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Posts Tagged ‘David Chang’

Kimchi Quesadillas

In Food, Recipes on January 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm

This past weekend marked my first turn at making my own kimchi from a recipe of Momofuku chef David Chang’s. For the uninitiated, kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish and is often made with cabbage. The key ingredients are fresh ginger and garlic, along with chili pepper and the result is earthy, spicy, salty, and savory-sweet. In a word, delicious. The results were even better than I could have imagined. The mixture should hit its prime after two weeks, but can be enjoyed after 24 hours. Patience has never been my thing, and so we tucked into just a little bit last night and made Kogi truck-inspired kimchi quesadillas using Kogi founder Roy Choi’s recipe. And they were AWESOME. To fein some stab at virtue, I also tossed a salad with a fresh ginger-sesame vinaigrette (fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and canola whirred in the blender). First time I’ve ever seen my husband go back for seconds on salad. And also the first of many times to come that we’ll be devouring these ooey-gooey kimchi quesadillas.

Kogi Kimchi Quesadillas

Adapted from a recipe by Roy Choi

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped

2  flour tortillas (tho we used Whole Foods Whole Wheat tortillas for extra nuttiness)

2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar

1 cup grated Monterey Jack

Vegetable oil

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then cook kimchi, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden, about 6 minutes. Cool kimchi.

Spoon half of kimchi on one side of each tortilla and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, and 1/2 cup of both cheeses. Fold in half to enclose filling.

Brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium heat until it just begins to smoke, then cook quesadillas, turning once, until golden and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Serve immediately.

The Kimchi Chronicles: Part One

In Food on January 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

One of my favorite ethnic foodstuffs is kimchi—a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables, frequently with napa cabbage and loaded with ginger, garlic and chili powder. I’ve always wanted to try making my own but had never gotten past the idea phase until a rogue head of cabbage in my CSA farm box this week forced my hand. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to go shopping at HK Market in Koreatown on Western x 1st. Which is where I found salted shrimp. I have enough here for about a hundred batches of kimchi, but I’m thinking about deploying them in scallion pancakes or some kind of stew. This is between us, of course, so please don’t breathe a word to Mr. Foodinista. I’ve hidden the jar at the back of the fridge.

While at HK, I also grabbed a ton of ginger and garlic, as well as a huge thing of kochukaru (Korean chile powder) and some usukuchi, which is a lighter-colored soy sauce. From there, I followed David Chang’s recipe for Momofuku Kimchi.

The recipe calls for julienned carrots and I thought why not give the never-been-used julienne blade a go on the mandoline? At which point I lost my mind trying to figure out how to work the damn thing. While fluent in straight blade and crinkle cut, apparently I flunked julienne. What am I missing? Defeated, I resorted to julienning the old-fashioned way, with a knife. (Peeling potatoes and julienning rank as my two least favorite things to do in the kitchen, btw.) Can someone tell me, do I have this blade on there wrong? I mean, I think the blade is on there right but do I need to have the straight blade on there, too?

But I’m over it, I promise. Because—mandoline rage notwithstanding—the kimchi came together so much more easily than I imagined. It has to refrigerate at least 24 hours (this after 24 hours of the sliced cabbage first sitting doused with salt and sugar) so tomorrow night we are planning kimchi quesadillas. The kimchi reaches its prime in two weeks—on the very day I return from South Africa—so quite a homecoming it will be. Stay tuned!

The Ramen Diaries

In Drink, Food on February 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Where to begin? The lost hours shopping for ingredients in Little Tokyo, the multiple visits to Jacob at Huntington Meats in search of pork bones, the phone calls and texting between me and my coconspirator Alex, the recipe that redirected us to no fewer than seven other recipes, or the mountains of dishes occupying every last inch in our kitchen? Well, let’s begin at 7:30 am yesterday, when I ignited the gas flame on our monster of a Wolf range and started this damn broth.

7:30 am Chang’s ramen recipe begins, apparently without irony, by saying “First, get everything ready.” Yeah, thanks. So the way Alex and I divvied up labor meant that she spent the previous evening slow-roasting pork butt and belly for HOURS on end. I was starting a broth that would take over 10 hours to make. It begins with rinsing konbu and then simmering over high heat.

8 am … feed Tiny G breakfast, remove konbu…shiitakes simmering for 1/2 hour.

8:30 am … spoon out mushrooms with a spider…chicken legs go into the broth, pork bones go into the oven to roast for an hour

9 am: flip pork bones, back into oven

9:30 am: pork bones come out of oven

9:45 am: chicken legs come out of the broth; pork bones and bacon go in. Mr Foodinista and I walk over to Larchmont for bagels and run into GastroKid’s Hugh Garvey with Violet and Desmond at Sam’s Bagels, continue up street and run into Alex and her kids. Alex pulls a tupperware of pickled vegetables for our dinner from her daughter’s stroller for us to try. They’re insane! Particularly the pickled Asian pear.

10:45 am … back home in time to remove bacon (don’t worry – Tiny G and his Aunt Claire were at home keeping an eye on the broth)

11: 30: Tiny G goes down for nap. Shower. Drive to….

