Legumes are beans. Many of you probably already know that. I didn't until I came to school here at Le Cordon Bleu. They are used in Asian cuisine as well as Mexico and other parts of the globe. Maybe not so much in Japanese cuisine, but most other parts of Asia they are used quite extensively. Today we made a Black Eyed Pea salad. Chickpeas in a spicy Tomato Sauce. A dish called Tok Dal that uses red lentils and garnished with Tamarind Pulp. The menu was rounded out with what is becoming one of my favorite dishes, Hong Sao Rou, or pork belly in red cooked style. Red, used to describe this method, doesn't apply to the color red. It is the spirit of the color as the Chinese perceive it-indicating luck or, this this case, a method that is favorable. It's a braised dish that uses mushroom soy sauce, and because it has rice wine, ginger, a whole star anise, cinnamon and a bit of sugar, it is without a doubt one of the better tasting pork dishes I have every had. And not spicy. I got to make the Hong Sao Rou today.
Giving us his critique is Chef Romero who rapidly has become my favorite chef instructor.