I don’t really associate New Year’s Eve with champagne or sequins. Instead, I associate New Year’s with food — maybe even more than Thanksgiving or Christmas, at my house, New Year’s Eve meant a family feast. A traditional Chinese New Year (and regular December 31 New Year’s Eve, because we totally double-down on our New Year’s celebrations) at my house was hot pot and “long life noodles,” hot pot because it symbolized prosperity and celebration, and noodles because they symbolize … well, long life.
I realized this weekend that it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything savory. Which is funny, because I consider myself a pretty novice baker — I guess we just rotate much more frequently between tried and true meals, whereas Bowl #2 never has any input on sweets, so I just try any new thing I feel like. Anyway, I thought I’d change it up by posting about one of our very most favorite “tried and true”s — kimchi fried rice.
Did you just gasp with horror? I realize that this is a highly polarizing statement, but I love kimchi and cheese. I can’t imagine budae jjigae without cheese. I made kimchi chicken quesadillas once and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And this kimchi grilled cheese might be my very favorite grilled cheese sandwich, ever.
Yay, today I have a recipe to share that I’ve been itching to post! I’ve been trying to stagger my posts for these six weeks since I’m bound to run out of things to say sooner or later, without my own kitchen to make messes in — right now I’m relying on a backlog of recipes that never got posted because I was studying for the bar, and some new recipes that I got from surreptitiously snapping photos of Bowl #2’s mom’s cooking. This is the latter. The recipe is for bibim guksu (비빔국수), or noodles mixed with kimchi. It’s a quick and easy dish that is the absolute perfect summer lunch recipe –tasty, simple, cool and refreshing without being insubstantial. Bowl #2’s mom is the best.
Spicy ahi poke is perhaps my greatest love in the food world. First introduced to me when I visited Bowl #2’s family in Hawaii, poke is pretty much just fresh chunks of tuna marinated in soy sauce and other ingredients. Some describe it as a Hawaiian ceviche, which I find apt but not all-encompassing of its utter perfection (I just describe it as bliss). The standard version is one marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and a few other ingredients, whereas our personal favorite is a slightly unhealthier, spicy mayo-based kind that we usually get from Foodland, a Hawaii supermarket chain. This particular kind was part 2 of the Hawaiian birthday feast (part 1 is here), and here is the stunningly simple recipe for how to make it!