A busy month

by

Despite all my whining about eating Korean food all the time, I get to eat plenty of other delicious things.  I went to the Indonesian Food Bazaar at the Masjid Al-Hikmah mosque in Astoria, where there was no shortage of fried foods.  I love fried foods, even when they are greasy and at room temperature. Highly recommended, with the warmth of a Midwestern church picnic, but with gado-gado salad instead of Jello with ham.

I was hoping these were sweets flavored when anchovies, but they really were just salty, fishy, tasty crackers.

And then a week or so later, a group of us stuffed our faces at M&T Restaurant in Flushing, a Chinese place specializing in Qingdao food.  I loved everything we had, but this was the best surprise: Qingdao people eat fern bracken (gosari in Korean), too!  The Chinese name is better: 拳頭菜 (Quan Tou Cai), meaning “closed fist vegetable.”  Unlike Koreans, who eat it as a mainly vegetarian-mountain-Buddhist dish, the Qingdao version is dotted with pork.  Delicious, of course.

Qingdao food was revelatory, light and clean without any compromise in flavor.  The fern bracken reminded me of Korean food, as this, a cold jelly similar to Korean muk.

The “sea intestines,” the waitress assured us were not actually intestines.  Like that would have stopped us.  Also sometimes known as “sea worms,” they’re chewy like squid and pretty delightful with chives.

We ate a lot more, but I won’t bore you.

The most exciting news, though, is that Diane, my co-author, is in town and we have been working hard in between watching World Cup games.  (What happened with the refereeing of the Brazil-Ivory Coast game?!?!?!)  We’ve tested store-bought brands of gochujang (red pepper paste) and doenjang (fermented soybean paste).  We’ve tried out different galbi marinades and rolled out dumpling skins.  We made a miserable failure of gyeongdan tteok or rice cakes stuffed with red beans (I honestly cannot see a path to success), but also made a shiny, syrupy, wonderful pat or red bean sauce for patbingsoo, or Korean shaved ice with sweet red beans.  We ate that for dinner on Sunday.  So lots of news to come.

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4 Responses to “A busy month”

  1. Madeline Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation of restaurant in Flushing! I have it on my list to try. Looking forward to the upcoming posts 🙂

  2. Diane C. Says:

    Those sea intestines look so good – what were they really? (pasta?)

  3. Grace Says:

    No, they’re some sort of animal!

  4. annamatic Says:

    oh man, I have to try M&T next time I’m back in town… that really looks good!

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