New to the area, foodie in the making. Love to cook Asian and Italian, bake breads and cupcakes.

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  • Location: Washington DC
  • Favorite foods: Carbonara, dumplings, red velvet cupcakes, fried rice, sesame noodles

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Kind of gross, and I probably shouldn't eat it, but can't resist

hockey rink nachos. I am a sucker for these... especially if a rink ups the ante with salsa, jalapenos or sour cream

Flushing recommendations, please.

If you're new to Korean food, you'll be fine sticking in K-town (32nd-ish) for bulgogi (Korean bbq), bibimbap (Korean ricebowl - spciy) and most of the staples.

Flushing is more authentic - for those looking for off-the-beaten path traditional meals and the "authentic" Korean service.

Serious Heat: 10 Things to Do with Kimchi

Maangchi is the BEST place for Korean recipes- including her easy, DIY mak kimchi (cut, rather than hand stuffing each leaf of a whole cabbage)

I made it here last month.

How did kimchi burgers not make this list? They're one of the easiest things to do with kimchi besides stew.

Other Korean approved uses: kimchi pajeon (spring onion pancakes, served as an appetizer), kimchi fried rice (season rice with garlic, ginger, and kimchi liquid, then fry with chopped kimchi), topping on kogi-style tacos (which was sort of mentioned in passing).

Quesedillas, grilled cheese are a toss up - because cheese isn't entirely native to the Korean diet, but they *are* obsessed with tossing cheese into random things, such as kimbap or ramyun.

Kimchi jjigae is fairly simple though -- just cover the kimchi with water, add as much liquid from the kimchi jar as you can, simmer at least 45 mins until kimchi is very very soft. Mix in drained tuna, cubed tofu and cook another 15-30 mins. Add gochuchang (red chili paste) or gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) if it's not spicy enough.

Serve with white rice!

Gift ideas for my foodie boyfriend?

I second the recommendations for books by Keller, Ruhlman, Chang and Bourdain. I'd also add Mark Bittman to the list.

Penzey's has some amazing grilling spice mixes - you might grab a couple of those?

Nice serving pieces (heavy antique silver platter to hold the smoked meats, perhaps?)

Credit at his "favorite but can't afford it" butcher or part of one of those new "meat-only CSA" groups

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Rice Cake

@lemons tteokbogi is a Korean "street food" -- most Korean restaurants don't serve it (and yes, they might get offended if you try to order it -- imagine if someone came into a nice American-style restaurant and ordered hot dogs or a giant pretzel with cheese)

this dish is usually made with gochuchang, Korean red chili past, and some David Chang's recipe at Ssam bar uses both gochuchang AND ssamjang, blended with silken tofu to make the sauce creamier.

I would also recommend using sesame oil (or part canola part sesame) to grill the rice cakes. You will get a way better flavor!!


Korean rice bowl (bibimbap)

Grill with enoki, onions, garlic and rib eye for bulgogi

Korean glass noodle salad (chapchae)

Leeks in Stock?

It's actually a great way to use up the dark parts of a leek!! If you know you'll be making stock in the near future, just hang on to them in your veggie drawer. If you don't make stock often, start an "odds and ends" bag in your freezer -- throw in cheese rinds, dark parts of leeks, chicken bones, etc. to flavor up your stock!

Gift Guide: Kitchen Equipment

Ooh, a mandoline has been on my list for ages. I hope Santa pops one under the tree for me this year.

I'm on the fence about the potato ricer (what else can I do with it? I've had a year+ ban on single-use kitchen gadgets)

And I love, love, love microplanes to give as gifts. They're super economical, and everyone (that I've gifted to) is always glad to receive one.

Calling all penny-pinchers!

Check your area for large ethnic grocery stores. When I lived in Washington this was the biggest way that I saved money -- produce and meat were all cheaper. You can feed yourself for a LONG time if you can buy a whole chicken for $4.

Also check the prices on grains in bulk -- you can get a ton of rice, dried beans, quinoa, etc. usually for cheap.

Save all of your odds and ends -- bones/carcasses, ends of veggies (like the dark part of leeks, etc), stems from fresh herbs, rinds from cheeses -- they will help to flavor up stocks and soups.

Chili is usually incredibly cheap to make - especially if you use dried kidney beans. Stock up on tin tomatoes and ground beef when they are on sale -- they can be made into meat sauce, chili, tacos & salsa, etc.

the best ways to save money are to see what's on sale in the circulars every Sunday, plans your meals meticulously, make a shopping list and stick to it. If fish is on sale, have fish. If pork is on sale, have pork. Eat veggies that are in season. Make your own bread.

Making caramels

If you're a first-time candy maker, I would recommend going for the "soft ball" candy stage (I think it's about 225 or 230 but go with the cold water test! It's the easiest way)-- because if you fumble around at all on the timing, you'll have only gone past 1 stage to hard ball and the candy is still edible. Your caramels will also be easier to cut if they're stopped at soft ball stage, rather than going all the way to hard.

(cold water test: drizzle a tiny amount of your boiling mixture into a cup of ice water. Fish it out with a spoon and taste. You want it to hold its form, but still be relatively soft and chewy -- unless you are going for hard candy)

This is the recipe I used with a cheap $10 candy thermometer:

After nearly breaking a tooth on the first batch, I followed the water test closely (test the caramel about every minute or so when you think its reaching the temp) and they were perfect!

ISO a somewhat quiet, mid to large size food processor

I have the 9-cup Stainless Cuisinart DLC-Prep and love it. On very very rare occasions I do wish I had sprung for the 11 cup, but then when I have to put it away and take it out again, I'm glad to have the mid-sized model.

