For my last blog post about a food item, I decided to drag some friends to Honeypig, a Korean BBQ restaurant. It had great atmosphere and great food. Almost everything was in Korean. Waiters were shouting in Korean, all the signs had a Korean translation, and K-Pop music videos were playing on the TVs. I felt like I was really getting a Korean experience.
But where did this all start?
In the 1970s and 1980s, Korean immigration to the United States rose because of economic turmoil back in Korea. So, when Korean population started rising to 2.7% of the entire population, it was easy for Korean restaurants and dishes to become more popular. An interesting note about Korean dishes is that although they shared their dishes to America, they weren’t looking to gain massive popularity. That’s why Korean food, as of now at least, is very much authentic. According to John Surico of Serious Eats, they don’t have their own version of the pad thai or General Tso’s. My Korean friend Ben agrees. He says that Honeypig actually serves very authentic dishes.
Usually, when eating a specific dish for this blog, I order one thing only. Sushi only, or chicken coconut and curry with a side of rice. But since the next dish was from a buffet, I couldn’t really help but eat a lot of different foods. (Sorry, not sorry.) Since much of the dishes I’ve researched so far are of Japanese or Chinese origin, I decided that a much-needed change is mandatory in order to gain a full analysis in my research. So, when I asked a couple of friends where I could go to try out more dishes, they suggested P.F. Chang’s and Rangoli’s. P.F. Rangoli’s was an Indian restaurant. The friends who ordered it were Indian and said that we could definitely help me out with my research. So, off we went.
Rangoli’s is a restaurant in Anne Arundel, Maryland, in front of The Hotel. Yes, the hotel was called The Hotel. Rangoli’s is a buffet-style restaurant during lunch, but according to my friend Mihir, it becomes a regular restaurant for dinner. Since we went during lunch, I couldn’t help but start filling my plate with all the unfamiliar dishes. I ended up getting basmati rice, butter chicken, tandoori chicken, and panipuri. I also tried a bit of the samosa but my spicy tolerance is pretty low, so I wasn’t able to finish it.
So for those who are unfamiliar with the Indian cuisine, let me break my plate down for you:
I feel like I’m going on a Japanese food craze.
Yesterday, my roommates and I decided to have a little roommate bonding time by going to the Lotte Plaza Market’s cafeteria area. (Lotte Plaza Market is an oriental market.) I told them about my project and they were very supportive of the idea of accompanying me to try some new Asian dishes. During our Lotte adventure, I got the Japanese Shrimp Tempura Udon noodles. I’ve seen them in dry packs (the way ramen noodles are packed) but the only place I’ve seen them served fresh and hot is at the Lotte Plaza Market cafeteria.
For those who are unfamiliar with Japanese Udon noodles, it is a soup dish. They have really thick flour noodles with scallions, fake lobster meat, and fake crabmeat. Because I got the shrimp tempura version, there was a piece of shrimp tempura in the soup. To the left of the bowl are pickled radishes.
This recipe from Just One Cookbook uses additional ingredients such as dried shiitake mushrooms, carrots, fish cake, etc.
Today I found out I liked cucumbers. Well, sort of. Today, I also found out that I needed to learn how to properly eat sushi. Do you eat it in one whole bite or you take bites? How do you eat them so all the components stay together? I really still don’t know.
As you can tell, I’m a newbie at eating sushi and I’m also scared of eating raw foods. My friend and I went to Ichiban Café today in Columbia, MD, the same place where I got my bubble tea. It’s a Chinese-Japanese fusion restaurant meaning they serve all the Chinese foods you except, such as General Tsao’s chicken and lo mein, as well as bento boxes and sushi rolls. I ordered the shrimp tempura sushi roll. It had the iconic rice/seaweed wrap with cucumbers and shrimp tempura in it, and the whole roll was covered in some sort of sauce that tasted like sweet soy sauce.
As you can see from the photo above, the dish looks like sushi. I mean, it is sushi. But, sushi doesn’t always have to look like that.
Meet my friend Sam.
So everything that I’ve blogged about so far, I’ve already tried them before and I know how they taste. I sort of feel like that’s cheating because in addition to learning the history behind the Americanization of the foods I’ve eaten, I should also be trying new foods.
Well ladies and gentlemen, I’ve finally done it. I’ve tried a new dish.
Hello again! Do you remember my last post about Vietnamese Pho? If you haven’t read it, check it out here. Last week, I talked about how my family got pho and I ordered a chicken-based dish. I talked about Mr. Cao and his restaurant and how pho came to America. But, I never really said anything about my chicken-based dish after that. That’s because I was saving that little treasure for this post.
My mom is a chatterbox. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes…it’s not so good. This was one of the many times where it was a superb thing. Today, my family and I went to Viet’s Aroma, a local Vietnamese restaurant in Frederick, MD. While I got a chicken-based dish, the rest of my family got “one large S1 and 2 small S1,” or pho.
I love bubble tea. Actually, I really only like chocolate bubble tea. So when the waiter handed me a cup of some bright pink liquid, I just stared at him.
“I thought I got chocolate.”
“No, you said strawberry.”
“But, I don’t like strawberry.”
And off he went to make me another. I felt bad. But, I really don’t like strawberry.
From the last post, I talked about the history of egg rolls during a little Chinese takeout adventure. As always, accompanying Chinese food were the famous fortune cookies. Again, these fortune cookies came with my Chinese food from the Golden Gate Restaurant and we all know what fortune cookies look like: a golden crispy cookie shaped like a pinched-V with a little paper fortune inside. But where do these little guys come from?
Yesterday, my friend and I decided to get some Chinese takeout at a local restaurant called Golden Gate Restaurant. One of the items we got were Egg Rolls. From what I saw, the two egg rolls had a crispy egg roll shell, carrots, cabbage, and possibly, a bit of ground beef. A recipe of “Copycat Takeout Egg Rolls” uses: