Red, Hot Bubbling Cauldron of Mandu Jungol - Gonjiam


Spicy, red and hot? I am so there. And that is exactly what I'll get when I order mandu jungol at a hole in the wall called Gonjiam. The waitress brings out a vessel filled to the brim with generous dumplings, zucchini, mushroom, scallion, and udon noodle. Then it is placed atop one of those mini gas range thing and kept bubbling and hot. It is so damn good. It makes my mouth water just to look at that picture.

First two times I had mandu jungol there it was pretty spicy. I rememebr Boy and I finishing a whole pitcher of water while trying to finish our own little pot. But the third time I only drank a glass of water. Hmmm, I hope it's spicier next time I go back. It is quite refreshing in a sweating, runny nose sort of way, sending hot spicy broth down one's throat.


Before we started on that cauldron of red, we appetized ourselves with the modeum-jun, meaning literally everything pancake. Those cute little juns are a lot fluffier than ones you get at most Korean restaurants. More eggy than battery, imo. We saw other tables that had a huge plate of noodles and such but I find it hard to sway from my spicy mandu jungol.


One spectacular thing about Gonjiam is their pa (scallion) kimchi. Definitely one of the top two pa kimchi I have ever tasted. I don't make kimchi but I tell ya I definitely know a quality kimchi from a supermarket overseasoned crap kimchi. This was fresh, pungent, oniony. I was in kimchi heaven.

Ohh, wish I was there right now! Me getting hungry. :/

Beverly & Western

What I Eat

Hmmm don't think anyone is posting anymore what they've eaten. I guess the busy holiday season and all. Well here is mine, with a few pics to be posted later.

*taco bell hexagon thing - i don't even know what it's called. my mom had it leftover and told me to take one for lunch. and i obliged.
*4 jalapeno poppers & few bites cheese burger from jack-in-the-box; diet coke - boy went to jack and then tempted me with the smell of fast food.
*kimchi fried rice w/pepper jack cheese
*lindeman's framboise; freixenet cava; too many cute miette bakes
*1/2 tj olympiad pizza; 1/2 grilled cheese w/deli turkey, brie & onion

*toasted pain de mie (bread bar) w/santa barbara seafood spread
*jasmine tea
*3 mini corn tortilla quesadilla w/deli turkey, chipotle salsa & jalapeno
*taco bell hexagon thing - doh! why did i eat another one. it was in the fridge. i was hungry after work. sigh, bad eating habits continue to profliterate.
*white rice; spicy napa cabbage soup; radish & chive kimchi

*toasted pain de mie w/tj organic strawberry jam and peanut butter (yummy!)
*lemon water
*spicy napa cabbage soup; tj organic dark chocolate 73%
*lemon water; deli turkey
*2 LA galbi; radish kimchi; spicy gochujang soup (vege, pork, red pepper paste)

*toasted pain de mie w/fried egg, cheese, deli turkey and sriracha
*2 pocket coffee - sadly defective so without the espresso gush
*2 LA galbi; tj soba noodle bowl
*satsuma; 3 pieces dduk (rice cakes)
*mixed grain rice; dakdoritang-spicy chicken w/gochujang, potatoes, mushroom
*geundae soup - haven't figured out what the name of this vege is in english but it looks like a leafy green.

*deli turkey; satsuma
*pocket coffee
*mixed grain rice; dakdoritang
*salchichon iberico; rogue creamery smokey blue cheese; the cheese co rosemary crackers; port brewing wipeout ipa; afflingem noel; prosecco; one bite sprinkles chocolate cupcake

*geundae soup; mixed grain rice; chive kimchi
*bibim nyengmyun-cold buckwheat noodle w/spicy marinade from ktown galleria food court
*waldorf salad sandwich from cake house

*geundae soup; mixed grain rice; dakdoritang
*fuller's esb
*rocco's pizza w/cheese, green peppers & meatballs
*more rocco's pizza; hansen's 0 calorie soda


Holiday in Paris


I will be spending holiday this year in Paris with Boy and five of my close friends. Woohoo~!

