The Princess glanced around at the red silk accoutrements of her chambers. One month, and she still hadn’t grown accustomed to the luxe – overdone, in her view – decor of the Red Palace. Nor was she enjoying the nightly banquets of greasy, oily dishes, as rich as the gold-enrobed scepters and ceremonial crowns that lined the halls. She missed the simple silks and fermented vegetables of her homeland…and even more, she missed their time on the road, wearing burlap travel clothes and eating one-pot stews and mandoo dumplings, that didn’t share the intricate star and purse shapes of the Red Palace dumplings, yet somehow seemed to taste far better. How was it that the rebel leader, so critical of his own country’s nobility, could sit here making boisterous jokes with the Red Lord as they gnawed on dripping pork legs served by innumerable servants? The countryside here was just as poor as her own – she’d seen the crumbling villages and homeless farmers lining the side of the road, begging for alms and scraps of food from their caravan as they’d made their way from the port.
The one or two times she’d tried to speak with the rebel leader about their plan, she’d been brushed aside. “Leave it to me,” was his general attitude. But his reassurances of having a plan only created more doubts in her mind – the plan seemed to consist of nothing more than allying with the Red Lord for an impending invasion of their homeland to overthrow her father, the King, and the Prime Minister. It wasn’t that prospect in itself that frightened her – she understood only too well the need for change. But why did they need a foreign force to help them?
No – that was a type of treachery she couldn’t contemplate. The Princess stood up, and slipped a small pouch of her belongings over her travel hanbok and a carton of the soup she’d ordered specially made – a tribute to home. She’d need something warm for the journey.
The Princess made her way quietly outside of the palace, unnoticed by anyone as the revelry of tonight’s banquet filled the air with noisy glass clinking and distant roars of laughter. An hour later, she had reached the port, where she slipped a money purse into the boat captain’s hand. Moments later, she was crouched in the bottom of the small schooner, setting sail for shores on the horizon that were distant, but her own.
[To be continued, of course! For past installments of ‘The Princess & the Rebel saga,’ click here]
- 1.5 oz dried seaweed (not the seasoned sheets, but seaweed that needs to be soaked before it can be eaten - don't use the whole bag, use a handful/about ⅕th or you'll end up with a jungle of seaweed soup fit for an army)
- 5-6 cups high-quality stock or bone broth (or more); 8 cups water
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1-2 tb minced ginger
- 1 pound duck, chicken, pork, or beef
- 2 tb fish sauce (optional)
- sea salt for seasoning
- 1 tb fresh lime/lemon or apple cider vinegar (optional)
- scallions for garnish
- sesame oil (optional, omit for AIP)
- Soak the dried seaweed in a couple cups of water for about 30 minutes, until seaweed is hydrated (it will magically quintuple in size). Rinse well and squeeze a few times. Drain well and rough chop.
- Cut up your protein and brown/saute with garlic and ginger in sesame or another oil in a large soup pot.
- Add stock and seaweed and bring to a boil.
- Cook everything for about 20-30 minutes, seasoning with salt and other seasonings to taste until flavor comes together (it's generally a light, healthy taste, not super heavy/meaty, more ocean-y).
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP Roundtable.