March 20th, 2013. Eunice’s Perfect Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡)~

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

People wonder why I never cook Korean food. Why would I need to when I have a sister who cooks it so well and lets me eat it ;D

Tonight I came home and Eunice was just about to make some Korean Mini Meat Patties (동그랑땡) and said that I was going to help. Yes, sister! At your command 😀

 

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 A traditional Korean side dish, these mini meat patties are like a Korean bite-sized version cross between meatloaf & meatballs.  Made with a ground pork and tofu base mixed with your base aromatics such as garlic, carrots, and onions, it’s crucial to have a perfect mixture if you want the perfect moist and flavorful bite!

 

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

Not overworked and perfectly uniform patties just small enough to fit in the cup of your hand!

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

After a flour and egg coating the next important step is cooking it slow on medium heat in oil. Just like many grilling techniques flipping it over should be at a minimum.

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

Wait until the oil starts to bubble up and the bottom of the patties get that gorgeous yellow color from the egg wash, then gently turn them all over and do the same.

homemade 동그랑땡

homemade 동그랑땡

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too brown and it’s dry and tough, but that beautiful golden yellow with a slight brown hue makes this my personal favorite Korean side dish!

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Midam Cafe

January 24, 2013

April 5th, 2012. Midam Cafe

midam cafe

midam cafe

 

It had been a while since Yumi and I caught up, so we decided to do it over eats at Midam Cafe.  Nothing makes catching up better than eating while catching up~!

I ordered a full meal of what the menu called “떡갈비” roughly translated to Rice Cake Beef Ribs.  Galbi refers to beef short ribs, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong.  Hmmmm….well, what came out was veeeeeery interesting…..!  Ground beef wrapped in a sheet of rice cake?  Hmmm…..  Can anybody tell me if this is what it’s supposed to be?  Honestly, I blind-ordered, so I don’t know what it’s actually supposed to look like.

midam cafe

midam cafe

 

 

 

I thought it was a bit odd…and the rice cake was not super pliable or soft while the beef was a bit bland and dry…but I loved that my meal came with one of my side dishes, steamed egg!!  YUM!

Apart from the main star of the meal, I thought everything else was great as supporting actors.  I think Midam is a nice place to go to, although slighty over-priced, they do some things great, like desserts and porridges and side dishes.  AAnd for those, I’d come back 🙂

 

December 23rd, 2011. Lunch at Dasom 

dasom

dasom

 

 

  After the work event at Amenida Adele, Vivian and I went to lunch at Dasom, a little Korean restaurant in the Guildford area.  It used to be a Taco del Mar and they really haven’t renovated the interior…so the tiki theme is still there 🙂

 

dasom

dasom

 

 

 

 

 

  They have some really excellent lunch specials at Dasom for amazing prices.  And the banchan is pretty great too 🙂

dasom

dasom

 

 

 

 

  I had the Spicy Silky Tofu Stew with Galbi in Stone Bowl.  I really like how the stew has a clean taste and isn’t full of MSG.  And the Galbi is great too!  Tender with that perfect char from the grill and then served in a hot stone bowl to keep it warm.  Love it!

 

dasom

dasom

 

 

 

 

  Vivian had this amazing Bibimbap in Stone Bowl.  Just look at the beautiful colors!  How goregous is that.  I really like that they use a different set of toppings, like tobico, and the pomegranate topping is such a fun idea!

 

 

I think I may have mentioned that I’m not a fan of eating out for Korean food…but Dasom does it well.  Great prices, clean and delicious food, and fresh banchan!  I approve 😉

Midam Rice Cake House

December 31, 2011

July 27th, 2011.  Midam Date With Yumi 

midam rice cake house

midam rice cake house

 

 

  It was about time I caught up with Yumi for some one-on-one time to talk about life, love and faith.  Midam is a sweet little Korean rice cake and tea house that has a menu that ranges from savory meals to seasonal desserts and drinks.  Sounds good to me!

midam rice cake house

midam rice cake house

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I ordered the Ripe Persimmon Shake.  Not only do I love ripe persimmons, but the menu stated that this shake is full of vitamins A & C and great for skin.  I quite enjoyed it.  Sweet, delicious and refreshing!

midam rice cake house

midam rice cake house

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Yumi was looking for a snack so whe ordered the Pumpkin Porridge.  Little did we both know that it comes as a whole meal!  A large bowl of porridge with a side of white radish kimchi and Yakshik, a sweet mixture of rice, dates, pine nuts and chestnuts.  Nice!

