Danger Dinner: Mongolian Lamb Burrito

I've been wanting to try some variation on Mongolian Hot Pot for a while. This dish was one of the great successes of a short-lived program in my house when I was a kid, where one meal a week would be "international" - we'd pick a country, and the kids would find a recipe, assist in cooking it, scrawl the national flag in question on a paper to be tacked to the dining room wall for the duration, and we'd eat.

International Dinner Night didn't last all that long, but we had Mongolian Hot Pot - lots of sliced meats and veggies brought to the table raw, and a big electric skillet full of broth - once in a while for years to come.

Yesterday I went out to get ingredients for MHP - carrots, bean sprouts, bok choy, and a bit of lamb. Everything else was already in the house. However, meriko's been working late this week, so I finally gave in and improvised something between a mu shu lamb dish and a burrito tonight.

Julienne one medium carrot, slice one stalk of celery, pull out a quarter-cup of the bamboo shoots you've been saving since you made danger curry. Drop a cup of rice and 2 cups water into the rice cooker and fire it up. Slice up 1/3 lb. of lamb chop. Make a sauce to your taste: I used soy sauce, turkey stock, peanut butter, mirin, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, and five spice - danger dinner fans will recognize this as pretty similar to my danger noodle sauce, but you should grab whatever you think will taste good. I went heavy on the soy sauce and mirin, letting the sauce be very salty-sweet, on the basis that the blandness of the rice was going to cut the flavor of the other stuffings. I don't think my sauce was very Mongolian, but neither was the Bornschlegel family's hot pot, truth be told. Put a little peanut oil in the sauté pan, fire it up, and cook your stuffings. I cooked the carrot and celery first with just a tiny bit of the sauce (trying to let them retain their basic flavor), then took them out and put in the lamb, bamboo shoot, a handful of bean sprouts, and the rest of the sauce, cooking that down until it was thick and gooey. I then threw that in the bowl with the carrot and celery.

Finally, put a dry pan on medium heat, warm a tortilla in it (I had little fajita size tortillas on hand, though my Original Vision was of a full sized burrito), scoop in about three parts rice to two parts lamb-n-veggies-mixture. It's easy to overfill if you're not a professional burritista, so watch it. Fold it up burritowise, and if you're so inclined, put it back in the pan to crisp the shell a bit - I find this helps hold the burrito together; this is our basic technique for morning tofu-sausage scramble meals on weekends, as well. Chomp chomp! The rice makes it less intense than something like mu shu pork, palatable for a burrito-sized serving, even if your sauce is seriously concentrated.

The concept of a Chinese burrito gains some extra appropriateness in light of the fact that I got some of the ingredients at one of the groceries down on Mission that serves both hispanic and asian communities, carrying a plethora of ethnicities' worth of food.

Oh! I should also point out how easy this would be to adapt to veganity - tofu instead of lamb, veg broth instead of turkey, check the ingredients going into the sauce, and you're set!

Posted by russell on December 12, 2002 | TrackBack
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