THE SHIT I EAT WHEN BY MYSELF: K-TOWN RICE’N CHEESE
THE RICE AND SAUCE QUICKLY COOKED INTO SOMETHING LIKE A DOPPELGANGER OF RISOTTO, BOUND BY THE STRINGENT GOOEYNESS OF MELTED CHEESE,
OF WHICH HE THEN GOBBLED DOWN BY EACH OVERSIZED WOODEN-SPOONFUL
I hardly think that it’s unreasonable, sometimes even understandable, for people to bundle their perceptions for different cultures around a region, as a whole. As one of the Asians, Taiwanese to be exact, I am certainly far more accustomed to many of the familiarly bizarre lifestyles or values from our neighboring cultures, than say someone who are born and raised in the Midwest of America. Regardless of agreements, I can generally find an answer for much of the “Asian weirdness” that are otherwise lost in translation, even just by association. But a few days ago, prompted by a segment from Tony’s Parts Unknown, I sank into a recent uprise of Korean phenomenon so baffling, that the regional cultural gap… has never felt so wide.
Did you know… that there are a swarming number of YouTube channels with millions of views and followers… broadcasting hours after hours of young, slim Koreans doing nothing but sitting in front of their HD webcam-equipped computer, and just… eating themselves to a pulp?!! Just eating! Just nothing else, absolutely nothing else, but them eating… and eating.. and eating what appears to be an obscene and non-human amount of foods that defies the very laws of physics! Perhaps I should point out that the nature of these shows are not competitive, as the broadcaster, almost always, are the sole living subjects in front of the cameras inside his/her own bedrooms (except maybe this living sea-creature wiggling before its imminent death). What seems to be just a random somebody filming him/herself leisurely ingesting takeouts after school or work, sometimes for hours, will only slowly begin to stun your consciousness when you realize… how freaking much foods have already gone inside their average-sized human torsos. Then the shows end almost as bizarrely as they begin, when the broadcasters, however long it takes, finally decide that he/she is sufficiently fed, then goes offline… The purposes of these shows, if there was one, don’t make any fucking sense! It could even be argued as being hazardous to social health, but, oh God knows I tried, I just couldn’t stop watching! On top of the fact that I couldn’t understand a single Korean-word buzzing through my ears like white noise, I still couldn’t stop watching for the same human-condition that disables us to walk away from a car-crash!
Well, today’s recipe, is a ruinous aftermath from such a show. This dude… this fit-by-any-definition Korean dude, after ingesting what was a legitimate tub of spicy Korean stew, he then mashed 3 more Japanese rice balls into the leftover sauce, and further blanketed it with more shredded cheese that he grabbed from an enormous bag that seemed to be kept by his desk as importantly as back-up staplers. The rice and the sauce quickly cooked into something like a doppelganger of risotto, bound by the stringent gooeyness of melted cheese, of which he then gobbled down by each oversized wooden-spoonful. I think it rendered me mindless. In retrospect, I believe the only sound hovering above the paralyzing astonishment was the voice of my own murmurs… That shit looks good. I’d totally eat that shit. So here, aside from a tip-of-the-hat, if I didn’t channel this episode into another post of (as coincidentally fitting and attributing as it is) The Shit I Eat When By Myself, what kind of a recipe-sharer would I be?
Servings: 1/10 serving for its inspirer, but 1 serving for a normal humanoid
When I made this the first time and took these photos, I forgot to add the nori/Japanese seaweed. So don’t scratch your head wondering where they are, and just be assured that the recipe is better with than without.
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2" square peeled ginger, chopped
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (113 grams) whole milk
- 4.6 oz (130 grams) SPAM, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp (40 grams) gochujang/Korean chili paste
- 1 1/2 tsp (11 grams) honey
- 2 cups (300 grams) cooked rice, preferably a day-old
- 1/4 cup diced scallion
- 1 sheet (9" x 8 "/23 x 20 cm) Japanese nori/seaweed, torn into 1" pcs
- 1 tsp Japanese rice vinegar, or 3/4 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) + 1/2 cup (50 grams) shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt to taste
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt unsalted butter with toasted sesame oil, then cook chopped onion, garlic, ginger, salt and black pepper for a couple mins until softened. Transfer to a blender along with milk, SPAM, gochujang, honey and ground black pepper, and blend for 1 min until smoothly pureed. Mix the mixture evenly with cooked rice, diced scallion, nori/Japanese seaweed, vinegar (the vinegar is important for brightening the flavour!) and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar.