May 2nd, 2011.  Hangawi Friends Together For Dinner

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

 

 

 

  So one by one as we all slowly got off work we all snuck across the street to 돈의보감 (Don’s Bogam) for some much needed dinner…in the form of meat!  Hahahaha!

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Problem is that the kitchen was closing in 30 minutes and not all of us had arrived yet….well, we ordered anyways and hoped we had enough for all!

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The spread.

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Love when we get free goodies…especially when it’s Chawanmushi!

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Spicy Pork.  Yuuum~!!

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Seriously…Who doesn’t love Korean BBQ??  Tender meat grilled on a hot coal grill (creates perfect charring on the outside), garlic slices in sesame oil, wrap it up with some ssamjang, spicy green onion strings insome delicate Korean lettuce and it’s a mouthful of happiness!

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

돈의보감 (don's bogam)

   

 

 

 

 

 

  We all had a really fun dinner together.  Lots of laughs, fun and friendship  🙂

HaruHana – K-Town, NYC

October 25, 2011

February 25th, 2011.  Late Night Dinner at HaruHana on W 32nd

haruhana nyc

haruhana nyc

 

After a 10~12 hour work day we just wanna get out of work and eat something!  With Min Obba there’s no hesitation about it.  His philosophy: “If you need to eat, then eat!  Nothing worse than feeling like a beggar after a long day of work!”  We love to eat 😉

haruhana nyc

haruhana nyc

 

 

 

 

Well, K-Town in Midtown NYC is perfect for a late night dinner because there are always places that are open til late and even places like, BCD Tofu House, that are open 24 hours!  We decided on HaruHana.

haruhana nyc

haruhana nyc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love Lemonade~!  Sweet, slightly tart and so refreshing

haruhana nyc

haruhana nyc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Assorted Sashimi: Tuna, Salmon, Hamachi.  Yum!

haruhana nyc

haruhana nyc

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Breast Salad: Tender seasoned chicken breast atop some greens with a creamy sauce/dressing.  Not overly complicated or impressive, but it’s good to eat

 

 

 

We ate a bunch of other stuff as well, but…we were too busy eating 🙂

Franchia Vegan Cafe

October 9, 2011

January 8th, 2011.  Starting a New Life in NYC

franchia vegan cafe

franchia vegan cafe

 

 

 

 

Day 2 of NYC Life: I had an early morning getting into Midtown for a job interview with a successful Korean restauranteur.  The “interview” stretched out a lot longer than I expected as I was given a task as a sort of test.  As this was going on I realized I had left my phone in the cab I rode in on and there was nothing I could do about it!

franchia vegan cafe

franchia vegan cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panic set in, but I got the task done and was on my way to meet with Ryoon Seok Samchon & Terri Sookmo at her restaurant, Franchia, a vegan cafe.

franchia vegan cafe

franchia vegan cafe

 

 

 

 

Franchia is such a warm and inviting place.  In contrast to the stately serenity of Hangawi, Franchia is more of a tea house.  Though it has the same quite demenor the general operation of the place is more casual.  I fell in love with the high ceilings, the breathtaking ceiling installments and the concept of a 3-tier balcony type layout.  Terri Sookmo really went to great lengths in thinking through the concept of the place.

 

–>Citron Paste Tea, you soothe my spirit… 🙂

RakuRaku Korean Cuisine

October 19, 2010

August 30th, 2010. Chicken Gizzards at RakuRaku!

rakuraku korean cuisine

rakuraku korean cuisine

 

 

   After work I met up with the boys, The Most Interesting Man In The World, Ho Chen & Easy E at the Redwood Golf Course to shoot some balls.  Hehehe, lots of fun!! Afterwards Ho Chen and I were lead to RakuRaku by The Most Interesting Man In The World to try some chicken poop sacs……(also known as chicken gizzards, according to wikipedia!) 

