Shabu Shabu – Cook at your table. It’s healthy.

I apologize for not posting lately! Hags and I are in the middle of opening a yoga studio and have been super busy! We’ll post some pictures soon!

Japanese Shabu Shabu is “hot pot” cooking. The name, “Shabu Shabu,” is the Japanese word for “swishy swishy,” which is the sound that the meat or vegetables make when being “swooshed” around the boiling hot broth at your tabletop grill. The best way to describe shabu is as a kind of do-it-yourself blanching. Shabu is usually made with some miso-based broth and is cooked right at your table with some sort of heating element in the middle of the table. You are given a plateful of raw vegetables and thinly sliced, raw beef, and you just work your way through them, dunking one piece at a time. Shabu is very healthy, there isn’t much room for it not to be. It’s quite low in calories-if you have lean beef, the entire meal is under 450 calories. There are always other options besides beef, I usually order some sort of seafood or dumplings. Continue reading

Restaurant Spotlight: Chosun Myun Oak in Santa Clara, CA

Korean bibimbap in a stone bowl, "Dolsot Bibimbap"

Callie was in the mood for bibimbap and for trying out a new Korean restaurant last week, so we decided to check out Chosun Myun-Oak – a hard-to-find place that Yelp told us was always full of Koreans eating hearty soups and stews. Continue reading

Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon) – Korean Pancakes

Go to a Korean restaurant at a busy time and you’re likely to see at least a few tables ordering the Korean seafood pancake, also known as haemul pajeon, as an appetizer because it is one of the most universally loved and easy to share Korean foods. Pajeon comes in many different flavors and varieties, Callie really likes pajeon with kimchi. It can be presented either pre-sliced or whole, like a pizza. This is definitely an interesting Korean dish with tons of flavor, and when you make it, you should make plenty!

Korean Seafood Pancake

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Fun Korean Photos – Summary of our Trip

I had to make a quick trip to Korea last week so it was tough to get posts up from internet cafes that only have Internet Explorer, but I brought back plenty of pictures!

One of my favorite parts about being in Seoul is that you can walk into just about any restaurant in the city center and be assured of a great meal. Although restaurant chains have started to make an appearance, the Korean restaurant scene is still largely dominated by sole proprietor family restaurants that serve food the same way they’ve been serving food for decades. Not surprising, then, that even when you go to a barbecue restaurant with the express purpose of satisfying your carnivorous desires, you’re still served a ton of veggies in various forms to balance out the meal. My first meal back was pork rib barbecue, where the pork rib is cut in a butterfly pattern so that it can be rolled out in a thin layer and quickly grilled at the table. Continue reading

Recipe: Easy Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple fried rice, or any fried rice really, is one of the easiest, most versatile dishes around. Any time you have leftover rice with some veggies, your first thought should be to open a can of pineapples and make some pineapple fried rice, especially during the summer.

Pineapple fried rice, a summer favorite!

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Can’t find a decent Korean restaurant nearby? Try Trader Joe’s!

Korean bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables) from Trader Joe's

Korean food isn’t as ubiquitous as Chinese takeout restaurants, so authentic Korean food (or even an international grocery store) may not be accessible for some of you. So, Hags and I have been looking for some introductory Korean food available at more mainstream grocery stores. We were happy to discover frozen Korean bibimbap at Trader Joe’s last week! Continue reading

Restaurant Spotlight: Bankgok Bay

Meang Kum, combination of roasted coconut, dried shrimp, lime, peanuts, and ginger wrapped in fresh spinach leaves

Bangkok Bay is a small, family-owned Thai restaurant in Redwood City, California. Hags and I tend to be a little wary of Thai restaurants because they are susceptible to “Americanizing” their menus, usually serving everything heavily doused in oil, sugar or coconut milk. But on the recommendation of two of our best friends, we decided to give Bangkok Bay a shot. Good thing too, because Bangkok Bay was surprisingly authentic and absolutely delicious. Continue reading

A Quick Pho Primer

Vietnamese noodle soup, "Hu Tieu," a close cousin to Vietnamese pho

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese noodle soup that is one of my all-time favorite Asian soups. If you’re not familiar with pho, it is a beef-based broth that is often simmered for over ten hours with a variety of spices such as star anise, cloves and cinnamon. It is then ladled over rice noodles and topped with a variety of toppings, usually comprised of different cuts of beef. Continue reading

“Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”

My family has a strong food culture. I grew up in the Midwest where barbecued meat is a staple and where vegetables are usually eaten only if smothered in butter, cream or mayonnaise. At county fairs, we even serve corn on the cob slathered with mayonnaise and parmesan cheese-it’s a Midwestern delight! When I was growing up, my dad barbequed as often as possible, sometimes venturing out in the snow to flip pork steaks. My dinner was usually a giant chunk of meat covered in my dad’s homemade bbq sauce served alongside some canned green beans or creamed corn, or if my mom was up to it, some potato salad. My brothers usually skipped the vegetables altogether and instead had two giant hunks of meat.

You can imagine how surprised I was when Hagana taught me how to eat barbeque like a Korean. Continue reading