Category Archives: Korean

A Breakfast Burrito in LA + Berkeley Eats

I feel like I need to come up with more creative titles for my blog posts. But then how would anyone know what the post is about without reading it? Or maybe that’s the point.

Um. I have no idea what I’m rambling about.

This is more of a catch-up post than anything, because we are now back in Oxford. *gloom* On a happier note, before we drove up to Norcal, we stopped by at Andy’s Coffee Shop in Pasadena for a breakfast burrito. We chose to split this baby, and hooo boy, were we glad we did. It doesn’t look that huge in the picture, but in real life it was about as wide as my bicep. (Which is really big, btw. Like, Stallone-big.)

015

Filled with egg, cheese, sausage, bacon, and hash, this burrito was pretty friggin’ delicious. Halfway through my share, I moaned about being done. I set the burrito down and sipped my coffee (which was excellent, btw). Then I picked it back up. Snuck a nibble. Mmm, gooey cheese. Put it back down. Poked at it. Picked it back up and took a bigger nibble. And so on and so forth, until, for shame, I finished it. That one burrito was enough to fill us up for the duration of our drive to Norcal, which is somewhat scary, come to think about it.

Mike’s always yammered on and on about wanting to do “American stuff”, which is kind of a broad term. So far, I’ve managed to fulfill just one American dream: stuff our faces with ridiculously large portions of everything. But this time, I went all out. I got a friend to take us to a shooting range…

Yay, pretty targets!

Yay, pretty targets!

Me loading the revolver like a pro. Okay, not really. My hands were somewhat trembly and I was convinced the bullets would spontaneously combust and blow my hands off.

Me loading the revolver like a pro. Okay, not really. My hands were somewhat trembly and I was convinced the bullets would spontaneously combust and blow my hands off.

And as though that wasn’t American enough, I got us tickets to see a Cal Bears game. The morning after we arrived at Norcal, four of us headed for Berkeley.

Berkeley’s where I did my undergrad. Sometimes I miss those times so much I could choke a bear. It’s also the place where I gained like 20 lbs. (You’ll soon see why.)

First stop: Cheeseboard Pizza.

016

Cheeseboard is pretty much an institution. Whenever anyone slams vegetarian food, I prove them wrong by stuffing a slice of Cheeseboard pizza in their mouths. I love that CP only serves one type of pizza per day, depending on what veg are in season. It forces me to try combinations I would otherwise never bother trying. Some combos I prefer more than others, but I’ve never had a bad pizza from CP.

017

After Cheeseboard, we headed closer to campus, where we stopped by at Smart Alec’s for sandwiches and fries. Smart Alec’s is a pretty basic college student eatery. Its portions are large enough so most of their dishes can be spread over three meals. Their chowders are thick enough to withstand the standing-spoon test, but what I missed most from Smart Alec’s are the garlic fries. They’re “air-baked”, which I guess means they’re a teensy bit healthier than their deep-fried counterparts, but they’re also really soft and garlicky. Like my meats and my friends, I like my fries submissive and slightly soggy.

After that, we had enough food for a while, so we went around campus reminiscing and blowing money on Cal paraphernalia. Then we went to every Cal student’s favorite midnight snack haunt: Asian Ghetto. The beauty of Asian Ghetto is the free seating in the central space, which means everyone can get food from wherever the hell they want before congregating at one table. I went for an old favorite: Kimchi fried noodles with shrimp from Bear’s Ramen House.

018

Spicy, gooey, slightly sweet. . . with a perfectly-fried egg on top. . .there is nothing better than this at 2 a.m. after a hard night of partying studying.

Then it was off to the game. . .

019

Where we lost miserably, so the end. >:-[

*cries into pillow at the memory*

Tagged

Kimchi Jjigae and Bangs

I got bangs!

Yay, bangs!

Yay, bangs!

Can you tell how excited I am about my bangs? See, I think bangs automatically make you look super sweet and innocent, and I need that because this is my usual expression:

Care to repeat that?

In my next book you will be slowly torn apart by hamsters.

Since I work in the wedding industry, I probably shouldn’t look like I am plotting my next kill. . . so here’s to Bangs: When you need to hide your slightly deranged face.

Aaanywho, last night I cooked an old favorite dish of mine: Kimchi Jjigae. Kimchi Jjigae is a Korean stew made with, what else, kimchi. The main reason I love cooking it, aside from the fact that it’s frikkin’ delicious, is that it’s one of those dishes that taste like you’ve slaved away in the kitchen for hours, but is disgustingly simple to make.

003

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe

Ingredients:

– 2 to 3 cups of kimchi, depending on how kimchi-y you like your soup

– 300 g pork belly/shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces. I had leftover pork loin, so I used that instead. You could probably use chicken or beef as well, or leave out the meat altogether and make it a vegetarian dish.  No kimchi jjigae police is going to knock down your door and arrest you, probably.

– 1 to 2 tbsp gochujang, depending how spicy you want it

– 1 to 2 tsp sugar

– a bunch of scallions, chopped into 2-inch long pieces

– 1 package firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes

– 1 egg

– salt to taste

Directions:

1. Put kimchi, gochujang, scallions, and sugar into pot. If you’re using a fatty cut of meat like pork belleh/shoulder or chicken thigh, put the meat in as well. Since I used loin, I put the meat in about 10 min before serving so I didn’t overcook it. Add enough water to cover 2/3 of the mix and boil for 30 minutes.

001

2. Add tofu (and lean meat if you’re using that) and salt to taste and boil for a further 10 min.

3. Turn off the heat, crack egg into the pot and stir in quickly.

002

4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced scallions. Shamelessly accept praise and keep mum about how brainless the recipe actually was.

004

*Note: You can always add in odds and ends to the stew. I had leftover mushrooms lying about, so I sliced them up and added them to the dish, and they worked really well. Traditional kimchi jjigae recipes don’t usually use eggs, but I like how the egg makes the broth all thick and silky. I’ve also made this with bacon, which worked beautifully. It’s pretty much a fool-proof dish that’s perfect for winter. . . or a rainy English summer.

 

Tagged , , ,