kimchi Tag

PAPPA AL KIMCHI POMODORO, KIMCHI TOMATO BREAD SOUP

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A HYBRID BETWEEN THE CLASSIC TUSCANY BREAD SOUP AND KIMCHI JJIGAE, SERVED HOT OR COLD

If you follow my Instagram, you’d know that I have a barking barfing fur-child to attend to (yes, still).  So I’m quickly leaving you this recipe, which is a fantastic way to use up any day-old breads, or any over-proofed-thus-deflated breads in my case, which happens a lot these days.  It’s a hybrid between pappa al pomodoro, the classic Tuscany bread soup, and kimchi jjigae, the national anthemic stew from Korea.  You can serve it hot with the AC blasting, or chilled and cold at the next rooftop party ya’ll kids are so good at throwing nowadays.  Relaxed, soothing and comforting, unlike my life as we speak.  So go now.  Have some fun for me.

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THE WORLDLY PULLMAN-TORTILLA TACOS

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IS IT,

LET’S EAT NOW AND KILL EACH OTHER LATER?

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What has this world come to?  Or, all along, this is how we always have been?

I know.  This is a food blog, rainbows and marshmallows and summer noodle salads.  Politics, world affairs… are not palatable, instead, I should be talking about pumpkin pies.  But you see, this is the thing.  Talking about foods, in a time like this.  How can we, so at ease, not taste the irony between the bettering tolerance for flavours on our dining tables, and the boiling hostility on just about everything beyond?  Food-wise, in the history of mankind, the world has never come so open-minded, so intimately close to sharing and tasting the very same beliefs that are being enjoyed from the other side of the map.  We can all agree on the cold silkiness of a piece of raw fish on a small nub of tangy rice.  The cool creaminess of hummus meandering around the sizzling spiced kebabs.  The good funk of cheese melting into the chewiness of a hand-torn crusty baguette.  A sip of wine.  It registers the same.  The contentment in common.  The smile radiating from our torsos.  Ah, yes, that wonder you’re tasting over there, I’m feeling it right here too, understanding, happy-ing, at the same time, over the same things.  How is it that we could relate so much in happiness, and yet, empathise so little in suffering.  Can we really talk about foods, without thinking about politics?  Or is it, let’s eat now and kill each other later?

Really bad things happened in Paris.  Here we all mourned, in shock, in disbelief, compassionate.  Meanwhile, the exact same really bad things, just as bad, sometimes worse, happens not that far away almost every week on that side, perhaps your side, stacking up silently like morning pancakes.  Beirut 3 days ago, Ankara last month, other cities of dwindling lights.  But… that was just inks on newspapers, no hashtags in its grief.  Has even my sympathy, where I decide to spare it, become part of the problems?  Why is it only you and I, yours and mine, and nothing in between?  We’re all micros teeming on a speck of dust in this universe, but somehow, we still manage to divide beyond our means, to sever what is better as one, to split the atoms.  I don’t.  Wanna.  Exist like this.

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FIRE AND ICE, AND EVERYTHING NICE

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the refreshment of slippery noodles in an icy tangy broth… gliding down with sizzling pork fat on a stick.

 

BEST ARGUMENT A SUMMER CAN HAVE.


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SEEMINGLY, if you think that I have lost my mind and regards to the diversity of this blog somewhere in the frozen land of popsicles, gelato and gelato plus slushy cocktails, here’s a proof that… you’re absolutely correct.  These days, I feel as much desire to be in close proximity to open flames as there is to a screaming baby on an airplane.  Even with evident love for a bowl of hot and slurpable fire, these days I want my dinner to feel as close to a cold shivering shower as it can get, and believe it or not, it can.

Allow me to present evidence from our last two years in New York where we had the pleasure of visiting Fort Lee a few times, aka the better Korean Town just across the Hudson from Upper Manhattan.  Before such trips, I thought I could be happily-ever-after with Manhattan’s functioning K-town with its satisfactory BBQ following an affordable eyelash-extension.  But Fort Lee had ruined such ludicrous fantasy with delicious aggression.  The variety of dishes served there isn’t too different, but with just an extra pinch of much-ness that kicks them from good, to great.  And among which, the glorious mul Naengmyeon was unlike any I’ve ever had.

It means “cold noodle”, but boy is that an understatement.

Apart from dishes with the same claims, mul naengmyeon has kicked the word “cold” to a new level.  Instead of mixing noodles that are cooled after cooking with various sauces, it plunges them into an icy bath of broth made from beef and pickling juice that is chilled to a borderline frozen state.  As I swam my chopsticks through the frosty lake of flavours, I could hear the sound of slushes colliding in a refreshing symphony.  The buckwheat noodles were cold, chewy and slippery, gliding effortlessly into my properly chilled tummy with the savoury and tangy broth, topped with more pickles and thinly sliced pear and cucumber.

It is not a summer dish.  It is the summer dish.

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RED HOT OYSTER+KIMCHI DRESSING

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I thought I was going to forfeit the ticket to this year’s Thanksgiving recipe frenzy.  I thought, for some strange reason, that this year’s Thanksgiving is sitting (impossibly…) on November 18th, and that by the time around November 12th when I start to entertain the idea of a Thanksgiving recipe, that it would already be too late…  After all, I heard this is a holiday meal that people plan ahead for.  I heard that even before the first leaf turned brown, the happy Californian designer-turkeys still obliviously eating their organic feeds, have no idea that someone in New York has already claimed the right to carve them apart and break their wishbones in two months-time.  Better not tell them is what I think.

So the point is, a few days ago I suddenly realized I do have time this year, that it wasn’t too late.  I could still do this!  I could still… well, here’s where I ran into another problem.

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Kimchi Meatloaf Melt

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Because of this, Jason and I had almost nothing but a bottle of soy sauce to sip on Chinese new year’s eve.  Because of my fixation on having something called a “meatloaf melt” in my archive, I was giddying and bustling in the kitchen the night before NOT on a Chinese feast but an American staple with a Korean twist.  Because nowadays I am more a traffic-seeker than a considerate home-cook, we desperately loitered on the deserted Beijing streets only few hours before new year’s eve dinner, earmuffs and Uggs equipped and all, bracing an empty pot from home meant as a carrier for hot-pot soup which turned out was irresponsibly gone on holiday as well.  Like I said, almost nothing to eat.

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