Monday, November 8, 2010

the cultured ‘burbs

So I live in the suburbs and people are snobs about that, which is fine. Cause I can say, “But there’s Korean food!”

Took Steve on a culinary tour of Koreatown. Because what better way is there to spend a Saturday evening? (Please, please don’t answer that question).

Began at Shilla Bakery, where I’ve feasted before. Honestly, I rarely buy much (if anything) because there are SO MANY SAMPLES.

Gummy red bean awesomeness:


Sweet potato pound cake (!)


Ate many many samples… didn’t photograph them because I was trying to be subtle about the fact that I was eating… many many samples.

Had to whip out the camera for my favorite literal banana bread, though:


The sweet portion of the outing thus satisfied, we turned to savory. Korean barbecue was an obvious option but honestly most Korean restaurants have not a lot in the way of ambiance and I prefer when eating meat to know that it is ethically sourced.

Pluuuuuuuuuuus there is an amazing Korean grocery store, as any longtime reader would know.

I have been loyal to local farmer’s market goodness for the past few months but it was long long overdue to hit up HMART!

Obviously the free samples did not cease:





There were also things I admired but did not purchase.

Steve objected to me saying “Say hi!” when I took a picture of these cute little squidlets:


And oh. em. gee:


HMart, in addition to having awesome authentic Korean goodies also reflects the awesome ethnic mishmosh that is my (suburban!) neighborhood.

Like the nibbles for sale by the cash register:


Ahhh, platanos. Que delicioso. But it’s mejor que I didn’t actually compre nadas. Since I have no… como se dice restraint?

The final cookin’ loot:


I set off to make stir fry- jazzed up some ginger and garlic in oil, then threw in tofu and awesomely adorable enoki mushrooms:


Steve took on the fresh noodles (I had never bought fresh Asian noodles before! These were buckwheat, and delicious!) and also got to cookin’ some oyster mushrooms (! Also a first! He cooked them in kimchi juice, which was totes inspired)


Finished the stir fry off with wonderful baby bok choy and some soy sauce. They are accompanied with the finished oyster mushrooms, which were insanely delicious and did in fact taste sort of oystery!


I am now going to dazzle you with my photographic skills with an AERIAL SHOT of the coffee table.


Along with our cooked up goodness there was kimchi (obvi where Korean is involved), Sriracha (obvi where Steve and I are involved), my favorite pumpkin pudding dessert thing, annnnnnnnnnnnnd Korean sushi made with black rice woah!


Guess the pickled thing #1: accompanied the sushi. Cual es?


My great big platesie (which was refilled many times) had, from 12:00, whatever pickled veggie that was with a Pac-man bite out of it; Korean sushi (which had veggies, some fresh and some pickled, and fake crab, along with the intriguingly and deliciously flavored black rice); oyster ‘shrooms; ‘shrooms and ‘fu stir fry; noodles; and kimchi.


Guess the pickled thing #2. Discovered in the kimchi. Huh?


Whatever the mystery ingredients, it was a feast!

Then sat down with that oh-so-traditional Korean beverage, the margarita.

Made in large quantity. Made by a Cubs fan.


Is the thumbs up used merely to show the scale for the massiveness of the margarita, or my feelings on the Cubs? You decide, readers.

Then I decided that the margarita (which was made with Jose Cuervo mix and made both of us cough for some reason) would be improved with a salted rim, which meant getting out Steve’s hilarious salt:


Say you had a large container of sea salt. You were making pasta, and accidentally poured the whole thing in.

Do you a. cut your losses or b. save the sea salt and have it in sort of wet chunks, resembling a scrub one could buy at a bath products store, in your refrigerator?

It made for a hilarious (but impressively photographed, if I do say so myself) rim.


Then I drank that margarita and danced on the sofa for a bit. It was a large drink, like I said.

And then it was KYLE’S BIRTHDAY YAY KYLE BEING BORN! So we all met up on U Street. And  bought him some birthday pie.

And then a dance interlude, but Erin and Steve had to fuel up. Cue Steve’s pizza from a truck and Erin’s PBJ that she impressively smuggled through the Metro in her purse.



Ali said...

The yellow pickled thing is radish.
If you want some good Korean recipes, check out I've been living in Korea for more than 3 years (and probably won't leave anytime soon) and her recipes are spot on.

Maya said...

Yay HMart! The Korean mart sorta near my house is super sketchy and does not have all the freebies that HMart does.

The red bean gummy stuff is the best. I need to use adzuki bean paste more in my life

fittingbackin said...

I need to find a korean mart near my house - I know there is one!!

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen said...

Thank you for making me laugh.

And for making me excited for a meet-up in December.

To quote Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother: "It will be...wait for it...LEGENDARY."