Monday, April 30, 2012

Oriental Sushi Buffet

Just found out about this buffet over the weekend and decided to give it a try. We went for a late lunch around 2 pm. Parking lot was situated next and behind the restaurant. Decent size parking lot for big crowds. As we were walking to the building we saw groups of people walking out. We actually thought wow..we went at the right time - the busier time so the food must be fresh.

As we walked in and were seated. We were surprised that the main hall was almost empty. There was another dining hall further down that seemed busier due to the party.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shindangdong Style Ddeokbokki

I have tried other tteokbokki/ddeokbokki recipe in the past but when I found this recipe I was just drooling to test it out. Thanks to Sunnie from Vegan 8 Korean who is so kind to share her recipe.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Shima Sushi - San Jose

Had a chance to do some take-out from this restaurant last week. They had a good deal and wide array of bento options for lunch. Their bento meals run around $9.99 and it includes miso soup, salad and rice and quite an amount of dish (you get to pick two out of 12 options). I chose spicy chicken and salmon teriyaki.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lulu Is Learning to Make Kimchee

After collecting soo many empty jars from our kimchee consumption, I decided to make my own. Internet is my friend and I found a few recipes to come down to one that I'm going to try.

Main ingredients:
1 large size napa cabbage (cut into bite size - about 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch)
5 green onion - sliced sideways about 1.5 inch length
1/2 small size radish (about 2 cups julienned)
2 serrano pepper - sliced sideways thinly
sliced serrano pepper
julienned radish
sliced green onion
napa cabbage

Salt water for cabbage :
10 cups water
1/2 c coarse sea salt

Sauce ingredients:
1 crown of garlic - peeled and sliced
1/4 medium size onion - sliced
1/2 tbs chopped ginger
3 tbs sweet rice four
3 tbs water
2 cups water
1/4 apple - cut in cubes
1/4 apple pear - cut in cubes
1 1/2 cup red pepper powder  3/4 c red pepper powder
7 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt

Preparation :
Pour the salt in the bowl with 10 cups of water. Stir until most of the salt dissolved and pour into a bigger bowl with all the cut napa cabbage pieces. Stir around and most of them are covered. Set it aside. Let it sit for a four to five hours. Stir in between to move them around.

Meanwhile, mix 3 tbs of water with the 3 tbs of sweet rice four. Stir until it is mixed well. Then in a small sauce pan, pour 2 cups of water and set it on a stove with medium high heat. Pour the sweet rice flour mixture in and stir well. Bring it a boil and stir until the mixture thicken and turned slightly clearer. Turn of the heat and set it aside to cool.

After five hours, rinse the cabbage well three times. And set it on a colander to drain.

Put the rest of the sauce ingredients except for the red pepper powder in a food processor and blended well until it turned into paste. Pour the paste in a big mixing bowl. Put in the red pepper powder, julienned radish green onion and serrano pepper. Also pour in the sweet rice flour mixture and let it all mix well.
green onion, etc on top of the sweet rice flour paste

Now you're ready to mingle your drained cabbage with the red pepper paste mixture. Use glove if you want to use your hand to mix. Or use a pair of big mixing wooden spoons. It works better with hand though. :)
Sauce mixture ready to be smeared on the cabbage

ready to mix the sauce and cabbage together
Once the cabbage get all the paste on every single pieces then you're ready to call it a day. Pack it in a glass jar if you have one (or a few like me). Or use other container. The cabbage kimchee is ready to be enjoyed. Or if you like it fermented, let it sit for a few days.
my kimchee sitting in the jar looking yummy

Thanks to Maangchi, Aeri's Kitchen, and Koreancuisine for the kimchee recipes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Korean Secret Garden Restaurant - Santa Clara

Inspired by recent Korean drama, I was determined to find any restaurant that serves mauentang (spicy fish soup). And I found this Korean restaurant in Santa Clara. So off we went to check it out.

It was a weekday night and early in the evening, there were only a handful tables occupied when we arrived there. We were sat at one of the booth that had a built-in portable stove with an exhaust on top of it. We knew what we wanted to try so deciding the first item wasn't hard. The second item was a bit difficult but we settled with spicy octopus stir fry (nakji bokum).

As we enjoyed our tea, a waitress brought out a small plate with japchae (Korean style stir fry glass noodle) and fried fish cake? on it. I was starving then and straight away dug in. But couldn't help thinking is this the only side dish (ban chan) we are going to get.
Steam egg and pickled veggie

But that wasn't it. The japchae was almost like a preview to the array of ban chan yet to come. Some of the ban chan we had that night were pretty unique and were not typical kimchee and soybean sprout etc. There was this steam egg that had very mild taste to it. Also green veggies (bokchoy?) with chilli. And pickled veggies in some sweet sauce that tasted like the Chinese pickled choisum.
Other ban chan

The one dish that lured us there finally came out. It came sizzling with orange red color broth and green chrysanthemum leaves floating. The waitress brought us two small bowls and a laddle. I stirred the soup and scooped out a combination of seabass fillet, sliced jalapeno, sliced onion, garlic for each bowl. Then inpatiently I took a sip of the broth. The broth was rich in flavor with a dominant taste of bonito. It was different from what I expected I guess. I was expecting a bit sweet and sour element in it but I guess this is not tomyum soup. :) Nevertheless me and husband enjoyed every bit of it.
Spicy seabass soup

The nakji bokum was a bit disappointing. It was served on a regular plate instead of sizzling cast iron plate. It did have a smoky stir fry flavor in it but the octopus was too chewy for us. Also I was expecting it to be a bit more sweet to bring balance to the saltiness. But I guess the most surprising part to it was when hubby pulled out a piece of 'octopus' that just a glimpse it looked like octopus but when he bit into it it was dukbokki (rice cake). I guess it wasn't a mistake because there were at least a few more afterwards. I wasn't too sure if it was written on the menu or was it a pretty common thing to prepare nakji bokum with dukbokki.
Stir fry octopus (nakji bokum)

Korean Secret Garden Restaurant

3430 El Camino Real
Santa ClaraCA 95051    (408) 244-5020