International Cuisine – Korean Night

I used to work with a girl who would make Chop Chae for every potluck.  She knew I liked it so much, she would make sure I had some extra to take home.  I miss Sonya and that delicious dish.  It’s time to learn how to make it myself.  Turns out, it’s not so difficult.  It’s probably the easiest thing I’ll make all month.  We happened to get a ton of chanterelle mushrooms from a friend who foraged them.  Most other ingredients were already in my pantry and fridge.  I went to Fubonn for the other ingredients, specifically the sweet potato (or glass) noodles.

It’s a pretty basic Korean stir fry with noodles, beef, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, soy sauce, and sesame sauce.

photo 1 (9) photo 2 (10)It turned out delicious and I will definitely make it again for a healthy and delicious meal.  While at Fubonn, I decided to pick up Korean wine, unsure what makes it distinctively Korean.

photo 3 (11)The first thing you notice is the horrible smell that travels slowly up your nostrils and tells you this is a bad idea.  Unfortunately for me, I don’t listen, and dive right in to a big sip.  It tastes just like it smells.  Like rotten fruit mixed with syrup.  There is about 3/4 of a bottle in my fridge if anyone is interested in what that tastes like.

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International Cuisine – French Day

Now, a few of you might argue that International Cuisine month should be all about me learning how to cook international cuisine.  Well, today I just felt like sitting outside a cafe, riding bikes, enjoying the stillness, and musing about the world… how French is that?  A-huhn-huhn-huhn (that’s how you spell a French laugh.)

Rode my French mixtie Roux down to Belmont.  It’s a beautiful fall day where the leaves are turning, the sun is out, and the weather is just starting to turn.

riding bikes

 

I decide to finally try Suzette, a Creperie with some outdoor seating that makes for some good people watching.  I had a delicious salad, coffee, and crepe filled with harissa, goat cheese, spinach, and salmon.  It was a beautiful meal and even more beautiful day.

photo 3 (10) photo 2 (9)

International Cuisine – Vietnamese Night

I have the distinct privileges of living in a very Asian neighborhood.  The Asian markets Hong Phat and Fubonn are closer than any Safeway or Fred Meyer.  There are more great Thai and Vietnamese restaurants that I can count.  Not only the food, but the culture and diversity in my neighborhood is unmatched.

I decided to take the easy route when I hosted Vietnamese night.  I went to Hong Phat and purchased tons of pre-made savory and sweet pastries.  Trying to get the most non-American ones I could find.

photo 2 (8) photo 3 (9) photo 4 (3)

 

Then I bought all the ingredients to make fresh salad rolls, my absolute favorite!  There are a lot of websites with great recipes and varying ingredients, but here’s a breakdown of what I chose to fill them with: crab, vermicelli noodles, tofu, carrots, cucumber, shrimp, cabbage, mint, and cilantro.  You chop it all up, and wrap it in soaked vermicelli paper wraps.

salad wrap fixings

wrapping salad rolls

 

Next time, I will simplify the ingredients and maybe switch around a few things.  But the start of the show was definitely the fresh mint and cilantro.  Dinner by candlelight doesn’t make for a great photo opportunity.

vietnamese night

 

After filling up on some pastries and salad rolls, I unveiled one last surprise – super weird desserts.  They were bright green and dark brown and slightly gelatinous.

desserts

We remained adventurous and tried each one, although they definitely did not get any better.  The Vietnamese have dinner locked down, but need some help in the dessert department.  Maybe it’s because they sweeten everything with mung beans.  Try some sugar, dudes!  It’s delicious.