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Sous Weed Cuisine

Sous Weed Cuisine
(From the Banana Archives: Issue 005)

Words and Photos: Monica Lo
Hand Models: Courtney Wu and Haejin Chun

Heritage preservation weighs heavily on me these days. I yearn to connect with my roots and to deepen my sense of identity. Born in Texas as a second-generation Taiwanese American, I strived hard to assimilate into American culture. I spent my formative years rebelling against my Asianness. I hid in bathrooms during Chinese language lessons. People called me ‘Twinkie’ and ‘Banana’—yellow on the outside, white on the inside. It was hard growing up Chinese, even though my parents moved to Texas back in the ‘80s with whatever little money they could scrounge up. They made it through college with limited spoken English—a challenge not to be taken lightly. I could never thank them enough for all the hardships they’ve endured so we can live the American dream. As my parents have grown older, I’ve taken it upon myself to maintain and safeguard the traditions they’ve handed down.

Food has always been the main ingredient that binds our family together. In a way we were able to find common ground through cooking and education. I started Sous Weed in 2015 to document my cannabis-infused meals while healing from a herniated disc. I didn’t respond well to pain medication and wanted something gentler on my system so I began to sous vide my cannabis infusions to add into my everyday meals.

Years later, this little passion project has evolved into a new form of creative expression as I begin to connect the dots between my cultural foods, memories, and places I’ve lived to cultivate a way of cooking and eating that truly represents me. Coming out of the cannabis closet wasn’t particularly easy growing up in a conservative Asian and Southern family. We struggled for years before we were able to see eye-to-eye on career paths and cannabis use. Through my journey with Sous Weed, my parents watched me heal myself with cannabis-infused edibles and plants as one would with Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Since recovering from my injury, my parents have been more open-minded about my cannabis-infused creations. The dishes below are adapted from family recipes that have been passed down to me. The Taiwanese beef noodle soup is my dad’s pride and joy—the long cook time and medley of herbs ensures a deep, rich, flavorful broth. Mom’s zongzi is something I look forward to every year because she always adds an extra salted egg yolk just for me!

Cannabis-Infused Recipe Disclaimer:
*Note:
The amounts of cannabis-infused lard and honey specified in these recipes are a very loose suggestion; the actual amount you use should be modified based on the strength of your infusion and the potency you desire. Add regular lard or honey if you do not wish to consume any cannabis. Dosing homemade edibles can be tricky, so the best way to test for potency is to start with one portion of a serving and wait up to two hours, then make an informed decision on whether to consume more.

Mama’s Double Yolk Zongzi
Makes 30 sticky rice dumplings

Ingredients
• 60 dried bamboo leaves
• 10 cups glutinous rice
• 2 lb pork belly, cut into 1” pieces
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tbsp cane sugar
• 2 tsp five spice powder
• ½ tsp white pepper, ground
• 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
• 30 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water for 1 hour
• ½ cup dried shrimp, soaked in water for 1 hour
• 60 salted duck egg yolks
• 1 ½ cups raw peanuts
• 2 cups toasted chestnuts, shell removed
• 2 ½ tbsp medicated lard, recipe on sousweed.com
• 1 roll butcher’s cotton twine

Directions for the night before:
1. Rinse bamboo leaves off to make sure they’re clean.
2. Fill bathtub with hot water and soak bamboo leaves overnight.
3. In a large pot, soak glutinous rice overnight.
4. In a large mixing bowl, add pork belly with soy sauce, sugar, salt, five spice, Shaoxing wine, and white pepper. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.

To fill:
1. Take two bamboo leaves, smooth side up, and place the smaller one slightly to the left and on top of the larger leaf. Form a cone by folding the two leaves up at the center. Tighten the leaves into a cone shape.
2. Fill the bottom layer with a tablespoon of glutinous rice and add two salted yolks, shiitake mushroom, pork belly, toasted chestnut, dried shrimp, peanuts, and ¼ teaspoon of medicated lard. Add two more tablespoons of glutinous rice on top.
3. With one hand, secure the shape of the cone, while using the other hand to fold the top leaves down to seal the cone. Tightly secure the zongzi with cotton twine.
To cook:
1. Cook zongzi in batches. Add zongzi in a large pressure cooker and fill with water ⅔ of the way. Cook for 1 hour before turning off the heat and letting the zongzi steam for another 30 minutes.
2. Enjoy while they’re soft and steamy. Refrigerate or freeze the rest of the cooked zongzi. Reheat the zongzi by steaming for 15-20 minutes.

