Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Korean BBQ and hot pot - February 13th, 2008

It was one of those nights where I was getting sick of our rotation of foods at home. How do I take a break from it? It starts with figuring out what I wanted to eat, and at that time, my brothers were craving Korean food. Sure, why not. I started to butter my parents up for it, with the help of my brothers of course. We convinced our dad and my mom was dragged along (not literally). To Bulgogi Garden!

Can't remember our exact order, but we had one of the marinated beef orders (for the grill) and one of the hot pots.

To start, we were each given some miso soup. Mmm..

Next, we were given a bunch of little things to eat with rice and whatever you ordered (called banchan).

I remember that when our waitress brought everything for the grill, she started placing everything on the grill for us. I'm sure she was only trying to be helpful, but it was kinda annoying how she kept coming back and checking our meat.

Our hot pot looked pretty impressive. It looked exactly like the picture in their menu. The bad thing about it all was that everything cooked all at once, when we didn't want to eat it all at once. The pile of meat turned into a cooked meat ball. That wasn't fun. The soup was good. I also liked the thicker and firmer glass noodles they used. If they want to keep the presentation, they just need to keep a platter of veggies and meat separate from the soup.

We found it expensive, but we were all full and it was a warm meal for a cold night.



702 Somerset Street W,
Ottawa, ON

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Making of Xiao Long Bao

I know I'm not finished my posting yet.. but my mom and I tried to make soup dumplings for the first time earlier today, and it was sooo good!

After reading about soup dumplings for so long (probably the past year), I finally decided to try to make it - with my mom's help, of course. My mom can probably make any food out there. How? No clue. But it's almost always really good. lol Almost. I found a recipe online for the dumplings, just as a guideline and made the jellied soup yesterday (by taste), meat filling (I used the filling for pot stickers.. same thing, right?), while my mom made the wrappers from scratch. I didn't take any pictures cause I was busy wrapping, then cleaning, then eating. Here's someone else's picture of soup dumplings though.

The dumplings just tasted like really juicy pot stickers. =) It was funny trying to watch my little brother trying to pop the whole thing in his mouth. I was expecting a scene like the explosive pissing beef balls in God of Cookery (skip to 7:09 to see what scene I'm talking about.. and watch part 6 to see them start up their business) Hahaa.. I love it!

Happy New Years!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We both wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all have an awesome holiday break! This is a time to stuff yourself, so go enjoy the food and eat, eat eat! For those who plan to go Boxing Day shopping, have fun waiting in line.. kekee ^_^

Friday, December 19, 2008


When you're spending time in Ottawa during the winter, you HAVE to have a beavertail. Have to. Here's a picture of my kilaloe sunrise beavertail I had a while back. Mmm.. I could definitely go for one of those and a cup of hot chocolate right about now. It's not a great picture, but don't worry, I'll get a better picture with my D300 this winter break. Heh.

For those who don't know, it's not a real beavertail. It's a whole wheat bread that's stretched out to look like a beaver's tail, which is then deep fried, then it's spread with butter and covered with cinnamon and sugar, oh, and I can't forget about the lemon juice on top. Check out their site for more information.

~ Christine

Bun bo hue and Guong - January 16th, 2008

According to Wiki, the proper name for guong is 'gỏi cuốn'.

This particular weekend, my aunt decided that our weekly lunch and dinner get together would be held at her place. She was preparing guong and bun bo hue.
I believe that this was the first time my aunt brought out these pink guong plates.. lol. I don't know what it's called. It's pretty much a plastic strainer that was flattened. What is it used for, you ask? Well to make these summer rolls, you need to soften the rice paper. Now if you're serving a lot of people, like we were here, you can soften a lot of them and place them on the pink plate things, to make it easier for people to start the wrapping process. We usually just have a couple of deeper plates of really warm water/hot water at the table to share... but I like this way better, because it saves table space.

