James Bond food courgettes

Steamed courgettes (zucchini)

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS.

Poor Q. There he is, in No Time To Die (2021), preparing a romantic meal at his London home, his date about to arrive any moment, when James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) appear at the front door with a data-stick on which they want him to work his magic. For Q (Ben Whishaw), it seems to be a case of no time to cook.

What had Q been cooking before he was interrupted? According to the official No Time To Die podcast, he’s roasting potatoes, but there’s no obvious sign of that in the film. We know what other vegetable he’s having, though: a courgette (zucchini), which he slices and cooks in a bamboo steamer.

Given the bamboo steamer and the Japanese stylings of the film, it’s plausible that Q gives the courgettes a Japanese flavour. With this in mind, the recipe below is inspired by one from a Japanese cookbook published in 1956, not so many years before Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice (1964), on which the writers of No Time To Die drew heavily, was itself published. If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, then you can improvise, as I did, by resting a sieve filled with courgettes over a saucepan of boiling water and covering the pan with a lid.

Serves 2

  • 1 medium/large courgette (zucchini)
  • 1 tsp red miso paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3-5 dashes fish sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • Pinch finely chopped parsley

Rinse the courgette, then chop it into slices 1 cm/¼ inch thick. Put the courgette in a steamer and steam-cook for 5 minutes. As the courgette is cooking, make the sauce by mixing together in a small bowl the miso paste, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and mustard powder. Once cooked, tip the courgette slices into a bowl and mix in the sauce until the slices are well covered. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve.

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