Stir fried water spinach and store bought dumplings for #easytastygood dinner


Oft times when it is really warm out I don’t do much.

I might sit in the pool for a bit, tighten a screw or oil a hinge (not a euphemism) and maybe watch a show, but that’s pretty much it.

I can’t even be bothered to write very much words.

I just cannot be assed.

But let’s face it; I’ve still gotta eat. Me going a day without food is like a Quentin Tarantino film without Samuel L. in it – highly fucking unlikely.

So, when it inevitably comes time to prepare our evening meal on said days I like to stay in character and stick with the whole “not doing much” theme.

This dinner is classic “not doing much”; store bought dumplings and sauces steamed and served with a really quick stir-fried water spinach number.

Piss easy enough for even you to not work up a sweat on a day like today.

Water spinach AKA morning glory, AKA kang kong, is one of my favourite things to put in a hot wok. It is quite simply just some tasty tasty shit. When we were in Vietnam and Laos it was sold as “morning glory” and was available at just about every restaurant and roadside stall we came across. Now I have a little trouble admitting this but I loved it. There you go. Never once in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would be admitting to the world that someone’s morning glory was one of my favourite things ever to put in my mouth… but it was.

This shit is damn well addictive. Even if you don’t like greens just try this… at the very least it might give a little life to your pasty little poster-boy-for-serving-fruit-and-vegetables-in-the-school-canteen demeanor and maybe get a little blood flowing down stairs so that poor little thing can get a little rigid again.

Eat it.

I’m out.

The ubiquitous "before" shot
The ubiquitous “before” shot
Get it on the table
Get it on the table
One more quick look before totally destroying it
One more quick look before totally destroying it
A better view of the water spinach number. Pretty sexy shit, eh
A better view of the water spinach number. Pretty sexy shit, eh

STIR FRIED WATER SPINACH WITH OYSTER SAUCE, GARLIC AND SOY (serves 4 as a side)

1 large bunch water spinach (this shit will wilt down a fair bit), sliced into 4-5cm pieces
2 spring onions/shallots, sliced into 2cm lengths
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the flat edge of a knife
½ tablespoon each oyster sauce and light soy sauce
vegetable oil for frying

• Add a splash of oil to a wok or decent sized pan and get it plenty hot
• Add the water spinach, spring onions and garlic and toss for a minute
• Add the sauces and toss for another minute
• Have a little taste to check for seasoning, add a little more soy if you need some more salty
• Put it on the table with a few steamed dumplings, those sticky rice and pork parcels wrapped up in banana leaves (possibly one of the sexiest of items on the dim sum trolley… the banana leaf , once gently and seductively pulled aside, reveals a sticky, soft, yielding mound of ricey porky goodness… dear good lord I’m getting myself excited…) and a heap of condiments; sriracha chilli sauce is a good start, soy sauce, chilli in soy bean oil, kimchi, something else that you can’t read the label of but grabbed anyway, etc. you get the idea.
• Go fourth, eat water spinach and dumplings and be happy

A close up of the glutinous rice and pork in banana leaf porn
A close up of the glutinous rice and pork in banana leaf porn

Doma Cafe, Federal, NSW

doma cafe federal
We’d heard a bit of talk about this little café in a little village in the big hinterland hills of the medium sized town of Byron Bay in the relatively expansive Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. When I say we’d heard a bit of talk I really mean we’d had excessive amounts of people asking us if we’d eaten there and these people would be genuinely surprised when we told them we hadn’t, and then they would insist to the point of almost being effing annoying that we should go there to eat.

As I had no desires to end up being pushed past the limit and get all postal on these peeps asses (and eventually be tried in a court of law and then locked away for the rest of my life in a cell with a large behemoth of a man known only as Bobby who I would eventually learn to love and later would marry and we would live our days out together in the cell we would call home), I opted for a visit to suss this place out for myself and finally put an end to the gasps and stares of disbelief because let’s face it, I get enough of those just walking down the street or through the ladies underwear section of the local K-Mart.

