Visit to Korea 2017 

Oh boy, where do I even begin? 

We get to visit Korea (yes, South Korea) only once every 2-3 years. I’m from Busan, the second largest city in Korea. This time, we were there for my sister’s wedding so we stayed around Busan the whole time. Seoul is fun but I think I’ve come to like Busan more. I definitely enjoyed every single moment, every bite. 

Well, right after we got off the airplane, we went to Geoje Island for a family trip. We lucked out with this beautiful resort, Hiclass Geoje
Playing in the pool means HANGRY people!
There’s nothing like stuffing your face with BBQ meat and soju on a vacay!
On our way back from Geoje Island, we dropped by this restaurant for some FRESH seafood. In addition to sashimi, they also give you so many side dishes, aka banchan. The things in the above picture are: sea pineapple (sea squirt), conch, “live” octopus in sesame oil and sea cucumbers. They sound kinda horrifying but aren’t that bad😉 

So, now, I’m just gonna list all the things we ate in Korea😂 

Dwaejigukbap: pork and rice in pork-base broth. Busan is well-known for having awesome DJGB!
Guksu: Korean style noodle soup. It’s quite easy to make it at home but I have a go-to place in Busan. Never disappoints. 

Fruit cakes are a thing in Korea I’d say. Cakes are so pretty that I sometimes don’t even wanna eat them😂 Do they taste as good as they look? Heck yeah. 
앙꼬절편, some super famous rice cake! In Korea, things change very fast. There are a few VERY trendy items whenever I visit Korea. This time, at least in Busan, this thin rice cake filled with sweet red bean paste was a hit!
Mommy’s hangover soup! This dried pollock soup, aka bugeoguk (‘guk’ means soup), is the ultimate remedy for bad hangovers. My mom loves to add ground black pepper at the end. 

Kimchi pancake and makgeolli! The salty, crispy kimchi pancake goes perfectly well with the sweet rice (alcoholic) beverage. It’s pretty easy to get korean style pancakes in the States now. I definitely recommend you order one of these next time you are at a Korean restaurant. 

Handmade dumplings. You easily run into these big batches at any market places. 

Speaking of markets, I just LOVE walking around them and looking at all these delicious snacks, sauces, etc. 

Tempura style snacks: battered and deep-dried. Everything tastes great when fried!

Tteokbokki, rice cake and fish cake in spicy gochujang (red chili paste)! If you dip that deep-fried stuffed pepper in the red sauce and have a big bite, I guarantee you that there will be a party in your mouth. One of my favorite street food dishes!

Korean beef BBQ….! We went to this butcher’s/restaurant, where you pick your own meat. You take what you have picked upstairs and they give you this tableside grill along with a variety of side dishes. Locally grown Korean beef just melts in your mouth. 

Duck BBQ! No marinating, no seasoning. Just some fresh duck meat and lots of garlic!
Bar food aka anju. One great thing about drinking in Korea is that you keep eating while drinking. Your bar food selections are amazing too. This seafood noodle soup was perfect with our sake! Also, you can drink pretty much all day/night in Korea. A great place for party animals. 

Just another typical breakfast scene at my parents’. You get a bowl of rice and several side dishes. I think I ate so many veggies even without trying. I already miss her food😭

Sashimi bibimbap and gukbap (‘bap’ means rice). We went to this old, quaint village by called Huinyeoul Cultural Village by the ocean. Right before we walked around the hilly alleys, we went to this restaurant and had an amazing lunch. Not too heavy or light. Fresh fish and lots of vegetables. 

Then, more street food! Hotteok is like a mini pancake filled with brown sugar and nuts. My brother-in-law’s favorite snack it is. Dakgangjeong is Korean fried chicken covered in spicy sauce. They are usually in a bite size so it’s easy to eat them while exploring busy streets of Korea. 

S. O. J. U! This liquor is found everywhere in Korea. Super cheap. Each city has its own so it’s another fun to try different kinds.

Rice gelato! Yes, I said rice. Centum City is a huge mall located near Haeundae beach. There, I found this mysterious flavor and I fell in love right away. The combination of tiramisu and rice flavor was oddly satisfying!

Cakes, cakes and cakes! Too pretty. 

All-you-can-eat korean buffet! You pay $25 and just go to town. Amazinglicious!

Mom’s bulgogi lunch! 

My aunt’s scrumptious gimbap…! This is one of the things that I definitely miss a lot. I don’t know what she does to it but we all love her rolls. Very addicting!

Lastly, meals served on Korean Air! In-flight meals are usually awful but I actually do enjoy eating what Korean Air serves. On the way to Korea, the lunch was bibimbap with seaweed soup. On our way back, it was rice served with doenjang (korean miso, if you will) and veggies. 

