Archive for the ‘Korean’ Category


Continuing with this late-night posting trend I give you a blast-from-the-past.  While I was in Seattle, I finally got to eat at REVEL with my aunt.  It’s a family affair as Chef Rachel is my mom’s cousin!  I was slightly afraid she might not remember me that well when I rang her up: “Oh, hi Rachel.  It’s C one of your cousin’s daughters…  yeah, from the east coast… That bbq like 7 years ago??” you get the idea.  She and her husband are arguably the most famous members of the extended family (they were on Iron Chef!!) with also potentially the cutest babies in the family!  I have been waiting to eat at one of their restaurants since they opened!  I am using a lot of exclamation marks!

The place is casual and cool with a modern edge.  Large, bright pop culture-y portraits adorn the walls with sleek wood and metal structuring the space.   I love how they only set out chopsticks on the table setting.  It kind of says ‘get ready to eat some Asian food!’  Bonus points for not being the break apart ‘disposable’ kind.  Way classier (and sustainable) than that.  And oh yeah, the food:






We also ordered the albacore tuna bi bim bap/rice bowl, but the picture was less than stellar and you only deserve the best photography.  They do it family style which means sharing = happiness.  I’ve always been a moocher so any place where mooching is officially allowed is cool with me.

The attention to detail and the modern take on Korean dishes really hits you.  The noodles had seaweed in them for crying out loud.  My favorite would have to be the cabli mandu since I’ve always had a soft spot for them.  They were a tad bit tricky to eat with chopsticks because of the shape, but once it was in your mouth there was no denying the tender, juicy flavor hitting your palate.  (I just had to look up how to spell the right palate/palette/pallet I was looking for…).  The dessert menu was themed ‘Candy’ for the month of October in honor of Halloween and the junior mint cake at least was right on the money.  Dessert always ends up being one of my favorites…

Being able to see how all her and her husband’s hard work paid off was so inspiring.  They make this wonderful culinary life seen attainable to everyone.  It makes me want to drop everything and go to culinary school!  haha jk dad… but not really?

My aunt said it wasn’t really Korean food and my response was it’s modern, Korean INSPIRED.  She asked me what revel meant and my explanation was something along the lines of, “You kinda revel in something, something good.”  I was at a loss on how to be more direct.  After the meal though, I knew what I was revelling in: good flavor, comfort food, and lovin family.

Fermentation: Science Meets Food in the NYT!

So I happen to grab a copy of the NYT yesterday on campus knowing that Wednesdays are the best days because of the dining section.  Behold, this is what I saw:

Amazing photo from the New York Times

Someone who’s not so microbially inclined might look at it and say ‘Ew, what is that? Why are they showing bacteria in the Dining section??’  I, who happens to be taking a microbiology lab course right now, look at it and say ‘Wow what awesome bacteria! Fermenters?’ and would want to do some CHEST (color, height, edge, size, texture) descriptions of those babies and do some re-streaks to get some pure culture plates.  I brought the article in to lab today to show to Barb, the nicest lab instructor ever, and she loved it.  I mean really, how could you not?

As if it couldn’t get any better, the article is about Sandor Katz who is somewhat of a fermentation guru who is checking out fermented goods at David Chang’s Momofuku’s Noodle Bar!  *dies* I have yet to go to any of the Momofuku establishments but they are definitely on my bucket list!  The talk of the fermented goods makes me hungry: kimchi (dur) and pistachio miso.  The R&D kitchen sounds like a foodie scientist’s dream!

The article takes and interesting twist revealing that Mr. Katz is HIV positive.  He states it’s possible that harnessing the probiotic goodness of fermented foods could be contributing to reducing side effects of meds.

I just had to share the excitement that I felt when this interaction between food and science (that also happens to be very applicable to my life right now) was featured in the dining section!  Not sure about you, but it makes me want to go eat some kimchi…

Ready for the Week!

This weekend was pretty good.  I did a Suicide Prevention Walk yesterday morning (5 miles), hung out with friends, managed to not drive at alllll today, and cooked food for the week ahead.

oodles of peanutty soba noodles

I find that cooking during the week can be difficult sometimes and it’s great to just wake up and have something ready to take for lunch.  I made the above noodles which were yummy and some mediocre fried rice.  I used a Guy Fieri recipe for Peanut Soba Noodle Salad that I had alllmost all the ingredients for!  Amazing, I know.  I figured it’s one of those recipes where it’s okay to guesstimate the measurements without heinous repercussions.  I only cooked about 2/3 of a pound of soba so I had some extra peanut sauce in the end, but hey, maybe I’ll make some spring rolls later in the week?  Bah, the point of this was to not have to cook for a while…  Oh well, the only other problem is actually eating all this food.  I have a whole 4+ servings of peanut noodles and a giant bowl of fried rice to eat through this week.

Happy Eatings.


Four Seasons in Ctown

A cousin came to visit her sister who goes to the same school as me. For dinner, we decided to go out for Korean as my treat. There are a few Korean restaurants in ctown but I’ve heard that Four Seasons is the best. I had been there once before and it had been pretty good. Four Seasons conjures up themes of Vivaldi and instills thoughts of the four seasons of Ithaca: summer, winter, still winter, and road repair.

We got there a little early and after a few minutes were seated. The panchan was simple but good, steamed broccoli, blanched bean sprouts, spicy fishcake, and honeyed potatoes. When ever I go for Korean, I always have to ask for seconds of panchan because I seem to attack it as soon as they bring it to the table. I opted for Bibim Naeng Myun which is buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce because it was so uncomfortably muggy and warm outside. Almost makes the cold, long winter seem like a favorable prospect. Naeng Myun is the perfect Korean dish for summer because it seems to be cooling.
spicy, cool, deliciousness
The noodles were nice and chewy and the gojujang or chili pepper paste was red and pretty sweet. There was some garnish of cucumbers, beef, and kimchi that I mixed into the noodles.

This must be the best Korean in ctown because almost as soon as we had sat down the tables were being arranged to seat a few large looking parties. Soon enough, a whole horde of Korean students marched in and sat down at the long tables seated for 20. They seemed to be international students and it might have been some dinner to start off the beginning of the semester. It just seemed to confirm that Four Seasons is the place to be for Korean food in ctown and possibly all of Ithaca.

Four Seasons: ~ ~ ~ ~ 4 spicy noodles
Fufilling Korean with pretty good panchan for a good price ($10.95 for Bibim Naeng Myun). The place is a little small but it seems to be flocked by the Korean internationals and everyone else as well.

Good To Be Home!

Summer in O’ahu was great, but coming home is always the best! My mommy had a Korean feast all prepared for me PLUS a blueberry pie! The food I missed the most in Hawai’i were berries. To me summer means loads and loads of berries but not on O’ahu. So expensive. Very unfortunate. I kept saying the first thing I was going to do when I got home was make a blueberry pie but my mommy had one waiting for me! Moms are the best.

The feast:

soon tubu jigae

steamed mandu (korean dumplings)

pan-fried mandu

spicy bacon with saam, rice, and lettuce

da table

We were griddlin on the table and plenny of food to go around. Of course, blueberry pie to top it off for dessert!

good ole messy piece of blueberry pie a la mode

I tried to make my own vanilla ice cream to top it off but it failed. I don’t think the container was cold enough so I’m going to try again in a few days. I made an ice cream run after dinner and read every company’s ingredients list to try and find one without corn syrup. Breyer’s natural vanilla qualifies but not the homemade vanilla.  Dorthy had it right.  There’s no place like home!