We're heading out there after Christmas and celebrating the new year there. And eating, sleeping, drinking, exploring, and probably putting on some pounds. This will be my second trip to Paris, the first visit being back in summer of 2003. My god, was I a different eater then. I barely knew anything about food, was oblivious to the food blogging world, and was so clueless in general. Having blogged now for a mere year and a half, I've visited so many good blogs introducing me to so much good food. I'm ready to go back to Paris and do some serious eating. Not to mention, not being broke like I was backpacking years ago, this trip should prove to be tres bon and filled with deliciousness.

I've been checking out David's blog and of course the famous foodie jetsetter Chez Pim's reviews and recommendations but if you've been out there recently I would love some advice!



When I was a little kid I used to make a lot of kimchi fried rice. But when I wanted to make it a little bit more special I would envelop the kimchi fried rice in a thin egg crepe to make ome-rice. Like an omelet but filled with fried rice of your choice. It's awesome!

This particular one that I made used up some leftover omelet filling which consisted of bacon, corn, peas & onion. After frying up some sliced up napa cabbage kimchi in butter I added the omelet filling and some gochujang. Then the rice, some nori powder and sesame oil. Then in a separate pan I cooked an whisked egg into a thin crepe. Then you know the rest. Wrap up that kimchi goodness in the golden egg and you got yourself some fine comfort food.

You can get ome-rice at "boon-shik" Korean restaurants, which are casual eateries that sell both snacky stuffs and other Korean dishes. They provide an extensive menu covering dishes like steamed dumplings, soups, noodles and of course kimchi fried rice and ome-rice.

I like a generous squeeze of ketchup and sriracha on mine. I was a complete ketchup whore when I was wee. But now that I've become a sophisticated adult I now add sriracha. ;)


Skirt Steak with Romesco, Dandelion Greens & Toasted Israeli Couscous


Do the ingredients sound familiar? Yes, the little bits of leftovers of this and that from the catering gig. I can't believe it but I actually managed to finish all the leftover israeli couscous without wanting to choke myself. For this meal I switched it up by sauteeing the remaining couscous until it got nicely browned and toasted. Then placed it in an oven-safe dish with a light grating of parmigiano reggiano and kept it warm in the oven while I got the steak ready.

I got some skirt steak to use up romesco. :) Now that may seem counter-intuitive considering I was buying more groceries, steak at that, to use up leftovers. But this is not just a thrifty endeavour but also a creative one. One that takes opportunity and turns it into a pleasant dinner. And the skirt steak would be the perfect complement to the toasty and spicy romesco sauce which together would make one very pleasant weekday dinner for Boy and I.

For the steak marinade, I smashed up some garlic, chile de arbol and rosemary with my humongous Thai mortar and pestle. After trimming the steak of some of its excess fat I rubbed the marinade in and kept it in the chiller while I got the broccolini ready.


I blanched the broccollini in salted water for a few minutes then drained it. I gently heated up some olive oil in a saute pan and cooked the leftover garlic-rosemary marinade until the aroma filled my eager nose. I like sticking my head above garlic cooking oil. It's a very comforting smell. To this comforting pan I tossed the broccollini and seasoned it with black pepper and salt.

I believe an IPA accompanied this comfy weekday meal. And perhaps a warm electric blanket.

Beef Meatballs with Cumin, Coriander & Mint; Israeli Couscous; Dandelion Greens with Bacon Lardon, Ricotta Salata & Sherry Vinaigrette


Remember that gig I did a few posts back? The birthday party? If you've been keeping up with What I Eat you should remember israeli couscous with this, israeli couscous with that. Jesus christ, so much israeli couscous leftover! Ok, I miscalculated but you know how them pasta can be. Blowin up and all.

So I wanted to make something to go along with the israeli couscous studded with dried currants, pinenuts and chopped basil. I also had greek yogurt leftover in the fridge and I thought ooh, why not some meatballs and cucumber yogurt sauce? Except I didn't make the cucumber yogurt sauce because I didn't want to buy a whole container of persian cucumbers at Trader Joe's when I really only needed one. So I seasoned the greek yogurt simply with lemon juice, liberal amounts of garic and black pepper.