Get in my belly
Get in my belly

Straight up this breakfast was damn good. These guys do such a good job with their food in fact, they don’t even worry about using proper crockery and cutlery. They feed you on disposable plates, pour your coffee into paper receptacles and you even get to eat it with biodegradable forks or chopsticks. Someone who was more at home with the “proper” way of life, with luxuries like ceramic crockery, some kind of metal cutlery and two ply toilet paper, may have kept on driving when they noticed the implements of consumption available at Doma. Why, they may not have even got out of their car to see past the vista of the old hall surrounded picnic benches and random old farming paraphernalia, but that is fine. They should go somewhere else because they are clearly simple and we wouldn’t want that shit rubbing off on us now would we. Also, it means there is more great food and less queues for the rest of us.
Mt Fuji-Yama sans Godzilla
Mt Fuji-Yama sans Godzilla

I had the Mt Fuji-Yama and although I expected my meal to appear adorned with a plastic Godzilla and little scared people figurines trying to escape over a pile of smoldering mushrooms, it arrived as the menu stated it would; Hayters Hill pork sausage, mushrooms, black olive, spinach, roast tomato and a poached organic egg on thick cut ciabatta toast (16.5). It was great, except I don’t really like mushrooms for breakfast so I’m not sure what I was doing there. All still cooked well and tasty, just not really my thing. Maybe I had brushed past one of those people I was talking about in the last paragraph and a bit of their stupid rubbed off on me. Not to worry, a simple life is a good life…
The Doma Brekkie
The Doma Brekkie

Jennee had the Doma Brekkie (15.8). Organic scrambled eggs, bacon, brown rice (a nice option for peeps who can’t do the bread thing), spinach, tomato, avocado and the secret weapon – the potato thing with tartar, otherwise known as the korroke. A potato hash brown type thing with a panko crumb that is fried so it is soft in the middle and so very deliciously crunchy on the outside, kind of croquette-ish, and then served with a big ol’ dollop of tartar. I always new the Japanese were a smart race but this… Pure genius. I am getting a plate of these things when I return.
Obi tackling the BLAST
Obi tackling the BLAST

Obi went for the BLAST (11.0). Which he says “was very delicious, it looked yummy and was very tasty”. I can positively agree with everything that young man said. Wise beyond his years with both words and choice of breakfast.
That nori collection including the tempura fish popsicle
That nori collection including the tempura fish popsicle

If Obi was wise with his choice then Seba was definitely the all–time-really-effing-well-done-choice-of-the-day award recipient. He originally thought he was going for the BLAST but, when heading to the counter to order, he spied the massive pile of various nori roll creations and his smart brains (which he still had due to not rubbing up against the simple people) insisted he order a few of said items for his breakfast. It was damn good nori. Damn good. From the mouth of Seba himself he states, “it was great. I loved the fish sticks and it had mayo – my favourite sauce. The fish eggs were really nice”. That kid is born to be king!
doma cafe federal
There is a relaxed vibe at Doma and I’ve heard you can be in for a bit of a wait when they’re busy, but that’s the sort of thing you’re going to get in the country. Doma is literally nestled in the rolling hills and quite frankly, when you’re out for a casual Sunday in the Byron hinterland you really shouldn’t be stressed if your breakfast is not on the table in ten minutes. If that’s the sort of thing that is going to stress you out then you should definitely get in your car and go somewhere else. Somewhere far away from me. Like interstate.

And just to top it off this place is run by the cutest, politest crew of Japanese people. What more could you want? Honestly, these guys are so nice I would’ve given them Pearl Harbour… is that too far? It doesn’t matter. This is another little hinterland gem that is restoring my faith in the food of the area. Go there. Go there now.

And try the potato thing. Get a whole damn plate of those potato things. They are effing awesome!