Wednesday, August 29, 2012

G's 30th!

George recently turned 30 this past week--another blessed year, older, wider, and wiser! =p hooray!!  We've had many blessings to be thankful for this year.  A friend's recent untimely death and my sister's sudden seizure reaffirms for me to be thankful everyday for another day, and to concentrate on the blessings that we do have.

So while we're still relatively young, still have all of our teeth, health, body parts..etc..we're going to celebrate!

Gift first! I couldn't wait to give it to him--the new 15" Apple macbook pro with retina display laptop!  I think I was more excited than he was..=D

In our fat ass style, I took George to a 20 course traditional Japanese dinner and made him a home-made birthday card with some well wishes from his friends in CA!

It's his birthday but he doesn't really drink but I will!  This house made plum wine was too hard to pass up!

We had a 3 1/2 hour dinner..from 6-9:30..insane..
Really good quality fish and lots of house specialities and traditional dishes from Japan which I can't remember names of...
fatty tuna, sweet shrimp, giant prawns, sake clams, lobster miso soup..fatty tuna to name a few...

Beef tatake, reallllllyyyyyyyyy good sashimi, housemade tofu with uni and wasabi, poached fish in broth

A type of female fish from Japan with pickled eggplant, fish poached in tofu skin in dashi sauce..
George painting his fish with soy sauce b/c apparently soy sauce is not supposed to touch the rice..OooooOoo..didn't know that..

ooh man, this plate was .... interesting..
cold liver, cold fish jelly cubes...cold conch poached in dashi in its own shell (actually pretty yummy!!) , a cold candied whole egg yolk, cold poached intestines...not the japanese food i'm used to but very fun to try new things!

Lobster claw tempura =)  I want more!!! Those were succulent, crispy, juicy little suckers!! Raw lobster sashimi, grilled oyster with red miso paste

Happy birthday happy eating face =)

chicken shabu shabu that later became a porridge complete with a quail egg! OoOooh!

3 hours later, the the sky has darkened and we're full to the seams, here comes the dessert!!! The creamiest and lightest most decadent green tea brulee I've had.  Hands down--the best of my adult creme brulee eating career.  So good that we actually ate the creme (and the entire thing) instead of just eating the burnt sugared parts!!  The black sesame icecream with sake plum was super yums too!

The restaurant staff signed George's bday card and gave him a coupon for a free sashimi next time.
Back at our apartment, I gave him his card!

 George's home made bday card/collage...Thank you to everyone who contributed! =D

Next up we head home to S.F for labor day weekend to visit my sister and to celebrate with friends and family.

Happy eating and safe travels everyone!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fatty McFat Pork Belly in my Fatty Fat Belly-The Trilogy

Hello blog =) I've missed you!  August is flying by so fast, I can't believe summer is almost over!  My goodness!

George and I made these fat ass dishes about a month ago and I'm so excited to finally have time to post it!  So, you know my food philosophy, if I die in ten years due to high cholesterol and most likely a heart attack, SO BE IT!  I can't live a deprived life without fat!  Braised, fried, stewed..pork belly is a damn piece of delicious fat!

We went to a ramen place where they served pork buns.  So inspired, George and I bought 3 slabs of fattty pork belly to make some of our own.  NOTE: I don't get home til pretty late on weekdays so the preparation and eating had to be spread out into 3 long agonizing days.

So lets get cooking so we can make THIZZ!:

DAY 1:

1) Left slab: Crispy Skin Chinese Roasted Pork Belly
We've made this at home several times and it's super simple! Dust five spice powder only on the meat side of the pork belly.  No real measurements--put as much as you like.

Key to crispy skin: the skin has to be DRY!  Some people leave this slab of meat in the fridge for 3-5 days.  The dryer the skin, the puffier and crispier it will get in the oven.

Pat the skin to ensure maximum dryness

2) Middle + Right Slab: Marinated using David Chang's famous Momofuku NYC eatery recipe and cookbook by the same name.  If you google it, you're going to find a LOT of variations of his recipe and bloggers discussing cooking temperatures.  I'll let you decide which way you want to cook it.

1/2 cup salt + 1/2 cup sugar mixture rubbed all over the pork belly.

Put the slabs a ziplock bag and rub the mixture all over the pork belly.

TADA! Done--in the fridge to marinate.
The crispy roast pork will sit in the fridge to dry out til DAY 3.

DAY 2: 
I literally sat at work day dreaming about my pork belly dishes...and every time I thought about eating it, a grin would involuntarily spread across my face.  I'm giddy now just re-thinking about it.

So, Day 2, Momofuku slabs going into the oven.  They need to be baked and then refrigerated for easier cutting after all the fat has cooled and hardened.

Ready for the oven!

After it's cooked, resist the temptation to eat it, cut it, lick it...
you will burn your tongue =(.  Fridgerate!

For me this meant waiting til the next day since it was already bed time =(

DAY 3:

Crispy chinese roast pork in the oven!  DONE!

Momofuku's pork belly chilled, cut into pieces, AND then GRILLED to heat up! DONE!

I made quick pickled cucumbers to cut through the grease.

We bought store bought chinese buns and just quickly steamed them.  OMG i'm so ready to eat!!!

DEVOUR!  Hoisin sauce, siracha sauce, cucumbers, two kinds of pork belly.  Life does taste this good!

I promised myself, I'm gonna take the stairs more.....