Even I, as a Korean, have never tried this “delicacy”!  It goes without saying that I was quite apprehensive about it just as much as Ho Chen!  TMIMITW…what are you gettin us into!!

rakuraku korean cuisine

rakuraku korean cuisine

 

 

 

  The Seafood Hotpot even had half a small crab in it! Yay!  Not the best I’ve had by any stretch, but the hot pot still had decent flavor, a nice variety of seafood and at least it had a clean finish.  It was nice that they served it with the burner to keep it hot 🙂

rakuraku korean cuisine

rakuraku korean cuisine

 

 

 

  The couple next to us were eating this dish..so we asked them what it was. Either they had no idea or they didn’t want to tell us. there was a lot of “umm…?? chicken? pork? ummm…hmmmm….” when our server came around we just pointed and said: “we’d like an order of that!” Lol!  I think it’s just Sweet & Spicy Pork 

 
rakuraku korean cuisine

rakuraku korean cuisine

 

  The Chicken Gizzards actually came out as a pretty hefty serving and I was thinking “oh, my……first time trying this and there’s that much??!” Well….chicken must use their butt holes ALOT! The “poop sacs” aren’t really tender as they are…muscular….lol! I know, sounds weird! They weren’t bad, and seasoned with salt and pepper and sesame oil gave it a great flavor….but….LOL!!!!  

rakuraku korean cuisine

rakuraku korean cuisine

  Can someone explain to me why this place is called “Korean cuisine” when it’s just Korean bar food?  On that vein, why is it we don’t have any really nice Korean restaurants that can exemplify the elegance and skill of good Korean cooking?  Why all these places with “cheap”er foods?  If non-Koreans think the best that Korean food can get is just hot pot or the cheap version of jap-chae we’re really not doing a good job of showcasing the potential of Korean cusine! (Okay, rant ends now..!)

Hangawi – New York

September 20, 2010

July 31st, 2010. jenn hearts nyc: hangawi!

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

 
  I was supposed to meet my long lost “uncles” for an early dinner in Koreatown, so after my lunch I walked around some more, eventually walking by Madison Square Garden as well as the first Macy’s in the process.  Hangawi is right in the heart of Koreatown amidst other Korean eateries and businesses all squeezed into an alley way.
hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

 Waiting for my uncles to arrive I snapped some photos and ordered a beverage.  I loved how the interior had very traditional decor as well as atmosphere.  It was actually quite a contrast to the modern, vegetarian interpretations on the menu.  The philosophy behind it is to have a spiritual experience while nourishing your body with healthy food.  Even just walking in to the space you get a sense of calm; like this is a retreat you come to in order to get away from all the business and stress.  I had read some amazing reviews online about this place and was really impressed by how ingeniously Hyung Gi Uncle had been able to focus on a very specific niche market.   

 
hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

   

I’m wary of vegetarian places because I’m a carnivore.  Without meat a meal just doesn’t seem like a meal, but I honestly have to say, I was blown away by the food at Hangawi.  They use ingredients that are organic and apparantly delivered from a farm that Uncle sources.  Again, I was completely impressed!

 

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

 

 

  I ordered an Iced Pomagranate Tea to cool off from all the walking.  The server brought out this leaf bowl with ice in it, set it on a polished stump that’s used as a side table and poured the tea into it, then set it in front of me.  How novel!

 
 
hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

 

Appetizer Green Pancakes.  Such a wonderfully light texture and taste!  Great way to start the meal!  Our other appetizer was the Sweet & Sour Crispy Mushrooms, which, unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of.  I don’t like mushrooms.  I LOVED that dish though!  Mmmm……pillowy mushroom texture on the inside, light crispiness on the outside and the delicious sauce!

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

 

 

  Pumpkin Noodle Salad?  Again, extremely fresh!  And really amazing flavors.  The pumpkin noodles are not only pretty for the color, but have a great texture and a sweetness to them, too.  It was dressed in a refreshing sauce.  I think I detected a hint of sesame oil in it?

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

hangawi korean vegetarian restaurant

 

Dessert was this magnificent martini glass full of goodies: Peach & Soy Ice Cream with Blueberries and Vegan Marshmallow Cookie!  Thinly sliced peach fanned the sides of the glass while a ball of soy ice cream rested on the bottom.  There were blueberries as well as an organic whipped cream (omg, so yummy!!).  The winner was most definitely the chocolate and cookie encrusted organic and vegan marshmallow!  Uncle was explaining how he’d been on a quest to create and find a truly organic marshmallow…and really, this one takes the cake.  A but firmer than regular ones, but it has it’s own unique taste while still being a marshmallow!  It’s genius!

 

  Dinner was pretty great!  I got to visit one of my uncles’ restaurants, and was treated to a seriously innovative and creative take on Korean vegetarian meals!