Bàba’s Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Serves 10

Ingredients:
• 3 lb mixed beef bones
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 4 scallions, cut into 2 ½” pieces
• 3 small shallots, quartered
• 4 thumbs ginger
• 2 tbsp Taiwanese satay paste
• 1 tbsp soybean paste, spicy
• 2 lb flank steak, 2 ½” chunks
• 1 lb beef tendons
• 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
• 1 white onion, cut in half
• ½ cup soy sauce
• 1 oz brandy
• 3 large carrots, cut into 2” long pieces
• 1 tbsp rock sugar
• 1 tbsp medicated beef tallow, recipe on sousweed.com
• Salt to taste

Herb Satchel Ingredients:
• 4 pieces Sichuan lovage rhizome (川芎)
• 3 pieces dried galangal (沙薑)
• 5g white peony root (白勺)
• 3g Chinese licorice (甘草)
• 6g Chinese Foxglove (熟地)
• 4g Szechuan peppercorn
• 1g cloves
• 4 cinnamon sticks
• 3 whole star anise

To serve:
• Chinese wheat noodles, cooked
• Bok choy, 2 per person
• Scallions, to garnish
• Cilantro

Bone Broth Directions:
1. Fill large stock pot with beef bones, water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and stew for 8 hours.
2. Remove bones and skim the top layer of fat and discard. Set beef stock aside for later use.

Beef Noodle Soup Directions:
1. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil, scallions, shallots, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add satay sauce and soybean paste and stir to mix evenly.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add flank steak and beef tendons to the pot and cook until meat has browned on each side, about 3 minutes.
3. Add beef stock to cover the meat. Add tomatoes, white onion, herb satchel, soy sauce, and brandy. Simmer on low for 4 hours.
4. After 4 hours, add carrots, rock sugar, medicated lard, and salt to taste. Simmer on low for another 30 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and discard the large onion pieces. Add bok choy to the pot to quickly cook through in the residual heat.
6. To serve, add prepared chinese wheat noodles in bowl, soup, meat, and carrots. Garnish with bok choy, scallions, and cilantro.

Sous Vide Taiwanese Pork Belly Buns
(Adapted from my recipe in the ‘Sous Vide Made Simple’ cookbook)
Serves 4

Ingredients:
• 1 lb skin-on pork belly
• ½ tsp five-spice powder
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 1” ginger, thinly sliced
• 1 star anise pod
• ¼ cup hoisin sauce
• 2 tbsp medicated honey, recipe on sousweed.com
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 8 oz package steamed buns, reheated according to package instructions
• ½ cup pickled daikon, thinly sliced
• Sriracha, to personal preference
• ¼ cup toasted, unsalted peanuts, rough chop
• ¼ cup cilantro, with stems

Directions for the night before:
1. Preheat your sous vide water bath to 70ºC (158ºF)
2. Place pork belly, five-spice powder, soy sauce, ginger, and star anise in a gallon-sized freezer-safe zip bag and seal using the water displacement method.
3. Lower the bag into the water bath once it reaches temp, making sure it’s fully submerged. Sous vide for 16 hours with the top of the water bath covered to minimize evaporation.
4. Remove bag from water bath and let pork belly rest while you make the sauce.
5. To make the sauce, strain the cooking liquid from the bag through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Discard the star anise and ginger. Add hoisin sauce and medicated honey and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
6. Cut the pork belly into ¼” thick slices and fit a slice into each prepared steamed bun.
7. Assemble with pickled daikon, a drizzle of sauce, a squeeze of Sriracha, toasted peanuts, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

Grandpa Lo’s Mapo Tofu
Serves 2

Ingredients:
• 2 tbsp medicated lard, recipe on sousweed.com
• 1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
• 3.5 oz ground pork
• 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
• 2 tbsp Sichuan chili bean paste (doubanjiang)
• 1 tbsp fermented black beans
• 1 small handful dried red chiles
• ½ tsp chili powder
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp lacto-fermented long beans, minced, optional
• 1 cup water
• 1 container medium firm tofu, cut into 1” cubes
• 2 tbsp cornstarch, mixed in ¼ cup water
• ¼ tsp Sichuan pepper, ground
• Chopped scallions, to garnish

Directions:
1. Add medicated lard in a wok over high heat. Add ginger, ground pork and Shaoxing wine. Stir fry for 1 minute and reduce heat to medium.

