Tag Archives: Pea Shoots

Another Visit to San Francisco

I just got back from another trip to San Francisco to visit my boyfriend.  As always, I had some wonderful food, although we spent most of the time relaxing and watching movies (Lord of the Rings marathon!)

When I arrived, he took me to Don Pico’s, a fun Mexican restaurant.  The guacamole was stellar.  It had an earthy spice I couldn’t quite pinpoint.  I thought it might be cumin or coriander.  Noor thought it might be nutmeg or mace.  I talked to my friend Kate when I got back, and she said that people sometimes add turmeric to guacamole.  I think that’s it, but I’ll have to do some experimenting at home to be sure.

They had a few vegetarian entrees.  I chose the grilled vegetable paella.  It was delicious and a very generous portion!  I especially liked the addition of black olives.

The decor was really fun too.  Almost everything in the restaurant is an antique, including paintings from the movie Citizen Kane.  Also, there was a lady singing bossa nova classics, which enhanced the ambience.

The next afternoon we went down to the Mission district to make a stop at La Palma Mexicatessan.  It was a beautifully warm day, and were thirsty, so Noor suggested a visit to St. Francis Soda Fountain.  It was a fun spot, and I was pleasantly surprised to find vegan milkshakes on the menu, made with soy gelato!  Yum!  I chose chocolate.

This place also had neat antique decor.

La Palma actually had the sweet corn tamales this time, so I finally got to try them, and they did not disappoint!

We went back to Ton Kiang for their fantastic dim sum.  Of course, I had the pea shoots again.  I also had some shrimp dumplings.  As Noor always points out, he eats more vegetarian fare when I’m around, so if I eat a few shrimp, it’s okay because it all balances out.  Speaking of which, I got a sweet phone call from his Mom, who has been inspired to eat vegetarian a few days a week now!

At Ton Kiang they had these really cute fruit salad cups this time.  We had to get one, mostly for the photo opportunity because we loved the presentation.  It was really good, fresh fruit too, better than what we can get in the Midwest this time of year.

Before dropping me off at the airport, Noor took me to an Indian buffet called Great India.  The lentil-rice soup, aloo matter, and dal were really good.

Now I’m home for a while.  School starts tomorrow, so the sandwich challenge is back on!




Tofu, Mushroom, and Pea Shoot Stir Fry

Here’s a creation that I meant to blog before leaving for California:

If you remember my post from my first trip to California this summer, then you can imagine how excited I was to find pea shoots at Trader Joe’s here in town.

First I thought of stir-frying them with some sliced garlic, like they do at Ton Kiang in San Francisco, but then I decided to make a whole one-dish meal out of them by stir frying them with some tofu and mushrooms, also inspired by a dish at Ton Kiang.

I started by sauteing in a large wok:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh, minced ginger and
  • 3 cloves sliced garlic in
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Then I added:

  • 1/2 pound cubed firm tofu

and stir fried it over medium-low heat until browned, about 20 minutes.  Then I threw in

  • 1/2 pound sliced shiitake mushrooms:

and stir fried until tender, about 5 more minutes. Finally, I added:

  • 4 ounces pea shoots
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

…and cooked it for another few minutes, until the pea shoots were just wilted.  I served this over brown rice with a nice, hot cup of green tea.

This was a super simple but satisfying combination of flavors.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh, minced ginger: $0.25
  • 3 cloves sliced garlic: $0.15
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil: $0.13
  • 1/2 pound cubed firm tofu: $0.90
  • 1/2 pound sliced shiitake mushrooms: $2.69
  • 4 ounces pea shoots: $2.49
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce: $0.18
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar: $0.04
  • Brown rice: $0.65

= $7.48/4 servings


Try getting take-out for that price!