12 pm: Chanel “Blue Satin” manicure with Sandra on Wilshire x Crescent Heights (310-292-2263)

1 pm: bring dashi and mirin to boil, simmer pistachios for one hour (for salad course)

2pm: fry ground chicken patty, reheat puréed cauliflower and chop apple for Tiny G’s lunch

2:10 pm: drain braised pistachios and purée with water … chop radishes and toss with salt and sugar (for salad)

3 pm: write out place cards and set table for 10.

4:30 pm: chop two bunches collard greens and simmer with water, soy sauce, sherry vinegar, brown sugar for 40 mins.

5:20 pm: change into Dolce & Gabbana ghetto gold leaf bracelet, J Brand black twill and an Anna Sui top—the latter is not only Chinese red but a nod to Chinese New Year!

5:30 pm: add scallions, chopped onion and carrot to broth

6 pm: test water for temperature (140 – 145 degrees) and add eggs to slow poach for 45 minutes—Chang’s signature technique is also known as onsen tamago, or “bath eggs”

6:15 pm: Alex and her husband Greg arrive with roasted pork butt and pork belly. I remove bones and veggies from broth and strain thru cheesecloth into pot. As you may have ascertained, I’ve also uncorked a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc…

6:25 pm: Alex removes layer of fat from pork belly.

6:30 pm: Greg preps sashimi course with spoils from Fish King in Glendale:

6:45 pm: Remove eggs from hot water and put into ice bath. My sister’s date arrives to take her to Avatar at the Cineramadome and a late dinner at Street. Claire has spent most of the afternoon outdoors so as not to smell like rendered fat when he picks her up…

7:05 pm: Neighbors Martha and Alex A. arrive with Sapporo.

7:10 pm: Neighbors Alyssa and Chris arrive; Chris is pulling his kids’ radio flyer wagon with a cooler full of assorted Hitachino Nest beer. Here he is serving our very chic neighbor and documentary film producer Martha.

7:10 pm: Tokyo expats and neighbors Whit and Jen arrive with Yebisu beer and sake. Jen designs the MOST amazing Japanese baby clothes under her NOKO label.

8 pm: Sashimi course, beautifully assembled by Greg…

8:20 pm: Fry oyster mushrooms in grapeseed oil and finish with sherry vinegar. Plate salads…pistachio purée, radishes, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, radish greens, pickled sunchokes and braised pistachios…

8:40 pm: Whit delivers treatise on saké. He knows his stuff. And we toast to living on the greatest block in all of Los Angeles!

9 pm: Alex D. and I sneak out to kitchen, aided by Jen, to assemble ramen. Water boiling for ramen, running long poached eggs under hot water, seaweed torn and distributed among bowls, broth ladeled into bowls, stewed bamboo shoots (prepared previous evening) reheated and distributed among bowls along with ramen, chopped scallions, collard greens, eggs, INSANELY good roasted pork belly and pork butt…

9:10 pm: And here’s a funky one of me peeling and liberating all those damn eggs…tricky…

9:20 pm: Ramen is served! Was it worth it? OH. MY. GOD. YESSSSSSSSSSSS. What followed involved mochi for dessert, an ill-advised late-night decision to crack some Champagne, 30 Year Balvenie single-malt for some, vodka + tonic for others, more beer and Cuban cigars. Yowza.

1 am: And the aftermath? Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lunch for $15 or Less: Daikokuya Ramen

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on April 3, 2009 at 5:47 pm

The latest in my quest for lunch under $15 while I’m on jury duty downtown…


Until this afternoon, I would have told you without missing a beat that the best ramen I’ve ever had is at Momofuku in New York (made with Berkshire pork shoulder and belly, and a poached egg). I’m pretty sure Momofuku’s still rules the roost—it’s been a while since I’ve had it—but today I discovered a bowl of ramen in Little Tokyo that would give David Chang a serious run for his money. My friend Bryan (aka DJ Buttafuoco for all you downtown hipsters), who lives a few blocks from Daikokuya, gave me my marching orders, saying, “The Daikoku Ramen is what you’re there for. They make it ‘kotteri style’ if you ask, which is richer, thicker broth extracted from pork back fat. It might kill you, but it’s worth it.” 


Boy, he’s not kidding. The tonkotsu broth is made by boiling pork bones for a day, and then mixing with soy sauce—and, if you ask, the kotteri back fat. Ask. Then it’s loaded with tender kurobata pork belly, scallions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and toasted sesame seeds. The soft-boiled egg is marinated overnight in soy sauce, and lordy, is it good. The bill, with a diet Coke, was a little over ten bucks before tip. I texted DJ Buttafuoco on my way back from lunch that I’d tried the ramen, to which he replied, “Now the real challenge begins: avoiding the noodle/pork fat coma for the rest of the afternoon.” I’m not sure I won that battle, but was sure glad for the brisk walk back from the restaurant to the courthouse, taking in the sights along the way. It was crazy windy—bad day to be wearing a skirt—but just gorgeous, gorgeous outside.