Category: korean

Vegan Kimchi: Mama O’s Vs. Mother-In-Law’s

vegan kimchi

Confession time: for years after I became a vegetarian, I continued to eat kimchi. I knew that it was made with dried fish, or fish paste, but I couldn’t help myself. Kimchi is just that good. But after a while I put an end to it; I would have to do without. Cut to February, when I was at the Gotham West Market when I spotted Mama O’s Vegan Kimchi at the Brooklyn Kitchen outpost there and I immediately bought a jar to bring home. I tasted it two different ways: as is, straight out of the jar, and also cooked in a recipe (which I’ll post about another time). The kimchi wasn’t as pungent as the real stuff and not nearly spicy enough, but the cabbage was crisp and it was nicely salty. Then two weeks later I was checking out the new Whole Foods here in Brooklyn, and I saw Mother-In-Law’s Vegan Kimchi. I tried it in exactly the same two ways as I had the Mama O’s. Here was the wonderful fermented funkiness I had been missing for these past few years; if I didn’t know it was vegan, I would have sworn it was the real deal. The spice level was also higher, a definite plus for me.

For a long time I’d been scouring labels of every kimchi bottle I found looking for a vegetarian one. I’d seen both Mama O’s and Mother-In-Law’s kimchis in various specialty stores around NYC, but never the vegan varieties. Now that I’ve tasted both, I’m ready to pick a favorite. Although both are good, Mother-In-Law is by far the one I prefer, both raw and cooked. So if you’re like me and have been searching for a vegetarian jar to fill that kimchi-sized hole in your life, you know what to do. (It should be pointed out that as a fermented product each jar of kimchi may be at a different stage, and so a single jar may not be enough to represent an entire company.)

Mama O’s Kimchi
Mother-In-Law’s Kinchi


Fried Chicken: Momofuku Fried Chicken Dinner


Ah yes, another large format dinner. Unlike the one I had at The Breslin, the Momofuku’s version was less gut busting and cheaper. For $125 (it was $100 when I went couple months ago), you get 2 whole fried chicken (half in Korean style and half in Southern style with Old Bay seasoning) with fixins which was a bowl of veggies, moo shu pancakes and sauces.

Many have said that David Chang makes one of the bestest fried chicken in the city. Well I’m going to have to disagree with those people. While the pieces of chicken were good they definitely weren’t great. The Southern style, I only got a hint of the Old Bay which I thought would’ve made the chicken more interesting if there was more of the seasoning. The batter was light, probably the lightest I had so far, which was good.

As for the Korean style, which was thrice fried compared to the Southern style’s single fried, was a little spicy and sticky from the glaze. I guess compared to the single fried Southern style, I was less thrilled about it.

While I don’t think it’s the best fried chicken, it was definitely good and between 8 people, it was my cheapest meal at Momofuku. Though at the end of the day, I was able to have a family style meal with 7 of my friends and that was pretty awesome.

Momofuku Noodle Bar 171 1st Ave. East Village, New York

See what other fried chickens I have eaten for my fried chicken project.

Drink At Skylark Eat At The Good Fork

The Good Fork at Skylark

Many businesses are still affected by Hurricane Sandy and aren’t able to reopen. While some businesses are finding other ways to keep their restaurants/shops open as they try and bring some sort of normalcy back.

The Good Fork in Red Hook is still closed and the owners think that it’ll be another few months before they’re back. Though in the mean time they had started serving food at Skylark on 5th Ave and 11th St in Park Slope. I had heard about this partnership awhile back. The Good Fork wasn’t scheduled to take over the kitchen till much later but due to Hurricane Sandy, they were forced to start early. So if you were missing their famous pork and chives dumplings, head over to Skylark.

Skylark 477 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Dok Suni Revisited

Is it possible for a Jewish kid from Virginia to be nostalgic for Korean food? Dok Suni was one of the first reviews I wrote on this site, a mere four years ago. It was one of my first experiences with Korean food, and it was one of my first restaurant crushes here in NYC. After I moved out of the East Village I stopped going as frequently. And of course there are many more Korean restaurants here, many of them better, many of them more traditional — but still, in my heart I have a soft spot for Dok Suni. I was recently in the East Village with my friend Jess looking for a place to eat when I spotted Dok Suni and suggested it. Jess had never been there but loves Korean food, so we ended up having a late dinner there. How did it measure up to my memories?

Click to continue…

City Grit

City Grit

It felt like it was meant to be, for me to meet Sarah Simmons the “Home Cook Superstar Winner.” Well not just because I like to eat or that Sarah runs the fantastic City Grit, a Culinary Salon, but because we just have too many mutual friends. She’s friends with a lot of grad school friends I know and an old coworker.

Though it wasn’t until last week, when I finally went to my first ever City Grit dinner. That night the theme was dim sum where Sarah came up with 7 dishes that combined Asian flavors and techniques with her Southern roots. All I can say about that dinner was, everything tasted fantastic and really inspired to play with my food more. The only sort of combining of foods that I ever did was my miso cream pasta, which I’m still surprised it came out pretty damn good.

Check out what I ate after the jump

Continue reading “City Grit”

Carts In The Parc

Carts in the Parc
This past Sunday I went to one of the New York Food and Wine Festival events, Carts in the Parc hosted by Andrew Zimmern at the Foodparc. If you don’t know what Foodparc is go read Ed Levine’s write-up on it. I had no idea it was so close to my work office, it could get dangerous for me in the future.

At the Vendy I went as part of the Schnitzel crew this time I went as part of the Big Gay Ice Cream crew. I was wearing my Big Gay Ice Cream shirt and was called a traitor by Mr.Schnitzel, HA! Last time I helped Doug and Bryan out they had me passing out free samples. This time they didn’t so I didn’t really do much work for them. I did do a food run for them, cleaned off the table and refilled their bowl with more lemon scented “moist towelette”. Highlight of the day was shaking hands with Andrew Zimmern, spotting Ming Tsai and standing next to Mary Alice from Charm City Cakes. Oh yeah and all the free tasty treats from Foodparc and all the food truck vendors were pretty great too.
Carts in the ParcCarts in the Parc

Click to see what I ate at the event!