Okay, there are some unspoken rules about the lunch you bring to work. You don’t bring brassica vegetables, you don’t bring fish, you definitely shouldn’t bring anything that is seasoned with fish sauce. I’ll admit, I’ve done most of those, because whilst in general I’m quite considerate of those around me, noone can tell me what I can or cannot eat. That said, however, after what happened a few days ago I probably never will again.
Some poor bastard heated up his fish meal for lunch at work. Probably leftover from the nice fish supper they had the night before. Maybe their partner had lovingly prepared it, maybe it was from the really nice but overpriced fishmongers in the neighborhood, maybe they were up early in the morning and had decided to treat themselvese and so made some fish for lunch. It’s none of our business. Yes, the smell saturated the entire floor, and my colleagues and I had briefly commented on it, but then we moved on because that is something that just may happen when you have an open plan office. Then, the HR lady actually went around every single table of diner to inspect the food and ask each of us sternly “is it you that’s eating fish?”
I wanted to tell her to just calm the f*ck down, and I genuinely feared that we were going to get a name and shame company email at the end of the day. I hope whoever it was managed to bolt down their fish before she found them.
So I won’t be bringing things like broccoli to work now either in case it pisses HR off. Maybe broccoli won’t be that bad. But definitely not like a smoked fish and broccoli salad seasoned with fish sauce.
This is a recipe adapted from Bon Appetit – one of my go-to sites. Roasted broccoli is yummy, especially when it’s all charred and crispy, and mine wasn’t roasted long enough for that. High heat and plenty of olive oil.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 2 as a side
1 bunch broccoli, ends trimmed, stems peeled
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
Parmesan, to taste
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp paprika
Preheat the oven to 200C. Slice broccoli stems on a diagonal at 1 cm thick. Cut up the florets and thinly slice the shallot. Toss everything together with a generous glug of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until slightly charred around the edges.
Season with vinegar, sugar, parmesan and paprika. Stir in most of the peanuts, then finish with some more of them sprinkled on top.