Our fillings were some sort of noodle stir fry, vermicelli noodles, shrimp, lettuce, mint, thai basil, bean sprouts and some sort of herb that look like the spades on playing cards, but smelt like fish. Yeah. Weird... I know, but people like it! No, not I, but other people. Anyway, here are the steps to wrapping your very own summer roll. Who needs to order these in restaurants, when it's THIS easy to make at home?

Step 1:
You'll need to get your fillings prepared. A stir fry of some sort with noodles and meat, slices of meat, vietnamese sausage (the sweet one that is kind of bright pink), lettuce, thai basil, mint leaves, some fish sauce dipping sauce (it's called nuoc cham), and really, anything you want.

Step 2:
Boil some water in a pan of some sort. It will make it easier when you soften up the rice paper.

Step 3:
Take a rice paper and dunk it into the hot water. As soon as the hot water touches the rice paper, it will soften. Make sure the whole rice paper is softened... but don't let it soak for longer than 5 secs. Place your ready to eat rice paper on a plate or on these pink plate things for wrapping.

Step 4:
Start piling your fillings on one side of the rice roll, in a relative rectangular area. It will help when you're wrapping it. If you want to have an easier time wrapping your summer roll, I suggest you don't fill it too much, because it'll probablt rip on you.

Step 5:
Once you have the filling you want in your summer roll (don't worry, if you wanted more things, you can just make more!), take the end closest to the filling and fold it over your filling.

Step 6:
Fold in the sides of the rice paper.

Step 7:
Roll everything relatively tightly. Tada! This beautifully wrapped one is mine.

Step 8 & 9:
Repeat until you have three or four and then serve with nuoc nam. You should make a couple at a time, because when you eat these, they dissapear really quickly. Dip and eat, then repeat.

I thought this was our lunch, even though my mom told me that my aunt was making bun bo hue, too. I didn't see the huge pot when we were there, so I forced myself to eat the first two rolls I made. You see, I'm usually not a fan of these summer rolls. I was hungry and I thought that this was all we were having for lunch, so I had to fill up. That wasn't too hard after the first two rolls I made. Watching other people wolf theirs down also made me hungrier. Heh. By the time I was on my fourth roll, my aunt told us to stop making them because the bun bo hue was almost ready. Everyone's expression said the same thing: "What? More food?" I guess I wasn't the only one who thought that guong was lunch.

The pot was hiding in the backyard on the burner the whole time. Silly pot of bun bo hue. You can't hide forever! My uncle brought the pot into the kitchen and turned on the burner to let it simmer.

My aunt was making the thick noodles in the meanwhile. The toppings to bun bo hue were: congealed cubes of pig's blood, slices of beef brisket, processed/mystery meat and tendons. The other toppings included onions, green onions and cilantro.

I was really full at this point and couldn't eat much more. But when I had a taste of the soup, my stomach felt half full/empty. Is that a bad thing? I grabbed a small bowl and slurped it all down. Man, I remember the soup to be a bit sweeter. It reminded me of chinatown's pho. The sweet stuff. It wasn't as sweet as theirs and it was definitely an awesome pot of soup.

(Update: BAH! I found out that I already blogged about this... grrr... I had a feeling that I already did. When I was writing this out, I was wondering how I was remembering so much of it.. lol)

~ Christine

Costco - January 9th, 2008

Can't remember what lead us to Costco. It certainly wasn't for groceries. I think it was just a random craving for their cheap eats. Four hot dogs, four drinks and one order of awesome french fries (I'm 97% sure they use Cavendish fries). A nice quick, cheap and filling meal. Mind you, you'll taste garlic for the rest of the day. It's a small sacrifice I'm willing to make once in a while.

Dim Sum - January 8th, 2008

I went to have dim sum with my friend and it was yummy. I've included some other dim sum pics, so that I don't have to write another brief entry.

The end.



700 Somerset Street W
Ottawa, ON
(613) 236-0555

Friday, December 12, 2008


I'm now home. I shall get back to posting after another two or three days. Good luck to everyone still writing exams!!

~ Christine


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