- Microwave on high for 4 min, stirring once in between (taste and salt to season if needed), then top it with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar and some ground black pepper. You can finish melting the cheese in the microwave, or place under top broiler until browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.
SynnøveJune 2, 2015 at 7:58 PM
This looks like a more advanced version of the gochujang rice I sometimes eat when I’m by myself. Definately trying this! also, definately heading over to youtube… sounds SO weird!
Belinda @themoonblushbakerJune 2, 2015 at 8:12 PM
feed me,feed me, feed me! The hype yellow cheese and rice is the meal everyone wants to eat. I could down this any day Mandy! Also that show documents most of my teenage years; siting and eating. Thank god for the young metabolism eh?
Ursula @ LilVienna.comJune 2, 2015 at 8:42 PM
I you would know what I sometimes eat ;-) Compared to my solo-eat-habits yours are amazing hehe.
AllynJune 2, 2015 at 9:10 PM
Besides the fact that this looks so insanely delicious and junky in the best way, I really love the SPAM blended in. After proudly never eating SPAM for the first 25 years of my life, I then fell in love with a Hawaiian Chinese man, and he quickly changed that fact.
Can’t even count how many SPAM musubis I’ve inhaled over the years.
Must try this.
JessicaJune 2, 2015 at 9:57 PM
this series is the best. makes me really, really nostalgic for k-town. Korean cuisine really embraced dairy and cheese whereas I find that my Chinese extended family (and others) back in Beijing have yet to incorporate dairy into recipes that don’t involve baking. why is this?
mandy@ladyandpupsJune 3, 2015 at 1:27 AM
Jessica, I think cheese somehow goes oddly well with Korean and Japanese seasonings. But again, maybe it does too with Chinese seasonings… I feel a science experiment brewing…
MelindaJune 2, 2015 at 10:05 PM
I didn’t see that episode of Tony yet, but that shit is BIZARRE in the best way (the youtubers that is). I’m going to show my son who is a fan of all youtubers everywhere. I can see him making his own videos like these. Maybe Koreans will want to watch him eat himself crazy.
Also SPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This looks f-ing incredible. Making.
Erika KubickJune 2, 2015 at 11:01 PM
Cheese and umami together to take over your palate. Amazing. Thank you for being my number 1 foodie inspiration as always. You’re always so weird and funny. I think we can be friends.
Long live the cheese.
Kari JaquithJune 3, 2015 at 12:24 AM
JessieJune 3, 2015 at 12:49 AM
Um…could you post a link for the youtube video?
I pretty much…have to watch that now. Yeah.
mandy@ladyandpupsJune 3, 2015 at 1:24 AM
Jessie, the text is linked directly to the video :). Just click on it :)
J.S. @ Sun Diego EatsJune 3, 2015 at 12:55 AM
Omg you blended the SPAM in O_O
I’ve watched those shows! I saw one with this tiny Korean girl just eating a giant feast as she giggled and answered people’s chat questions. They make no sense but are oddly compelling.
Jackie Liang FletcherJune 3, 2015 at 1:48 AM
You are way toooo much! This one is over the top. I want to try it so bad but the “good me” tells me to pass it. Oh, I am also Taiwanese. I know what you meant…. I am in awe of your creativity and imagination. I am your fan.
LaurieJune 3, 2015 at 2:13 AM
OMG! What strange videos! The girl was hard to stop watching – she kept doing so many weird things. Loved the slurping and the chewing and the thumbs up! From what I can tell, they are getting paid by the people watching. It is like food porn. Do you know what was in the bowl with the red sauce in it? Was it frogs or what?
I like your recipe. Haven’t had Spam in a million years!
SusieJune 3, 2015 at 3:35 AM
So I just tried making this! I replaced the gochujang paste with kimchi base sauce since I didn’t have gochujang. It turned out sooo delicious! It’s perfectly cheesy, spicy, and creamy! Thanks for sharing this recipe!❤️❤️❤️
june2June 3, 2015 at 4:23 AM
How is that even physically possible, the quantity they are eating? I don’t understand! There must be an interview somewhere – what is this thing they are doing called, and WHY are they doing it..
