Little Tong have roots in nearby Yunnan, a vast and diverse province, scattered with small family farms. Tong spent months there last year Airbnb-hopping, getting around through China’s ride-sharing app, Didi Chuxing, asking everyone she met, ‘‘What’s good?’’

西蒙妮·唐来自四川,但小唐米线里的很多菜肴都起源于不算太远的云南。那是一个广袤、多元的省份,散布着小型家庭农场。去年,她用几个月的时间在那里四处旅行、住民宿,出行靠中国的叫车应用滴滴出行,见到谁都问“什么好吃”。

In every town, there was a different answer: tarts filled with flower petals, eggs scrambled with young ferns, fresh cow’s-milk cheese dabbed with rose jam, beautiful dry-cured hams, marbled with fat. Tong tried mushroom varieties she didn’t have the words for, picked tea leaves to roast and realized it would be impossible to precisely replicate the food of the region back in New York. Instead she improvised, building the flavors of Yunnan into her menu like a guiding principle. ‘‘I wouldn’t say what I do is authentic,’’ she said, ‘‘and I wouldn’t want anyone to think that’s what I’m trying to do.’’

每个地方的答案都不一样:鲜花饼、蕨菜炒蛋、抹着玫瑰酱的鲜牛奶奶酪、品相诱人且肥瘦相间的腊肉。她尝试过各种叫不上名字的蘑菇,采摘茶叶烘烤,她意识到,回到纽约后,她不可能完全复制该地区的美食。她转而即兴创作,把云南的风味像指导原则一样融进自己的菜单。“我不能说我做的菜是正宗的,”她说,“我也不想让任何人认为那是我努力的方向。”

To make her version of the pork noodles, Tong ground fresh pork butt and belly and let the meat cook down with garlic, ginger and scallions. She added some fermented vegetables after a while, which gave the meat a level of depth and tang it could never have on its own. The noodle dressing was gently salty with soy, a balanced mix of black vinegar and rice vinegar, softened with homemade chile oil. Tong picked herbs, leaving the leaves whole, so that some bites would be bright and fresh, standing out against others, sharp and sweet and tingling with heat. She piled all the toppings over the noodles, along with sliced breakfast radishes and lacto-fermented cauliflower, cabbage and long beans, then used chopsticks to mix it all up.

为了做出自己的猪肉米线,她把新鲜的猪臀尖和五花肉剁成馅,和大蒜、生姜、大葱一起烹制。过上一段时间后,她又加入一些泡菜。这让肉拥有了一种它本身所没有的浓烈味道。米线的佐料略带咸味,里面有酱油、黑醋和米醋。两种醋的味道均衡地混合在一起,自制的辣椒油让味道变得温和。她拿起香草,把叶子全部去掉,这样食客用餐时,有时候会吃到那种鲜明、清爽的味道。这种口感明显不同于其他滋味,强烈且带甜味,并且会因为高温而变得刺激。她把所有佐料,连同切成片的早餐萝卜和经过乳酸发酵的花椰菜、白菜和长豆角,都堆在米线上面,然后用筷子拌匀。

When I got home, I tried to make something similar, using whatever vegetables I had around, cooking it differently every time I made it. This could be another way of saying that in the kitchen I can be lazy, and cut corners, and I’ll do anything to avoid going food shopping at rush hour, which is often true, but Tong had encouraged me to swap and replace toppings according to mood and season. The essentials were pork, peanuts and herbs, she said, and everything else was flexible.

回到家后,我试着用手边随便什么蔬菜做类似的东西,每一次的做法都不一样。这可能是我在厨房里可以偷懒和走捷径的另一种说法。为了避免在高峰时段去买吃的,做什么我都愿意——这常常是事实——但西蒙妮·唐鼓励我根据心情和季节更换食材。猪肉、花生和香草必不可少,她说,其他所有的都可以变。

So I added what was around, what seemed compatible with vinegar-splashed rice noodles: chopped cucumbers, boiled soybeans, jarred pickled chiles, sliced watermelon radishes, leftover grilled corn, shaved off the cob. These versions were all a little different from Tong’s, and from each other, but delicious. On a particularly sweaty afternoon, my appetite and energy curbed by the heat, I had all the components ready, so I washed herbs and assembled lunch. It was a comfort, but a luxurious one, like an hour in an empty, cool movie theater on a summer day when the air doesn’t move and your thighs stick together and it feels as if the city is melting.

于是,身边有的,看上去可以和浇过醋的米线搭配的东西,我都往碗里加过:切好的黄瓜、煮过的大豆、罐装腌辣椒、水果萝卜片、吃剩下的烤玉米粒。这些版本都和西蒙妮·唐的不太一样,彼此也各不相同,但都很美味。在一个汗流浃背的下午,胃口和精力都受了高温的影响。我准备好所有食材,于是开始洗菜并做午餐。这种感觉很舒服,但也很奢侈,像是在一个空气不流动、大腿黏在一起、整座城市感觉都在融化的夏日里,在一家空荡荡的、凉爽的电影院里呆了一个小时。

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