Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Kitsune Soba (Fox Buckwheat Noodles)

I was still feeling under the weather yesterday, so I decided to include shiitake and miso for dinner.

Preparing two separate dashis (soup stocks). On the left is kombu dashi for the miso and to the right is shiitake dashi for the soba.

Panfrying, then dousing the tofu in cold water

Dinner served with edamame. In Japanese folklore foxes love tofu, particularly fried. Thus the name Kitsune Soba, or Fox Buckwheat Noodles :).

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Thai Red Curry

My friend Anna had me thinking about Thai food. One of these days I'll have to plant some lemongrass of my own. But in the meantime, Thai Kitchen red curry paste can do the job ;). The recipe was right on the back of the curry bottle. I highly recommend it! The surprise highlight of last night was the sweetness of the sugar snap peas. I ate several of them raw before throwing them in the pot.

The red curry with brown rice and fresh papaya slices for dessert.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

International Flair

Greg and I after a party thrown by his boss. Ben was also there, but I couldn't find the photo with him. The theme was "International Flair." I went as a badly rendered Polynesian, Ben was a tiki tourist, while Greg was an immigration officer. I was in board shorts and sandals, so I looked like a fool walking through the Castro (Greg parked as far away from the party as possible).

Dessert with Darin and his bf Carlos after an awesome Ethiopian meal in Berkeley. This ice cream shop had tons of vegan options, so I was in heaven.

Friday, June 04, 2004

A Taste of Kaya

Ben, Eric, and I having lunch at this little burrito joint near Eric's work.

For today's excursion, Ben took me to Japantown. The first 20 min or so were not so enjoyable as I really, really had to pee, but I was doing my best to act all casual and not do the pee dance. I got that taken care of, and the rest of the time was fine. We checked out the large Japan Center, which was a mall, but filled with Japanese (and some Korean) stores.

I decided on a combined Korean and Japanese dinner, so we went to the appropriate grocery stores Woo Ri and Nijiya.

My Korean mother hated the Japanese because of WWII for a very long time. For example, she got upset when my sister bought a Toyota. But times have changed, and so has my mother. During WWII, the Japanese military kidnapped many young women in the countries they occupied and forced them to become camp sex slaves. But a few years back, a Japanese women's group forced their government to acknowledge the tragedy and issue an apology. My mother was heartened by what the Japanese women's group did and said to me that "government is not people." Now, years later, she watches Japanese game shows on satellite TV and reads books on bonsai.

Because of how my mother was about Japanese people, I was rather shocked to find not one, but several Japanese-Korean restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts. The first one I went to was "Kaya." The restaurant was named after the kingdom of Kaya, which was located on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. Unlike other kingdoms of the peninsula at that time (Paekche, Silla, Koguryo), Kaya had very strong relations with several southwestern Japanese kingdoms. It was a perfect name for the restaurant, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating childhood favorites along with Japanese foods that were very new to me at that time. I for one, think fiery Korean kimchi is perfectly complimented by sushi.

Marinating tofu with soy sauce, garlic, mustard powder, sugar, and toasted sesame oil

Stuffing the inari (sweet bean curd pockets)

Rolling the kim bap (Korean nori rolls), then slicing (and eating the sloppy ends)

A vegetarian taste of Kaya: Cabbage Kimchi, Kim Bap, Pickled Ginger, Inari-zushi, Scallion Kimchi, Tofu Nigiri-zushi

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Bombay Bazaar

Ben and I walked around Valencia street today, where he took me to a cool place that was half Pirate Shop (whips, lard, eye-patches) and half student creative writing center. Yes, really. Oh, and at Dolores Park there were two guys in thongs sunning their buttcheeks. This place is a busy park, with people running around, playing frisbee, walking dogs, etc. Only in San Francisco. I *heart* this town. Ben and I had lunch at a great taco joint, then of course I had to stop by the local Indian grocery, Bombay Bazaar.

Crushing cardomom pods and grinding pistachio with sugar

Pistachio Burfee, one of my favorite sweets

Roasting chana dal for the coconut chutney

Not enough eggplant to make baingan bharta, so I combined it with potatoes for baingan aloo.

Roasting a pappad (spiced urud bean wafer) over an open flame

Ben tending to the bhaji (onion and chickpea fritters)

Greg and Ben can't wait to eat

Wait no longer! Garlic & Chili Pappads, Baingan Aloo, Onion Bhaji, Golden Coconut Chutney, Masoor Dal, and Basmati, with Pistachio Burfee for dessert.

Greg lounging with a burfee square in hand after dinner

I'm smiling because Greg has a large dishwasher

After dinner, the three of us lolled around like pregnant women for a bit, then Ben took me to "Trannyshack." The theme of the night was New Wave Hookers. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera :(. Highlights of the night included Heklina giving "George Dubya" a blow (simulated, this wasn't a sex club!) and an equestrian drag number. Oh, and I got to see my first straight girl drag performer. She actually wasn't bad at all. The mix of people was fantastic as was the mix of music. Techno, hip hop, 80s, it all got played. Damn, I wish I had taken pictures...