Our trip to Korea this time was a bit too crazy between the wedding and some personal issues. I am not complexly confident that I ate everything I wanted to. However, it’s always so much fun to go out there and spoil myself with endless eating and drinking. What’s surprising is that I somehow lose weight despite all of that..! I guess it’s the lifestyle. 

I did have a great time in Korea, but it’s good to be back home with my kitties. So, Korea, till next time!

Christmas 2015 in New York!

This Christmas weekend has been so amazinglicious! It’s always great to have an awesome cook or two in your family. Between going out to some cool restaurants in upstate New York and Jo’s unbelievable cooking talent, I’m still in food coma. I’m really amazed how someone can cook everything so perfectly all from scratch! Jealous!

Here’s a little footage of my scrumptious weekend!  

    
     

    
    
    
    
   
   
This was my first year to go up to NY on a train too. The train station in Alexandria is conveniently located. Train ride took about 7-8 hours, which would’ve been the same if we had driven. However, by riding the train, we didn’t need to worry about the weather, traffic, etc. 

It was really good to see everyone and spend some quality time together. However, it’s also great to snuggle with my kitties while having some ramen noodles back home.   

 

Merry belated Christmas and a happy new year! ❤️

Thanksgiving food coma!

We all need our turkey pants on Thanksgiving, don’t we? Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Mmmmmm.. This year, our Thanksgiving dinner was extra scrumptious with some additions to the traditional menu.

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My favorite was Swiss chard gratin!
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No meal is complete without desserts and Thanksgiving is no exception! A pecan pie, ginger ice cream, orange cranberry thyme sorbet ALL HOMEMADE! Did I cook? No way! 😉 Special thanks to great chef Jo 🙂 I was so stuffed that I could hardly breathe but you know what?
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We all gotta eat three times a day 🙂 Post-thanksgiving blueberry pancakes with local maple syrup perfected my thanksgiving weekend! How was yours other than all the family shenanigans? 😉

[Restaurant Review] Rosemarino d’Italia – Alexandria, VA

Rosemarino d’Italia
1905 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 299-8906

This restaurant opened up literally two weeks ago. It wasn’t even on foursquare so I had to add it to check in! I get so excited when I see a new restaurant opening in the neighborhood. So, I went to check it out on its opening day 🙂

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Home-made pasta! YES! I can’t say much about anything else yet because i went there only once and there aren’t even reliable reviews yet. But their pasta was cooked perfect with a lot of seafood – YUM! I’m a marinara sauce person 99% of the time but the linguini with white wine and garlic was fantabulous! 20130331-164158.jpg Best part? Their home-made tiramisu! You don’t even know that you even put it in your mouth. It just melts away 😉 I am definitely interested in going back to try their chicken piccata, which is supposedly really good as well! Loving my neighborhood ❤

Happy Easter!

Pickle Chicken – No waste any more!

O.M.G.

That’s right. It’s so heavenly, juicy, mouthwatering, scrumptious… You get the point! This is “Pickle Chicken”.

Have you ever finished a jar of pickles and poured the leftover juice down the drain? SHAME ON YOU! No more waste in the house! How do you make pickle chicken then?

Pickle juice + Chicken

That’s it. There’s no salt and pepper. There’s no certain amout of anything! Just pour the pickle juice in the tupperware and put chicken thighs there. Done. Marinate the chicken for a day or two. You don’t have time? It’s okay. Today, the chicken was marinating just for two hours while we were out playing tennis and it was still dºeºlºiºcºiºoºsºo! I personally prefer thighs to breasts (hmm… did that sound weird?) but it’s totally up to you.

The question is “what kind of pickles do I use?”. Any regularsupermarket  dill pickles will work I think. But today, of course, I used the homemade pickles that we made last month (click to see the posting). Think about it. That salty, vinegary, sweet juice makes perfect sense to cook chicken with! 🙂

Super easy recipe. Great cooked in oven. Greater cooked on your grill. See if you have an old jar of pickles right now and try!

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A Great Way to Enjoy your Steak!

Steak is such an easy meal – compared to other home-made dishes that you actually have to “cook” – but sometimes it’s just not enough. A great way to highlight your dinner (or lunch…. or breakfast? sure, what the heck!) is to fix a nice salad with it. In this case, it was spinach+feta cheese with cut-up onions and tomatoes, which we picked up at a local farmer’s market. The key is the dressing.

We all have a couple different kinds of dressing sitting in the refrigerator but when you want some nice “home-made” dressing, this is how. EVOO+any kind of vinegar+any mustard+salt+pepper+garlic. SUPER SIMPLE! You can start from there and play with what you have left in your pantry if you feel creative that night. Otherwise, it’s a lot healthier than the supermarket dressing that you have.

We used the red wine that had been sitting next to the Keuric machine for ages! Well-transformed and well-enjoyed!

Happy 4th of July! Grill up and get yourself a nice salad with fresh veggies and home-made dressing! Cheers!