Anyhoo…my favorite afterschool snack for a while was cheddar cheese melted over a bowl of rice but it had to have halved cherry tomatoes stirred in. Your version looks great!
michele @ i-heart-bakingJune 3, 2015 at 5:14 AM
oh my god. at first i was like, “whaaa? why would people watch videos like that?” but then i started watching. and i can’t stop. and that spicy korean stew is making my mouth water…
Mabel @ miss.hangrypantsJune 3, 2015 at 10:52 AM
It’s funny because cheese and Korean food is so common place that I forget that it may seem weird to other people! I love melting cheese and mixing in a fried egg into my rice. Yumm! haha people pay good money to watch people eat :P
RosalieJune 3, 2015 at 11:30 AM
Please watch the language! I really like reading your blog, but there are a lot of kids reading this, too, and it would be a shame for it to have inappropriate words for them to read. Thanks!
noteJune 3, 2015 at 11:43 PM
Sorry, but I just can’t let this go…Seriously, Rosalie? Personally, I think the language she uses enhances my overall experience. I can feel the emotion, and that ain’t no shit!
DawnJune 4, 2015 at 8:49 AM
I have to also question this comment – is this snark? Mandy’s blog and her ‘language’ are part and parcel of the reason so many of us love her posts and recipes. If you’ve got kids, perhaps monitoring their Internet usage is in order… I’d bet you dimes to dollars, they already know what that ‘shit’ is and employ it often.
BettyJune 3, 2015 at 11:12 PM
Ah yes, I have heard about those youtube videos. I could never understand how they have such a big audience… but yeah….. This looks really interesting. I’m not sure what it is, but my stomach is growling and rice and cheese? Why not! Also spam? YES.
DawnJune 4, 2015 at 8:59 AM
Keep these “shits” coming, Mandy! They are definitely some of my fave posts and this one featuring the youtube vids (WTH!) tops out the bizarre-o meter ; )
Sarah BJune 4, 2015 at 8:53 PM
So I made this last night but didn’t have spam and was worried it would be really lame without that ingredient. It was fricken awesome anyway. Thanks for the inspiration!
mandy@ladyandpupsJune 4, 2015 at 9:10 PM
Sarah, haha the spam sorta blended into the background like a “flavouring agent”, so there’s no prominent “oh this is spam!” moment. Glad you enjoyed it!
RosalieJune 5, 2015 at 10:15 AM
No, i’m talking about the f word found in the post. I’ve never seen it before in past posts… While freedom of speech is great and all, it’s just about courtesy here. Can *castericks not suffice?
RosalieJune 5, 2015 at 10:16 AM
RosalieJune 5, 2015 at 10:20 AM
And Dawn and Note”, okay I can do that- stop letting kids read this blog. I’m sure Mandy would appreciate it with all the hard work she pits into her blog.
noteJune 5, 2015 at 10:01 PM
Geez. Courtesy? First off, when you speak of “kids”, what age demographic are we talking here? Pre-teens? I may be a bit ignorant, but I can’t imagine that “a lot” of 8 year olds are frequently reading this blog. Call me crazy. If you’re referring to teens, they hear it at school, they hear it in the music they listen to, and they most certainly say “f**k” when they aren’t around their parents. That’s a f***ing fact. Secondly, I just can’t imagine someone working as hard as I’m sure she does on a blog and then being told to watch her language. I mean, it’s HER blog. Again, call me crazy, but I just think that’s f***ing ridiculous. My opinion of course, but I’m pretty certain the people who do frequent this blog would agree with me. Lastly, whether there are “asterisks” or not, when I read “f**k”, I still say “fuck” in my head. Can I get an amen? HA!
Sorry Mandy, I know you don’t need my defense. It’s the damn principle of the whole thing that just rubs me the wrong way. I will let it go now though.
mandy@ladyandpupsJune 6, 2015 at 3:41 AM
Rosalie, the words in the blog, mostly, are meant to be more funny than anything else, not to assault, so please don’t be offended.
Note, Big :)
hellocakegirlJune 5, 2015 at 12:59 PM
cheese is life!
Delicious MSGJune 7, 2015 at 12:49 AM
This recipe is going to absolutely ruin my life, and diet, and I can’t thank you enough. Cannot WAIT to try this and see how I can simultaneously feel terrible about my life choices while hoarding this entire recipe for myself. I will be like Gollum and the cheesy rice will become “my precious.” Love your blog!
DaveJune 11, 2015 at 5:42 AM
Is proposing marriage based on blog articles considered too ‘forward’?
mandy@ladyandpupsJune 11, 2015 at 12:35 PM
Dave, not at all. That’s modern digital efficiency, hahaha
ShanekaOctober 2, 2015 at 3:47 AM
How was he able to consume all the food in one setting? Wow.
NyashaJuly 4, 2020 at 4:52 PM
Wow, that looks so good. I’ll have to try! Great post by the way!
mary foutJune 2, 2021 at 3:50 AM
now youve gone and done it. looks like a tasty mess. must try tonight. things like this is why i love living by myself. im free.