Yep, you read that right! This evening I cubed a block of white halloumi cheese from Cyprus, and marinated it in soy sauce and vinegar. I did the same with cubes of tempeh, which is a block of soybeans with a web of mould holding them together, and which originates in Java. I then deep-fried them both, before adding them to the wok, together with homemade kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage) and Chinese egg noodles. Is this Fusion Cuisine or Confusion Cuisine?
I consider myself a competent and confident cook, who almost never follows recipes, and I often happily throw together a stir-fry similar to what I’ve described above – minus the cheese! Dairy was entirely unknown in China until recently, and has no place in traditional Chinese cuisine. While I’m an adventurous cook, I almost never try to mix elements from far-flung traditions. But tonight I decided to be daring and took a gamble. The result went down very well with all members of the family, so who knows what weird fusions (or confusions) I may come up with in the coming days!
What’s your opinion about such combinations? Are they a dead-end street, destined to feel forced together, or a profitable vein to mine?
Here are the cubes of halloumi cheese (top) and tempeh (bottom) after being marinated and deep-fried. Whatever possessed me to combine a sheep and goat milk cheese from Cyprus with a fermented soybean cake from Indonesia, I cannot say, but as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!