By Aaron Phelan
While living in San Diego I endured the same problems all people do, in a new place. I had no friends. The city was unfamiliar, and I always felt lost. I have had a lot of friends my whole life. For some reason after high school I lost my ability to find like minded people and make new friends. Even though I spent tons of time with people in classes where we were forced to work together under stressful situations, I struggled to make a connection outside the classroom. Until one day.
There was a girl, named Ti. She was one of the jokers in the classroom, always ready to shout “that’s was she said” at an awkward statement. She is also one of the best cult comedy movie quoters I have ever come across. She can slip a hilarious movie quote into any conversation.
One day Ti asked me if I would grab some lunch with her after class ended. She caught me so off guard with the question and I freaked out. I made something up to get out of it. It had been so long since I had hung out with someone new. I was just too nervous. The next week she asked again and again I was surprised and still didn't know what to say.
Standing there looking at her surprised she told me, she wasn't trying to be weird asking me to get lunch with her again. Before I could answer she was explaining it wasn't like a date and she laughed. She told me she had a boyfriend. I let out a nervous laugh. Coincidentally I actually did have plans that day. I told my roommate Trent that I would go skate and get lunch with him after class. I decided get over myself and go to lunch with Ti and just invite Trent to go with us. Man, was I nervous to be hanging out with some person I didn't know. I was just about the most awkward person ever.
On the ride to Shabu Shabu I had this weird feeling that I had never felt before. Euphoria, from the anticipation of fun with a new pair of friends. The butterflies you feel when you’re on your way home from a successful first date. I remember turning to Ti and saying “Dude I feel really weird right now.” I assured Ti and Trent it was a good thing and guess they just moved on. I felt as though nothing else in the world mattered. That ten minute car ride changed me. It made me realize i just had to put myself out there a little and good things could happen.
We went to Shabu Shabu. A Japanese style restaurant, where the food is cooked by each individual customer at the table. In the table there are pots with a burner under them. The server brings water to fill to the pots and items to flavor the water and make a broth. Then you order the meat, which is brought to the table raw. You drop the meat in the pot with some egg or rice noodles and you there you have your meal. It was great for me, and I got to try something new.
In line with such a great day this recipe is about trying something new. Enjoy!
Thai Peanut Red Curry Chicken Soup
Thai Peanut Sauce
- Creamy Peanut Butter 2/3 c
- Honey 1/4 c
- Soy Sauce 3 tbsp
- Green Onion chopped as small as possible
- Sesame Oil 1 tbsp
- Ginger Powder 1/2 tsp
- Optional, Cayenne/Crushed Red Pepper 1/8 tsp
- Limes 2
Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a fork.
- Rice Noodles
- Bring enough water to cover the noodles, in a big bowl, to a boil.
- Place the noodles in a big bowl that can hold boiling water.
- When the water comes to a boil pour it over the noodles and let sit for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes strain the noodles and hold until you're ready to eat.
Asian Soup Broth
- Green onion
- Chicken broth
1. Slice 1 inch chunk of ginger longways. crush and peel 3 cloves of garlic. cut two stalks of green onion into a 2 inch pieces. Save some of the green onion before you put it in the pot and chop it up as small as you can to throw onto of the dish for a pop of color.
2. Add green onion, garlic, ginger and 32 oz of chicken broth into a pot.
3. Heat on medium low heat for 10 mins.
4. Strain into a bowl.
5. Pour back into pot.
6. Add the “Thai Peanut Sauce” from earlier.
7. Put back on the stove over medium heat and stir until the “Thai Peanut Sauce” is incorporated into the broth.
8. Turn the heat off.
Red Curry Chicken
- 6 Chicken Thighs
- 2 tsp Red Curry Powder
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- Juice of 2 Limes
- 1 cup of baby carrots
9. Cut the chicken into Strips.
10. Throw everything but the carrots in a ziplock bag and shake it up.
11. Let sit for 10 mins
12. Cook in a pan on medium heat until the chicken gets nice and brown.
13. Add the carrots and cook. Leave a little crunch to the carrots for texture.
After you complete the steps above, heat the broth and throw a little of everything into a bowl. Add a lime wedge and some green onion on top for that nice pop of color. Don't forget to squeeze that lime juice to lighten it up a little. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Sydney Schmitz