Spice up your love life and swallow this fantasy“Love,” an installation by the artist Shon Jeong-eun at the exhibit “ArtSpectrum” last week, compelled me to think about the effects ― and warnings ― of food ingredients, and what they might do for the art of seduction.
What Shon did was brilliant. She created a series of bottles in odd shapes, each claiming to be a magical cosmetic that will grant love to the women who use it. She divided each product into categories such as narcissism, composure, elusiveness, hints, reliance and imitation. For example, the bottle of “elusiveness” claims to allow its users to give off an elusive air around men, rendering them unable to know what women are actually thinking about ― even less than normal.
Now imagine that you’re making sweet-and-sour pork using a similar formula, and each ingredient or spice could have a certain effect on your body. You’re free to use as as many of the ingredients you want, depending on what you need, as if you were shopping in a pharmacy.
For example, each clove of garlic could contain innocence. Every clove of garlic you add to the bowl would make its consumer a naive and vulnerable person, provoking others to instinctively protect them. Each drop of sesame oil would suggest regression: It would allow you to step back from your feelings and pretend your passion has ebbed, creating tension. A sprinkle of ginger would trigger your sex appeal and a sprinkle of black pepper would stimulate your sadistic impulse, leading you to hurt others out of boredom.
A critical addition would be a spoonful of chicken broth, an ingredient that triggers fantasy. Each spoon of broth you add, the more the dish would give you an air of mystery and adventure, captivating others with your exotic passions and desires. Of course, overdosing on broth could put you into a state of chaos, in which you lose your sense of reality and mistake your life for a TV drama. In an extreme case, it could trigger critical side effects such as depression, financial loss and family crises.
A few teaspoons of cooking wine would grant you the magical skill to learn the precise desires of others, allowing you to react naturally to their needs.
Each drop of vinegar would give your the instincts to react in a captivating fashion to every action. Every spoon of sugar would add to your heartlessness. Another spoon of salt would encourage others to be more sympathetic to your weaknesses.
Once you find the love of your life, you could repeat these procedures as necessary. Then when it comes time, you could gulp down a bunch of starch and call it an end, without tears or the bitter sediments of love and mixed emotions.
How to Cook
Sweet and sour pork
Ingredients: 150g of pork, 5g of ginger, 1/2 egg, 100g starch, 10g green onion, 50g cucumber, 30g cabbage, a dash of rice cooking wine, pepper and salt. Additional sauce: 3 teaspoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 3/4 teaspoons of chicken broth, 2 teaspoons of starch powder, a bit of sesame oil.
1. Cut the pork into bite-size pieces (a half-centimeter thick).
2. Cut the cucumbers, carrots and gingers into squares. Cut the cabbage into thin slices, and steam them over boiling water.
3. Rub the meat in a bed of starch powder mixed with black pepper, egg and salt. Fry it in a pot of oil.
4. On a separate pan, add oil. Pour in the vegetables.
5. Add soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, vingar and salt. Add starch later.
6. Place the deep fried pork on a plate. Spread the sauce over it.
by Park Soo-mee