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Tam Ngo

Serial obsessions

  • Website
  • Location: New York
  • Favorite foods: Scotch and jerky and $1 stick meat.
  • Last bite on earth: undecided.

The Inaugural Serious Eats Cookie Swap

@skeetereats: Loved the crispy chocolate-coated cookie stars! And like Carey, I'd love to know where I can get more :).

Aside from the chocolate stars, my favorites were Alaina's Three-Way Gingersnaps (crispy, buttery), Chichi's Bizcochitos (a salty, lardy shortbread), and LeeAnne's Korova Cookie Remix (a salty chocolate shortbread). But swappers also loved Nikki's Cranberry Turtle Bars -- I saw Chichi spirit away a tidy little bundle ;).

Hanoi / Northern Vietnamese Style Pho in NYC

Hey hey, feistyfoodie --

Northern style pho, or phở bắc, is all about coaxing beefiness from the broth. (For those wanting to read up on the distinction between northern and southern styles, check out Andrea Nguyen's summary or this Chowhound thread.)

Wish I had some leads for you. It's hard enough to find a good pho in NYC. But a northern style pho, i.e., one that rivals Turtle Tower in SF? Even more so. There is a restaurant called Pho Bac in Elmhurst, Queens, but reviews of it haven't been all that positive ...

Phở Đuôi Bò (Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Oxtail)

@NoPunyNerd: Thrills! Good luck.

Pascal Rigo's Blue Cheese, Pear, and Pecan Quiche

@Lindsey7281: Great question! A minimally sweetened, oats-only granola might be a good substitute for the pecans. It offers the crunch and toasted flavor that the nuts do. Hope this helps!

Robataya: Grills, Shouts, and Oars in the East Village

@sakewoman: Thanks for catching that! The entry has been corrected. As always, we appreciate the insight of our readers. But let's play nice, shall we?

Robataya: Grills, Shouts, and Oars in the East Village

Thanks, guys! On certain evenings, they also grill limited quantities of hamachi collar. I mean to go back and try!

Phở Đuôi Bò (Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Oxtail)

@wookie, Remander, phatshanghai: DIY pho is the bombdiggity. And a dangerous thing, too! Because it might just ruin you to anything a restaurant could offer.

Pascal Rigo's Goat Cheese Tart with Pears (Tarte au Chevre avec des Poires)

Thanks, everyone! And @caroliine, color us intrigued ...

Phở Đuôi Bò (Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Oxtail)

@tatianak: The day after we wrapped production, the weather turned warm. Curses! But pho can be eaten year-round, and in Viet Nam, you'll find people hunkered over humid bowls even on blistering days.

@Eaterlover: Oh man, don't get me tallying opportunity costs :). But I'm a-okay losing the billable hours because (1) a pho of just-oxtail is hard to find; and (2) the flavor and textural differences between a 4-hour stew and an 8-hour stew are startling. Most restaurants can't commit to production of the latter.

@지방kogi: Ah ... the smell of pho does trigger such specific memories.

@chriskobler: Your commitment to excellence is thrilling! You might also dig Shola's interpretation of this rustic meal.


Phở Đuôi Bò (Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Oxtail)

Thanks, Ambitious!

@chzplz: The similarity is striking.

Pascal Rigo's Blue Cheese, Pear, and Pecan Quiche

Thanks, all!

@lizicle: The tart's fine at room temperature. (Served hot, the oil from the cheese can start to separate.)

@mookie: Cumin seeds work well, too. The seeds are just an accent so omitting them won't fundamentally change the flavor of the tart.

Cook the Book: Black Cod and Soy Milk Hot Pot (Tonyu Nabe)

@Big Girls Small Kitchen: Thanks! The soy milk broth actually shares more in common with the softer flavors of tian dou jiang than of a bouillabaisse. But wow, that soup sounds great.

Cook the Book: Squid Hot Pot (Ishiri Nabe)

Thanks for these expressions of hot pot enthusiasm!

@hungrychristel: The last time I disemboweled a squid was 9th grade Biology. There's something really mesmerizing about the process. It takes a deft and delicate hand ;).

@hmw0029: I'll keep an eye out for kurozukuri. I'm intrigued by this jet-black pudding!

@erikachan: Nabe 24/7, yes!

Recreating the Adult Brownies from Andronico's

The sugar can be reduced by 1/8 to 1/4 cup to enhance the flavor of the salt. Saltiness will also be affected by the use of fleur de sel v. kosher salt.

@semarr: Hah. You're not alone in this dilemma. Though they're texturally very different baked goods, the brownies hot are just as great as they are several days in. We've enjoyed them fresh out of the oven and as stale as a week old ... plus all the days in between!

@Potluckcraft: Gosh, I'm really sorry to hear about your brownie soup. Would you give us some details regarding the type of baking pan and chocolates used, and also your oven rack placement? Did you also fold chopped dark chocolate into the batter as an end step? (If mailing you a less melty batch might make up for your brownie loss, I'd be happy to do so; just lemme know.)

Nomad Pizza Co.: Notes from the Field

Love this place! And looking forward to meeting you all!

