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April 2007 - Posts

Jars for fermenting the mother sauces Gochujang, dwaenjang, soy sauce and several other Koreaen base sauces require fermentation, and these jars were the traditional vessels for the fermentation process. Mr. Lee has a collection of these jars from all Read More...
I don't know what possessed me to go to Lotte World, the megalithic shopping center, in Jamsil, complete with indoor ice skating rink and a shooting range. But I did, and of course, I needed lunch. While touring the food-laden Lotte department store basement Read More...
This is hearty, extremely simple lunch fare. Pat guksu * It may not look pretty, but this pat guksu dish is packed with protein and it's very comforting. It's basically pureed azuki beans with handmade wheat noodles. When you receive your order, you have Read More...
Jilsiru cafe After a little walking around Jongro (aka Jongno) on Monday, a friend suggested we go to this nice Korean ddeok cafe in neighboring Insadong. The cafe serves teas, smoothie-like concoctions and traditional and updated Korean confections. Read More...
One of my lunches in Seoul... These chewy, stretchy long noodles made in part from buckwheat (like soba) but with a very distinctive texture are known as reimen in Sendai, Japan, where a local version is quite popular. In Korea, the most popular preparation Read More...
Sunday night in Seoul I was on my own, and incredibly jetlagged. After visiting a pottery gallery , I briefly met with a friend in Gangnam station, then I went back to my hotel near Seoul National University of Education to rest a bit... I researched Read More...
I arrived in Tokyo last night... There's still a lot to write about from my Korea trip, but I just wanted to post a quick update... Off I go to cause trouble with Hiromi. My timing was fortuitous., or insane, depending on your perspective... right outside Read More...
I'm usually craving coffee and bread in the morning, although I'll certainly dig into a heavy Korean or salt-laden Japanese-style breakfast from time to time. Fortunately, Seoul and Tokyo, more so than Seattle, have an insane number of mostly French-influenced Read More...
Sunday I visited Hanhyanglim gallery in the Heyri art village just northwest of Seoul. Riding in the car of the gallery owner, we saw a very intimidating-looking spirals of barbed wire fence along the river, across which lies North Korea. The gallery Read More...
Rabokgi Rabokgi is the derelict pot-smoking cousin of ddeokbokgi , the ubiquitous Korean stewed glutinous rice cake dish . Ramyun (instant ramen), glutinous rice cakes, and spicy gochujang are the essential components in rabokgi; in this case, ours were Read More...
We didn't really do much buying, aside from our Hoddeok, but Namdaemun is a crazy busy place full of tourists looking for visual drama and trinkets to take home (that would be us) and locals looking for cheap clothing and the occasional fish or vegetable. Read More...
Unlike Tokyo, Seoul still has a vibrant street merchant scene. Every subway station seems to have a few ajumma peddling some sort of medicinal mountain vegetable, bottles of some morning drinking yogurt concoctions, and the occasional roll of gimbap . Read More...
If you're properly royal, you save the rice for last. At Pulhyanggi (see part 1 ), you have two options: Typical steamed rice, probably also better than the average peasant mother will make, or, if you like, nurungji ( scorched rice), which is prepared Read More...
On my two previous trips to Korea, I've been to locations of Pulhyanggi at least twice. (A friend once took me to a similar style of restaurant for lunch, but I wasn't quite sure of the name). It's easily the most remarkable place I've eaten in Korea. Read More...
Hiromi and I met in Seoul late at night Friday, and woke up insanely early (6am) after too little sleep. After a breakfast of al bap for Hiromi ( tarako or cod roe on rice) and cool bibimbap for me, we got on the bus to meet an eGullet acquaintance in Read More...
It's a sure sign we're in the middle of spring. I found these forest treats at the University District Farmer's Market on Sunday. The season is mercilessly brief for fiddlehead fern fronds... They'll probably be impossible to find by the time I return Read More...
Cary Tennis : "Your music does not have to support you. In fact, your music might be happier if you were supporting it." Poignant. I remember when I started thinking about working in software again, sometime approaching the middle of 2005. I was watching Read More...
Just a little note... I'm departing to Seoul on Thursday, April 19, where I'll be doing a little ceramics hunting, catching up with a few friends, and probably eating a little too much. I'm flying solo on that leg of the trip, and then meeting up with Read More...
For some reason I get wistful whenever I think of the various ningyo-yaki (shaped waffles typically stuffed with sweet bean paste) and dora-yaki I have eaten on my many trips to Japan. From a highway service area or a department store basement, fresh, Read More...
Last Saturday I came home with a bundle of rhubarb, so I quickly turned it into a compot and kept it handy throughout the week. At breakfast a few times, the simmered rhubarb found itself in a lassi or smoothie-type drink. Made with a little buttermilk, Read More...
Continuing on with my recent run of extreme simplicity, I made a dinner that looks far more time-consuming than it actually was. Hummus on Baguette This toasted baguette has been baked with a bit of garlic butter (minced garlic, salt, butter) and topped Read More...
I've been lazy this week. I just don't have much energy to make anything complicated, and for some reason I'm inadequately inspired to think of interesting simple foods. These asparagus baguettes took advantage of what was handy... Some asparagus, onions, Read More...
Uninspired weeknight cuisine... Lack of inspiration doesn't have to result in dreary food. When I made this, my lack of motivation to cook led me to procrastinate until the only practical options were either to go out and grab some mediocre takeout, or Read More...
Chi goo is a slightly crunchy potato-like vegetable. It's called a "river potato" in some translations, and seems to share some textural qualities with lotus root . Apparently the name means "belly button mushrooms" in Cantonese, but it's clearly a root Read More...
Until a little trip to Licorous last fall, I had never thought much of financiers. I don't know why... maybe I never had a good one. I don't have much love for madeleines either. But Licorous' financiers were just too hard to resist... Served warm with Read More...
This year Easter is solo... and, while I don't practice any particular religion, I'm willing to adopt a pagan custom or two in service of good food. I'm too lazy to dye eggs, and probably will remain so as long as I have no children to entertain, but Read More...
Kimpira (alternately kinpira) is a small category of side dishes in Japan typically involving finely sliced or shaved root vegetables. I don't think there's a strict definition, but you sort of know it when you see it. It typically involves sesame seeds Read More...
It's totally out of season right now, but even during inappropriate times of year I can't resist nasu-no miso-ni . There are as many ways to make it as there are mothers in Japan. Northern Japanese versions tend to be salty, western Japanese ones tend Read More...
Occasionally I've suggested that yu tsai or yu choi can stand in for nanohana , the greens of the rapeseed plant that are widely available in Japan during the springtime. In fact, though, rapini, also called broccoli rabe, is far more like nanohana than Read More...
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