Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cheat Sheet: Crepes

Crepe Mix.

Oh no! It's lunchtime and there's nothing to be found in the kitchen. Except, hold on...crepe mix! This one happened to be from Williams-Sonoma. Sure, you can make them from scratch the good ole French way, but the mix is ideal for times when you want to whip up something effortlessly on the fly.

Prepping the eggs.

Follow the directions on the back of the recipe tin. It doesn't get easier than that. You only need a few essential ingredients (eggs, water and butter or oil for the pan).


For the filling, just chop up some strawberries and bananas (not pictured). In addition to the strawberry-banana crepe, I made a nutella and banana crepe, as I find those ingredients work well together.

Flip it!

Creamy fruit crepe.

Flushing, Wo Ai Ni!

Bori cha and Pokka aloe vera juice.

After dim sum in Flushing, time to hydrate! My sister and I checked into Bakery de Paris.

OK, so I had no idea that the small green can was bori cha (barley tea) when I bought it on a whim. Not a smidgen of English on the can, and I can't read any Korean. I could've asked the staff what it was, but that would take the fun out of it, wouldn't it? Sometimes I like to be pleasantly surprised.

And I was. The can was cool (not cold, which I would have preferred), and the barley tea was a less-than-nutty flavor. I tend to like my barley strong, and this was not it. However, for purposes of hydration, it did the job. It could be a little plumper, though. My sister liked the refreshing (semi-artificial) sweetness of the Pokka aloe juice.

Walking back to our grandparents' apartment, we passed a number of sites and sounds...

Madina halal cart.

The Korea Times.

Magic Castle: Purveyor of all things cute.

Dim Sum Du Jour

Flavored tendons.

I never cease to marvel at the sweet, salty, spicy, fried, steamed aromas and textures floating cart by cart every time I'm out to yum cha. I could do a detailed analysis of dim sum...but I won't. However, I will say this: No matter how many helpings of the plentiful dishes I take, I usually manage to clean my plate every time. Wash it all down with jasmine or oolong tea, and you're good to go. There's a reason the tea is strong.

Mom's zippy face.

After all these years, Mom's favorite dim sum dish is still ha gow (shrimp dumpling) - I think because her grandma used to make them from scratch. Of couse, nothing can compare to homemade, but when you can't be bothered to cook, dim sum is where it's at.

Yummy blur.

Fish balls, pie gwut (pork ribs), law my gai (rustic lotus leaf-wrapped sticky rice), char siew bao (red pork buns).

Personally, my cousin's "Grandma" in California makes the best joong (sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves). The Chinese sausage is sharp and aromatic; salted eggs, mung beans, chestnuts, dried shrimp, dried black mushrooms, pork and rice are rolled into a tight hot mess (the good kind).

The name of the restaurant. Beats me if I know.

Bite-sized don tat.

I had two of these little morsels. The don tat's crust was crisp and flaky, but the egg could have been fresher and less, well...glazed over.

Celebrating a Life at Kum Gang San

Waterfalls outside the restaurant.

This entry originally took place on May 23.

For Momma Bear's birthday, we went to the source of our Korean addiction: Kum Gang San.

Kum Gang San has treated us very well in the 4+ years since we've been eating here. It all began with that Korean cookbook I rummaged from my high school's library sale. 25 cents a pop. I gave it, along with a Japanese cookbook, to my mom. It was her first exposure to such cuisine. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ban chon til my stomach explodes.

Mommy dearest requested a trip back to Kum Gang San to get her fill of kalbi, bibimbap and all the delightful appetizers Koreans are known for. The super soft tofu was a big hit, along with the seafood pajun, which was stuffed with squid, shrimp, leeks and onions (yes - I did eat the onion).

Kalbi served with 'special sauce.'

Seafood pajun and a bite of lotus.