july – august


I’m back for a moment but it might be awhile until I update again. It’s been busy lately with some other freelance jobs and concentrating on illustration work. I’m thinking about changing the style of this blog to include more about my life in Seoul and not only food. As much as I love food, we don’t eat out as often and my dinner menu is repetitive lately.

But here are some eats over the summer. A couple of western restaurants and of course, dessert! The second half of summer was pretty uneventful. No travels, not events… I did finish my language school over at Hongdae. But with the end of the summer, things were full with wedding prep, translation, and art market prep. Most of that has quieted down and now I’m re-evaluating this blog and preparing for something bigger! Stay tuned and hopefully I’ll have an update very soon.




sweet boule


sweet boule

I still haven’t properly learned to make bread, but after I came back from Japan, I got into a baking craze and tried making sweet boule, a soft bread with a cookie custard on top. I still have a long way to go.



mentaiko pasta


mentaiko pasta

I actually like pasta but I can’t eat it often because of my stomach. When I do, one of my favorite pasta sauces is mentaiko sauce. It’s a classic Japanese style pasta sauce and very simple to make. As long as you have mentaiko! Or you can always buy the pasta sauce package. But I’m not sure how westerners will take to it though…






Lately I’ve been in a baking mode again. I bought a madeleine tray in Tokyo during the winter and decided to finally make use of it. I wish I bought a larger tray though, 6 isn’t enough to do at once! I always heard madeleines are hard to make, but I think using a nonstick pan really helps. The warm water bath is annoying but I think it makes a difference in texture. I recommend mixing in green tea powder and maybe next time I should try soybean… Madeleines really make good small gifts too!



eggplant miso & bell pepper


eggplant miso & bell pepper

I HATED eggplant when I was little. But you know how as you get older, your taste buds change? I don’t love it now, but I don’t hate it either. And one eggplant dish I like is a sweet miso based sauce. This is one that I usually make if I buy some eggplant. Even my foodie partner who doesn’t like eggplant will eat it.

One nice thing I like about asian eggplant is that it’s long and thing rather that the fat bulgy ones I used to buy in the US. It does tend to be expensive but there’s a weekly vegetable stall nearby the apartment that sells a bunch for cheap! Oh and I remember when I was little, I didn’t know the english name for eggplant until I was in 3rd grade. I just called it Nasu.





simmered eggs & radish


simmered eggs & radish

I wonder why I made this… I must have a lot of radish to use up. Or maybe my foodie partner was having a bad stomach day and I wanted to make something easy to digest. Anyways, it was a good easy classic simmered Japanese dish. Feels hearty but not heavy. Probably more of a fall/winter food rather than in this warm weather though.



pot au feu


pot au feu

Lately, I’ve been into buying huge cabbages from the local grocery near our apartment. And to use it up, pot au feu has become my go to recipe since I already have most ingredients on hand. It’s a simple and good way to get more vegetables into your diet. Of course the flavor all comes down to the consommé base. It doesn’t really work for lunch, but I think a couple days worth of dinner for busy single people.



cheong nyeon jang sankkun


I’ve been to this place numerous time, but their fries are delicious!!! There are only two types, basic and cajun. Personally the cajun is much better because it’s thin cut and crispy, rather than the basic thick wedge style. But the best part is the 12+ different sauces to choose from. I like the house sauce best but you can’t really go wrong with any of them. They also have sweet potato fries (so-so), chicken tenders (must get!), and cheese sticks (I’m not a big cheese person, but also good). The service is really good, and the atmosphere is cozy too. They serve beer in measuring cups which is fun too. They don’t open until 4pm because it’s more of a drinking place, but if you go before 7, they’ll size up your fries. The business model is pretty great too, since the servers are hired as actual employees rather than part time. I can enjoy my fries knowing I’m supporting a good business 🙂

ここでは何回か寄ってるけど、とにかくポテトフライがうまい!フライは二種類、オリジナルとケージャン。好み的には細くてパリパリなケージャンスタイルが厚切りのオリジナルよりは好き。でも一番いいところは、12 種類以上のソース。ハウスソースが一番美味しいと思うけど、どれを選んでも間違いはない。あとはさつまいもフライ(まぁまぁ)、チキンテンダー(必須!)、チースステック(大量のチーズは苦手だけど、美味しい)。サービスも良くて、雰囲気も居心地いい。ビールは計量カップに注いで面白い。一応飲み屋なので4時過ぎまで開かないが、7時前に行くと、フライのサイズをサービスとして、サイズアップします。ビジネスモデルもいいです。スタッフはアルバイトではなくちゃんと社員として雇います。いい営業を応援しながらフライを楽しめられところもポイントです。

strawberry picking


My first strawberry picking experience in Korea! Near my foodie partner’s parents house, we passed by a bunch of strawberry farms earlier in the year. So a couple weeks later, we decided to pick some strawberries!

So delicious! It felt a little weird to eat non-refrigerated strawberries, but still some of the sweetest I’ve ever tried. All the strawberries had to fit inside the containers so I carefully chose different sizes to take full advantage. There was a woman who piled up huge strawberries but ended up having to eat them because the container couldn’t close!



sweet & spicy tofu steak


sweet & spicy tofu steak

When I was living in New York, this was a dish I would make often for lunch. It’s pretty simple although a bit messy with the potato starch. One key point I’ve realized is after coating the tofu, it’s better to put it on the heated pan right away so that starch doesn’t come off the tofu and crisps nicely. Although with the sauce, it’s not crispy in the end anyways. If you don’t want a spicy sweet sauce, you can eat the fried tofu dipped in a soy sauce ground ginger mix.



apple yogurt cake


I’ve always been more of a baker since I was little. But the funny thing was that I could never bake pre-made baking mixes – they always turned out bad. I remember my cousin and I tried to use a brownie mix and they came out rock hard! But whenever I baked from scratch, the outcome was tasty.

My mom isn’t a frequent baker but the desserts she made were always easy and delicious. One of her repeat recipes for pot luck parties was an apple yogurt cake. It’s very moist and the apples add a nice soft crunch. I’ve since baked this cake countless of times and it’s always popular with everyone. Instead of regular yogurt, I use greek yogurt to add more density. Even if you use regular yogurt, straining the water overnight should have a similar texture.



fried rice


When I feel like the dinner menu I planned is lacking, I make fried rice for my foodie partner. Or if I’m lazy, his lunch will be fried rice.  Of course I can’t make the perfect consistency like a chinese restaurant, but I think I’ve gotten it down so it tastes pretty good. I also have a magic condiment called tori gara (chicken) soup base! I buy a msg free one so it’s not msg either.  My other trick is mixing the rice with mayo too. Of course, if you’re on a diet, not the best to do. But helps make the rice less sticky.