Making every bite count

26 January 2007

Where I've eaten. (updated frequently)

(Mostly for me)
Wild Ginger
Moon Garden
Molly Malone's
Greenup Cafe
Chez Nora

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24 January 2007

wholly inappropriate, batman!

That would be drinking a bottle of wine on a Tuesday. Just say no to vino blanco, bambino! Oy! Tomorrow night I have an in-house interview with the big brother-big sisters group. Wish me luck. If there's wine involved, it will go better. I guess I should take out the recycling. there's like three empties in there. (I hosted a book club meeting. It wasn't all me. Though too much wine helped a recent date progress faster.)
I love you all. But I love me more. :) mwa ha ha
I fear I'm getting a cold.
p.s. eat your vegetables. good ones. corn, potatoes and canned green beans DON'T COUNT!!! cruciferous veggies help reduce the risk of a shit-ton(TM) of diseases. (I've trademarked the word shit-ton. It's mine. I own it.) Time for bed.

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15 January 2007

from my Korea journal

I was rereading my Korea journal (home sick with nothing to do), and I found this list. I'm a pretty adventurous eater. How many of these have you tried?
I know that some of this info has already been included in my journal. However, I want to keep one list of all the new foods I've tried here.
*quail's egg. At a sushi restaurant last weekend, one of the namul (side dishes) included four speckled eggs. When I asked what kind of bird they were, Joon-Hui had to look it up. The dictionary said "snipe." Hmm... Snipes aren't real, I learned in high school. So I thought. quail. I looked up "quail" in the English/Korean dictionary. Yep. Quail. I tried one. They weren't bad, just like any other egg, but the yolk was milder. (And, I learned later that the word for quail egg is mae-chu-ri al. Learned that when I taught Bible school... don't ask!)
*poop pig. Apparently, there is a kind of pig "black pig" that eats nothing but human waste. The meat is especially good, they say. They were right. It is good.
(From Here's one for when you're feeling down. Cheer up. Life could be worse. You could be a Jejudo black pig. A long time ago, down on the farms of South Korea's largest and most southerly island, the ever-resourceful inhabitants came up with a raised-platform latrine system in which human waste fell directly into the family pig pen…and you know how picky pigs are about their food.)
*a whole fish. I still can't eat the eyes, but I ate a broiled about four inches long. I tried not to look at it as I ate it.
*frozen tuna. They can't really get fresh tuna here, so tuna sushi has often been frozen. Often times, it is served thinly sliced and still frozen. It's actually interesting. Many dishes are served ice cold or frozen here, especially noodles. It's quite refreshing on a summer day. *sea squirt. I tried a bite. It was sealike and crunchy.
*pig skin. (yep, they fry it on the grill at bbq places. Joon-Yui and Yong-sun made me try some. Not bad if it's burned!)
*dried squid. (seen at right drying on a rooftop on Ulleung-do) The kind that still look like an actual squid. It's pretty good.
*chok pal. Pig leg/foot meat. It is fatty and smoky, but not so bad. It's not great, either.

. they eat it with vegetables (shredded carrots, cucumber, cabbage, etc) and wasabi mustard. Tasty with the extras but flavorless and gelatinlike on its own.
*still-squirming squid. Americans limit their squid consumption to fried calamari. Koreans don't play around. They like their food fresh, ca veut dire still moving! One night, Joon-Hui came over with food. He brought squid hwae (sushi en coreen). Apparently, they are still alive when you order. Five squid (a whole family) give their lives so you can eat them. An hour after their deaths, their little tenticles still squirm. I was like a child, playing with my food! The suckers attached to my finger. Strange-y.
*squid-ink bread. (left) It was black, strange and not good. My boss bought it for us.
*snails. I think they were sea snails. Just like escargot, they were chewy and a bit slimy.

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14 January 2007

to make Sarah jealous

In Korea, kimbap is affordable and ubiquitous; there were three Kimbap Chunguk (heaven) within a one-block radius of my school.

Brunch, lunch, dinner, late-night drinking snacks... kimbap is a 24/7 snack. The basic one has Spam (Pervasive in Korea thanks to Americans. South Korea is the third biggest consumer of the potted meat product), radish, cucumber, carrots, egg, faux crab and some roots. They are delicious! You can also add ground bulgogi (sweet, seasoned beef), kimchi, tuna, fish eggs, etc. There's a version wrapped in an omelet, and one filled with spicy dried fish.

They're about a foot long and two inches around, for between 1,000 and 3,500 won ($1-$3.50). My favorite was modum kimbap, which had 1/3 kimchi, 1/3 tuna and 1/3 bulgogi. Yum.
Sarah and I love them, and we hadn't had them since leaving Korea. I had one this week at Riverside, the Korean restaurant in Covington. It was $6 (!), about 6 inches long and was a little bland. I decided to try to make some at home.

The basic ingredients are:
pickled radish strips
blanched carrots, julienned
frozen spinach, thawed and drained
cucumber strips
scrambled egg, cooked until very "hard" and cut into strips
faux crab meat strips
nori sheets (kim in Korean)
sushi rice, cooked and seasoned with sugar, rice vinegar and salt
sesame seeds
sesame oil
chopped kimchi, drained

Here are the preparations: Spread rice thinly on the nori/kim, wetting hands to keep it from sticking. Don't be afraid to use pressure to spread it thinly. Spread the rice to the edges. Stack a strip each of the egg, cucumber, crab and radish and some carrots and spinach. Add tuna, mayo and kimchi, if desired. Using a straw or silicone mat, slowly roll up. Wipe the top with sesame oil, then slice with a sharp knife.
Sprinkle sesame seeds on the top; serve with pickled radish slices and kimchi.
Here is the finished roll:

Sliced and ready to eat:

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New year, resolving to update this blog more often

I started this blog last summer, when I had a lot of free time. Life got in the way.

But I'm back...

After a year in Korea, I had trouble readjusting to an American diet. The gluttony, the excess, the fat, the dairy, the meat... It grosses me out. I like meat and dairy, but in moderation.

I've decided to cut out meat, but I'll keep eating fish. I LOVE seafood, especially sushi. Life without sushi wouldn't be worth living!

Today I hosted my book club. I always want to go a bit over the top when I host parties, but the truth is that most people I know just want easy food. I made miniquiche with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and chevre; guacamole and salsa with a crudite platter (left) ... The quiche went largely uneaten, but I liked them. (above)