2. Add Sichuan chili bean paste, fermented black beans, chili powder, dried red chiles, and minced garlic. Stir fry for another minute. 3. Add water to the wok and tofu cubes. Gently stir to coat with sauce and cook uncovered until the liquid is reduced by a third. 4. Add cornstarch slurry and Sichuan pepper to the wok. Gently mix while the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. 5. Remove from heat and serve hot with scallions on top.

Matcha Bubble Tea with Medicated Honey
Serves 2

Ingredients:
• ½ cup dried tapioca pearls
• 1 tbsp medicated honey, recipe on sousweed.com*
• 1 tbsp regular honey
• 4 tsp matcha powder
• 3 cups milk or nut milk
• Ice

Directions for the night before:
1. Cook tapioca pearls according to the instructions on the package.
2. Strain tapioca pearls and mix in both kinds of honey.
3. Place tapioca pearls at the bottom of two glasses. Using a cocktail shaker, shake the matcha, milk, and ice. Strain into each glass and fill the rest with ice.
4. Serve with a fat straw.

*Note: Potli CBD-infused honey is an excellent substitute if you prefer to not make your own. You can order on potlishop.com.

More cannabis-infused recipes on sousweed.com.

Thanks for reading and being a part of the Banana community! While we stay put to combat the COVID-19 pandemic together, the Banana team wants to be a resource for you to stay inspired, hopeful, and creative. We’ll be curating stories from our past issues every week to rediscover our ambitions and to remind ourselves to, even during these tough times, stay positive and celebrate the moments that bring us happiness and pride.

Sous Weed Cuisine Sous Weed Cuisine (From the Banana Archives: Issue 005) Words and Photos: Monica Lo Hand Models: Courtney Wu and Haejin Chun Heritage preservation weighs heavily on me

SOLD OUT! 2nd Night Added WED April 24th

Finally medical and recreational cannabis is legal, but not everyone wants to smoke… Cannabis-infused edibles offer a more pleasant, varied and precise way to incorporate the benefits of cannabis into your lifestyle, but uninspired, store-bought gummies or brownies provide less control over dosage or quality of ingredients. If you are curious about understanding the world of “medibles” and want to learn how you can make them yourself, this is the class for you.

At the heart of cannabis-infused products is decarboxylation, a simple process during which cannabis is heated to activate its psychoactive and relaxing effects. Applying heat turns the THCA (the non-psychoactive acid form that is a great anti-inflammatory) into TCH (the fun stuff). This happens naturally when you smoke it but in order to cook with it, you need to find another way — and that is where sous vide comes in. Sous vide is a method of cooking that involves sealing foods in vacuum sealed, food-grade plastic and putting it in a temperature controlled water bath. It’s an amazing way to cook a steak, but it’s also a perfect way to easily and precisely decarboxolate cannabis without the aggressive smell or risks associated with old-fashioned, oven-based methods.

In this 2 hour demo, Carole Nelson Brown will show you how to discreetly decarb cannabis in your own home, as well as how to then use it to infuse any cooking oil, butter, milk or cream. We will discuss dosing as precisely as possible, how different strains lend themselves to different infusions, how to pair flavour profiles with food, and some tricks to make your infusions more efficient and effective.

For this demo Carole will demonstrate infusing coconut oil, olive oil, dulce de leche, and butter, and you will get to taste some delicious dishes that will showcase some creative recipes to use infused products in your own kitchen. Recipes will printed and be available for participants to take home.

Honey Jerk Roasted Cauliflower with Pickled Cucumber with coconut oil and honey
Spanish Garlic Shrimp with Chili Olive Oil
Chimichurri compound butter served with sous vide steak
Dulce de Leche Brownie Bites

NOTE: these recipes have been developed and tested with infused products in mind, but the samples served in class will NOT be cannabis-infused.
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SOLD OUT! 2nd Night Added WED April 24th Finally medical and recreational cannabis is legal, but not everyone wants to smoke… Cannabis-infused edibles