My brother Randy has always been a little eccentric for his age, but I just like to think he’s an old soul. One of the special things he likes to do that I really enjoy is grilling skewers over a small charcoal grill he received as a birthday gift. Ever since he was a child, a lot of his tendencies and interests seemed more mature for his age and it’s not a surprise that he appreciates cooking with a charcoal grill. Through this dinner experience, I developed a deeper appreciation for the creativity, time and ingredients that goes into making a dish.
When he suggested grilling some skewers for dinner, I was excited to help as long as he did the groceries. He came back with the main ingredients and we used various condiments, herbs and spices we had in the kitchen to come up with three dishes: grilled shrimp glazed with garlic butter, tofu to dip in a sesame oil sauce and beef cubes rubbed with Randy’s secret mix (I honestly don’t know what exactly he used for the dry rub but there was a hint of cinnamon). He also made a simple salad with fresh cucumbers and radishes dressed with a ponzu based concoction.
It took us a while to get the fire going and have the charcoal burning at a steady heat; we started with shrimp and tofu as they didn’t take too long to cook. Once they were done, we nibbled on them while we waited for our bigger beef cubes to cook. The result? Incredibly juicy pieces of meat cooked to a perfect medium (although I generally love medium-rare) seasoned with something new to my palate!
Watching Randy devein the shrimps on his own and coming up with a delicious meal together sans recipe was an inspiring reminder of how people can get creative with food and bond over it.