The only requirement of yours it does not meet is that it is *not* quiet. But then, I doubt you're going to find any food processor or blender that works quietly!

Seriously Asian: Korean Rice Cakes

Tteok is also hitting the mainstream -- it's featured on the menu at Momofuku ssam bar

Seriously Asian: Korean Rice Cakes

@kazari your tip about leaving tteok in soup (ie: tteok guk) is spot on -- and most recipes fail to mention that point.

I always have at least 1 bag of the tubes and 1 bag of the slices in my fridge/freezer for tteokbogi and tteokguk. Thanks for highlighting such a key Korean ingredient, Chichi!

Korean Rice Cakes (Dok Boki)

tteokbogi sauce should be thick and velvety -- I use about 1/2-1 cup of the water used to boil the tteok to thin the gochuchang (chilli paste), and also finish the sauce with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Tteok should also include sliced spring onions! Boiled egg slices, cabbage, or noodles often pop up in tteokbogi as well.

NYC to DC-Advice Please.

Just left DC -- and LOVED the food there.

Great Ethiopian places on H Street (esp. Dukem)
Pho and pupusas in Columbia Heights
Kushi (down past Chinatown)
Kramers, James Hobans, Front Page, Levantes (DuPont Circle)

VA has a ton of great Korean restaurants (Annandale area)

And I'll second @kathleen's push for Oyamel and Churchkey

And if I were leaving NYC I'd stock up on Momofuku pork buns and buttered rolls from the breakfast carts.

Need a good Sangria recipe

Mine's pretty simple. I buy the jug of Carlo Rissi "sangria" wine.

Soak bite sized apple pieces, strawberries, pineapple and orange wedges in brandy and/or grenadine overnight or at least 1 hour.

Mix the wine with the fruit. Add a splash of orange juice. Best served after allowing to soak overnight.

College Student living with reticent eaters? Help!

My roommates in college were perfectly happy to eat noodles with butter and cheese and animal crackers, so we shared few communal food items: butter, eggs, mayo/condiments, etc. Sometimes we would split the Costco bag of frozen chicken breasts.

But I think in your situation, I would move toward cooking for yourself and buying your own groceries.

Looking for a simple food processor sauce

My favorite is a quick salsa: 1 lg can diced tomatoes, 2-4 cloves garlic, 1/4 onion, 1/2 bunch cilantro, juice of 1-2 limes, 2 pinches sugar, 1 pinch salt, 1 jalapeno, cumin or smoked paprika to taste

Help me spice up my hummus

roasted garlic in place of fresh
crumble some feta on top
cayenne or red chili flakes or a drizzle of chili oil

Silly coffee question, Cream first or last?

I always put cream and sugar in first -- I take a lot of creamer, so I like to make sure I don't run out of room! dumping out coffee once you've realized you're out of room makes a huge mess in my experience!

What's your favorite bread?

a good fresh sourdough -- I take special pleasure in finding this, since I've never successfully made a sourdough from scratch.

Homemade: cheese & herb pull apart bread, multigrain with sesame, poppy, fennel & pumpkin seeds topping

From Mom's kitchen: pumpkin gingerbread smeared with cinnamon cream cheese icing

What Kitchen Item Should You Not Scrimp On?

I went the wrong route with my kitchen and bought a lot of things, but cheaply.

Am now catching up to some solid logic:first buy only things you will use 4+ times a week, then items you will use at least once a week. And buy the nicest one of each you can afford.

the main exception to this rule, IMO, would be single-task tools. Either don't buy them, or don't spend a ton of money on them

Seriously Asian: Cooking with Kimchi

Sometimes for a quick lunch, I"ll just boil up any noodles (rice, egg, glass, sweet potato) I've got on hand, toss with kimchi and scallions.

Kimchi chiggae gets even easier than the Momofuku recipe mentioned: Mix all the liquid from bottom of the kimchi jar with 4-6 c water, simmer kimchi until tender (1 hour). Mix in cubed tofu & 1 can flaked tuna meat, cook another 15 mins. serve with hot white rice or chapchae noodles.

Or the way Koreans eat it: wrap a nori square around a bite of rice and kimchi, pop into your mouth! Simple and delicious.

Otherwise, I second kimchi bokkeum bap (fried rice) and kimchi pajaeon (the pancakes -- but should be made with pajeon or pancake batter, not shredded potatoes)

Bibimbap stone bowl replacement?

I'd recommend trying to find one in stores (Korean/Asian markets, if you're in an area with a Korea town, etc).

Paying to ship one of those online (they're easy enough to find online) would be ridiculous - probably more than the cost of the bowl(s) itself.

But, as @smile said, it's not absolutely necessary for bibimbap, only if you're trying to make dolsot style.

The crunchy bottom (the Korean name of which, I can't remember) comes from heating the stone in the oven at about 500 degrees F, pouring sesame oil in bottom, then dumping in the rice.

So, it seems likely you could re-create that with cast iron.

Kimchi question

@chuck - if you don't have it, don't sweat it -- unless, as others have mentioned, you were planning to make daikon radish kimchi. (though, I doubt you would be posting this q if that were the case) Korean cooking often comes down to "use what you got" and everyone's kimchi is a little different.

@CJ I'd be wary of kimchi after a month. I usually say 2-ish weeks but in the 3rd week you could make kimchi chiggae (cover with water, mix in 1 can tuna meat, 2 c. small cubed tofu, simmer 1 hour until kimchi is soft), bokkumbap (fried rice with kimchi) or kimchi pajeon (kimchi green onion pancakes)

The "funky" smell is fairly distinct. Fresh kimchi is more garlicky and sharply spicy. Funky kimchi is sour and pungent.