We've since tried Manhattan Motorino to compare. What's interesting is while Motorino's thinner crust has a more pronounced char flavor, it's actually spongier to chew through. Not objectionable, but just not at all crispy. Motorino is also more heavy-handed with its cheese, if that's your thang.

Recreating the Adult Brownies from Andronico's

Thanks for all the chocolate love!

@EatingBrie: Relieved to hear this is a close approximation. I'm relying on taste-memory, which can be a lil' spotty.

@rumanddiet: Using cocoa from roughly the same percentage should be a-okay. More importantly, it oughtta be a brand you crave.

@lemonfair: I, too, am a big fan of Malden on everything! (I love its textural crunch.) Adding salt into as opposed to on top has a more subtle effect on the cake flavor. Salt balances some of the bitterness introduced by the coffee and darker chocolate.

How to Make Patbingsu (Korean Shaved Ice)

Tteok! I'm in love.

Do you have any details on the electric ice shaver? Does it crank out a sufficiently powdery fine snow?

Nutella vs. Gianduia vs. Generic Brand Hazelnut Spreads

Most Nutella I've found in NY/NJ/PA/MA grocery stores are imports from Canada, but occasionally, I'll come across a Nutella import from Italy. The flavor/texture differences between the two are pretty pronounced as well.

Canadian Nutella is more sugary, spreads like a melting wax, and is prone to separate from its oil. Italian Nutella tastes more of toasted nuts, is thicker/pastier, and just a little more challenging to spread. (The Italian is significantly less sweet, so it's my favored treat.)

The Nasty Bits: No Mean Feet

I watched a woman suckle these dainty digits at dim sum last weekend. She nibbled at each finger with such relish; I felt a little embarrassed to be spying. I shoulda given her more privacy.

Speaking of which, would you be interested in joining some of us for a Flushing food crawl this Saturday? Would be pleased as punch to finally meet you!

The Crab Pot: Observations from the Dock

And you're right about blue crab being ornery little buggers. But the flesh of the others aren't nearly as sweet ;).

The Crab Pot: Observations from the Dock

Oh, man. These off-the-cuff crab jaunts make me miss home!

I grew up in Florida so my crabby memories are of 5 AM car rides, Piggly Wiggly packs of chicken neck, and sand fleas and sunburn at New Smyrna Beach. With a family of eighteen (twelve cousins = cheap child labor), we'd haul home crab, crab, crab and bathing suits full of sand.

Once home, the catch was divided. Some were boiled in mix of spice and beer and the men and children would eat that first.

Our mothers would then handpluck the others to make Vietnamese crab noodle soup or bun rieu. Feast! Sup! Play! Feast! Summer was so exhausting.

Sugar Rush: Churros at Mayahuel

Sigh. All crust, no chew. Helpfully, the greedy drunks next to us offered to polish them off :).

The Nasty Bits: Gizzards Galore

With the top image, I'm suddenly reminded of the elegant inventory-style of Karl Blossfeldt.

The Nasty Bits: Gizzards Galore

Never before have I spied a more lovely set of gizzards! The Nasty Bits chronicle is my new favorite form of voyeurism ;).

Is Ham the New Bacon?

Nice! I just bought a bone-in Surryano for my boyfriend's birthday, to compare it against last year's birthday Redondo Serrano from Spain.

We're just waiting to have a critical mass over to justify splitting the puppy open ;).

Top 10 Grilled Burgers in NYC?

In the hotly contested debate about NYC's top 10 burgers, round-ups only occasionally specify whether such burgers are griddled or grilled. Our AHT reviewers seem to prefer griddled, but I'm curious to hear from those with a bias towards grilled.

Thoughts? Kind thanks!

Cook the Book: Squid Hot Pot (Ishiri Nabe)

[Photographs: Tam Ngo] This week's Cook the Book recipes represent the ongoing research of the Japanese Hot Pots project—undertaken by Matsuri chef Tadashi Ono and journalist of all things Japanese Harris Salat. Last Christmas, I had the pleasure of... More

Birds Stealing Ice Cream Cones

I love this photo gallery of birds stealing ice cream at a seaside esplanade. Look at that rascal above; you can practically see the greed in his eyes. And, at least for a moment, this poor woman is blissfully oblivious to the carnage going on. [via MetaFilter]... More

Banh Chung for Lunar New Year

In areas with a sizable Vietnamese community, you can find banh chung around Lunar New Year. Stacked in neat bricks, sometimes even warm, the sign of a good banh chung is one that's meaty, hefty, and tightly rolled. Here's a recipe and how-to. More

Top 10 Grilled Burgers in NYC?

In the hotly contested debate about NYC's top 10 burgers, round-ups only occasionally specify whether such burgers are griddled or grilled. Our AHT reviewers seem to prefer griddled, but I'm curious to hear from those with a bias towards grilled.... More

Best Manhattan izakaya?

Going out tonight with a buddy, both thinking we wanted yakitori etc., anyone have any recommendations? Other than Village Yokocho (which I love, just want to try somewhere new) and that greasy place on St. Marks... What's your favorite joint?... More