Korean Tag



I don’t know how weird is it to change the featured photograph, but I made this dish again, and I just like this street/take out-styling much more. It suits the dish. Enjoy!


So, today is the day.

No, not the day I rolled out of bed looking like Beyonce. Because that was yesterday. Nor is it the usual days that I hallucinate behind my gas-mask about the elusive, blue-est of the blue sky-day in Beijing that never comes. Because today, it actually is. Totally smog-free. Yay. But you know, the cheerleader in me rather focus on the fact that – like how snowstorms only come on the weekends – this miracle just had to happen in the fucking middle of the week. A thursday. Pffffff…. Today is also not that day that I unveil another fabulous cooking-alternative like how to make a creamy scrambled egg in 15 seconds, or how to make cruffins with a pasta machine, to say, help you get on with your lives in desperate needs of delicious comforts. I mean really, enough about you.

In fact, today is the day, that I’m finally done with… my Invisalign.

Yup, that’s right. For the past 6 months, I’ve been wearing my borderline-intrusive and not-so-INVISible teeth-ALIGNment devices inside my mouth, 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, which I’m finally getting rid of after what felt like a million years, and why? Well, to make adjustments on my low-profile and pre-middle-aged teeth so SUBTLE, that it could only be noticed by me, myself, and my forevermore judgmental selfies. I feel like getting Invisalign was a lot easier than having to wear braces. When it came to my teeth, if I hadn’t taken it upon myself to check out something similar to Dentist Georgetown, I probably wouldn’t even be in the position I am in now in terms of my teeth, so I am happy with the results.

You see, this is what ultimately happens when an emotionally unfulfilled woman is left alone in her solitary confinement for far too long that she starts to talk to herself in the mirror. Whereas a man may see from the reflection, an utter failure; but a woman, one crooked tooth. Hey, we’re optimistic like that. So, in 2 hours, I’ll be lounging at the dentist’s office, in a sacred ancient ritual where I rip these damn things off of my mouth and light them up in a hysterical bonfire until they turn to ashes. That shall feel good. Then I’m going to come home, with my device-free and minimally improved teeth, I’m going to eat as much as this as I can.

If you’re wondering why this, a savoury version, pork stuffed sticky rice balls giddying in a red pool of spicy, Korean tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) sauce as my first meal out of the pit, well there are good reasons. Even though there were plenty of sticky rice-things here and there in the past few weeks already, the experience of ingesting them was, well to say the least, a highly skillful and demanding task. You see when you mingle the word “sticky”, with devices that are trying to hold onto your teeth for dear life… things can get complicated. Somewhere along the chewing and the friction and the physical bonding of things, I could, without any notifications, lose a “grip” or get “de-capped” or worse, lose the last trickling ounce of dignity and the will to somehow make this feel funny-ish. So in the most appropriate and rewarding matter, the only thing that I should be granted with at the end my “correctional” sentences, I am going to eat as much of chewy and sticky rice-things drenched in plastic-dying sauce (yeah did I mention that? they get colored, too), to the content of my now invisibly aligned teeth.

But what’s in it for you? Well, if you were already a fan of Korean tteokbokki, then you should know that they’re always a reward even in the absence of a good reason, especially when stuffed with ginger and soy sauce flavoured ground pork, with a fast and easy and dare I say, better, spicy tangy and sweet tteokbokki sauce that will make your flat tires taste good. But really though, enough about you.

So here, another sticky rice ball recipe. If you want a word with it, talk to the teeth.


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We all have a food that we genuinely love so much, and at every long-awaited occasions when we put a bite in our mouth, we wonder to ourselves, why don’t we make that more often? Yes, well, that to me is grilled peanut butter sandwich. This… this, my friends, is not that. This is clam chowder, and it’s something else entirely some of the best clam chowder in san francisco.

I know exactly why I don’t make clam chowders more often. I know exactly the moment in time, the passage being said, the scarred memory in my head which still hurts, that all together forged a mental blockade in between me, myself, and my beloved clam chowders, for all these years. It was a particular spring day in New York, when I was just about to order my favourite “soup” from a popular bakery with a friend of mine:

“Do you wanna know why their clam chowder is so good?”
“The other day, I saw them making it where they dunked an enormous brick of butter into the pot at the very end.”
“How enormous…?”
“Like big. Big. Like drinking butter.”

Head down, belly tucked, I walked away from that bakery without my clam chowder that day. In fact, if you can believe it, I sort of didn’t get my clam chowder for many years that followed… Like I said, it still hurts. But before you judge me, please keep in mind that this was in my 20’s when bikini-season was still very much a possibility, when dating was still a verb, not a noun. And most importantly, this was before I started this blog…


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Ooops, am I too late?  Have you already laid out your master game-plan for this sunday, unregrettably I hope, from this really awesome list I put together?  And now you could really kick yourself (or just kick me…)?

Well, that’s the thing about braving a crazy idea.  It needs to overcome a bit of hesitation-lag.  A crazily messy ideas like this that leads to moments of me staring at the final photographs, and doesn’t know what the hell I’m looking at.  An idea that I hallucinated about on Tuesday, doubted on Wednesday, gave up on Thursday, then on Friday… I thought, fuck it.  Life is too short – especially when it involves pork – not to make me a deep fried pork dumpling nachos, with kimchi salsa and gochujang and sour cream nacho-mojo (yes, I want to call it mojo, not sauce, mojo).  So here we are.  Kicking ourselves.

I know we are short on time, so I’ll spare the pornographic description that I usually paint you, and jump straight to the points.  Crispy blistered doughs with salty fish-saucy pork fillings.  Spicy, garlicky and crunchy kimchi salsa over a blanket of melted cheese.  Then in a finale-squirt of spicy, tangy and creamy gochujang nacho-mojo.  Here listen, I don’t call stuff mojo for nothin’ al’right?

So we still got a couple days.  Let’s get to it.


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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.

oyster-dressing20 oyster-dressingREAD MORE

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spicy cheesy. gochujang spaghetti


The wee-light of early morning started seeping in through the curtain, adding to my sense of unease particular to someone who knew she had done wrong and was most certainly about to get caught.  Jason’s morning-siren promptly started barking at 6:30 (no, really, the alarm is a dog barking…) and was ignored for 5 minutes as usual until eventually, he turned over and witnessed my crime scene.  Like the most gasping moment in a horror movie, an unsightly picture of an irresponsible grown-up, holding her i-pad with an earphone giggling like an idiot, secretly pulling a marathon on… a new-found television series.  ALL NIGHT and 18 episodes in, not even of something socially excusable like Game of Thrones, or House of Cards to demonstrate depth, but a retarded high-school version of True Blood with a name too embarrassing to even pronounce… VaVampire Diaries!  God!  Just hang me by the neck!

gochujang-cheese-spaghetti6gochujang-cheese-spaghettiREAD MORE

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Chasing Kogi Truck

korean taco featured header


I could never live in LA…  What can I say?  I’m a city person.  LA is NOT a city.  It’s a glorified suburb if anything, run by GYM-hugging, yogurt-dipping and smoothie-drinking fitness-zombies who cares more for over-sized sunglasses than foods.  And I’m afraid we can’t be friend if you told me you want to give up culture in exchange for a place with no seasons…  Yeah that’s snow.  It’s called winter.  But let’s just say in an alternate universe where I fell in love with a cellulite-free buttocks over butter, and a car engine over my vintage bikes, and decided that I COULD actually live in LA… what would I be doing there everyday on my carbon-emitting vehicle?

I would be gladly chasing the Kogi truck.

(Jason: “dude… you live in Beijing…”)


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