Now for the meatballs, I wanted to make lamb meatballs but Trader Joe's does not sell ground lamb. Nor ground pork, fyi. So I went with what they had, some really good looking ground angus beef. I seasoned it with a coriander-cumin spice mix I had made ages ago (maybe half an age) from making roasted cauliflower. I also added to the seasoning a small handful of withering mint which I was determined to use up. Perhaps some parsley went in there too. Then I added some milk-soaked dinner rolls leftover from the sliders from the same gig.

I formed them into nicely sized patties (instead of completely round spheres for quicker cooking) and cooked them up in a jiffy. Paired with the cool touch of the greek yogurt and light and still textural israeli couscous, these meatballs made a satisfying meal.


But alas there was another challenge. Using up the leftover dandelion greens. I made a similar salad to the one I served at the birthday party sans roasted kabocha squash. But the bacon, ricotta salta, shallots, and sherry vinaigrette was still there so it's all good!


What I Eat

Here is what I ate last week. I thought now that I'm airing all my dirty food laundry maybe I would eat better but on the contrary I've been eating "too well", if you know what I mean. I did a few lunges though...

*lemon water
*chicken yuekgyejang (spicy Korean soup w/chicken, scallion, fern braken, eggs); mixed grain rice w/beans; pickled onion
*lemon water; tj 73% organic dark chocolate (just a small piece - i've had the same chocolate bar for forever)
*dongchimi (white winter daikon kimchi); few bites rice & fried anchovy - a little snack desperately needed when I got home from work
*skirt steak w/romesco; toasted israeli couscous w/light grating of parmigiano reggiano; broccolini w/mashed up garlic, rosemary & chile de arbol (leftover marinade from skirt steak)

*tj non-fat english muffin w/peanut butter & tj organic strawberry jam
*lemon water
*skirt steak w/romesco; toasted israeli couscous
*lemon water; greek yogurt w/wildflower honey & toasted almonds
*happy hour@Tom Bergin's w/Boy - 5 excellent chicken wings with liberal dips into the thick blue cheese sauce; pilsner urquell
*daikon soup; mixed grain rice w/beans; banchan - dongchimi, chive kimchi, radish kimchi, fried anchovies - i love kimchi as you can tell
*1 tiny bite vanilla tofutti dipped in leftover almond praline which I gave to Mom (I studded the exposed sides with the praline crumbles I saved from way before - my motto is reduce waste!)

*lemon water; santa barbara seafood spread (yes the one with the huge list of ingredients i can't pronounce. this is one of my few guilty pleasures)
*edamame; tuna pasta salad; pepperjack cheese (work brunch)
*steak caesar salad made w/leftover skirt steak
*lemon water; few bites omelet filling (bacon, corn, peas, onion) as quick snack after work
*kimchi mandu (dumpling) stew w/korean squash, button mushroom, tofu, scallion, potato

*omelet w/mixed grain rice on side, like a deconstructed ome-rice; marinated dried daikon
*kimchi mandu stew
*lemon water; 1/2 wheat bagel w/santa barbara seafood spread
*spicy vege soup w/little bits of pork; mixed grain rice; many kimchis
*i indulged - ate 3/4 twisty donut from a korean bakery
*brown rice tea

*petit croissant from Bread Bar w/tj organic strawberry jam
*lemon water
*spicy vege soup w/little bits of pork; white rice; brown rice tea
*lemon water
*baechu gook (spicy napa cabbage & daikon soup); mixed rice; kimchis
*Miette bakes Boy brought back for me from SF - lavender shortbread, mini scones, thumbprint cookies, coffe & hazelnut macaron
*hmmm beers... i'm thinking... trader joe's dark lager, new belgium 2 below, watermelon ale from some sf brewery

*ome-rice w/kimchi fried rice
*lemon water
*Abbot's Pizza - bianca, diet coke
*a refresing pint of racer 5 ipa (left glass) from father's office
*korean bbq - LA galbi to be exact. that the crosscut shortribs with three little bones; kimchi fried rice; more kimchi!; ipa of some sort

*baechu gook (spicy napa cabbage & daikon soup); mixed grain rice; kimchi
*diet coke
*2 pints heinekin, 4 glasses champagne


Happy Holiday!

Maggie's Farm Wild Arugula with Buffalo Mozzarella, Bresaola & Pomegranate