Alicia's Food For Thought


Dim Sum Culinary Class
December 21, 2010, 11:42 PM
Filed under: Alicia's Asia Adventures, Real Eats | Tags: , ,

Hi readers!

Long time no see. I am taking advantage of some time I have over winter break and catching up on blogposts.

This semester I was able to take 11 of my residents to a dim sum culinary class at Miette Culinary Studio in New York City. It was a ton of fun and Chef Sui Lon Chan was such a great instructor. She usually caters but participates as an occasional instructor at Miette Culinary Studio when she has the time. She had a lot of patience with us as we had a 3 hour long class and 12 mouths to feed.

Ever since I came back from Asia, I’ve been craving to learn how to make all those delicious creations at home and this turned out to be the perfect introduction class to learn how to use tradition Chinese ingredient such as oyster sauce and black mushrooms. We made spareribs with black bean sauce (tofu for the vegetarians), vegetable spring rolls, congee with preserved duck egg and pork, shrimp siu mai, and steamed cake with lychee sorbet for dessert.

One of the few things I learned from the class was to use every part of every ingredient. For example, we used rehydrated black mushrooms and instead of throwing out the water afterwards- the mushroom excreted delicious juices into the water and it was the perfect base of the conjee.

Next, make sure the oil is hot enough to fry the spring rolls. Many people may say that Chinese food is greasy but that is only because the oil was not hot enough when they cooked the food. The spring rolls cooked so quickly and when they came out of the wok, they were crisp and not oily at all. You also have to be careful and make sure that you do not crowd the wok because with each spring roll you put in the wok, the oil temperature will lower which can also cause greasy food.

Another lesson I learned was to not be afraid to get your hands dirty! Cooking is easy if you just remember to use simple ingredients and realize that your fingers are the best mixing utensils in the kitchen. Just make sure you wash your hands in-between cooking stages to avoid cross-contamination. This was especially important when we made the shrimp siu mai. We chopped up the shrimp with ginger, oyster sauce, salt and chives and placed the filling into a dumpling wrapper. After we filled the dumpling wrapper we used our thumb to put a decorative seal on the edges. Chef Chan also informed us that chefs and cooks usually put different colored vegetables on top to distinguish the different types of dim sum. After we had our fill of spring rolls, conjee, sparerips, and siu mai- we of course had to have dessert! The steamed cake was simply made with egg, sugar, and flour and steamed instead of baked. This took less time than baking and also made the cake as light as a pillow.

I can’t wait to make these dishes in my own kitchen but first I need to make a beeline to China Town and purchase a wok, oyster sauce, and black mushrooms before I can begin. Chow, Alicia



Dessert Places in NYC
September 28, 2010, 11:32 PM
Filed under: Real Eats | Tags: , ,

NYC dessert places



Feels like a Dream

Hi readers,

It has been a week since I’ve returned to the United States and it has been nice to do veg out and do nothing. Thailand and China already feels like a dream and like I never really was there. I still can’t believe I was out of the United States for 11 weeks and that I’ll be going back to NYU for my senior year in two.

Here are some my favorite food in Thailand. Keep in mind I was a Pescatarian while I was there so no pork, beef, or chicken dishes here although I am sure they were equally as delicious.

Som Tam (Papaya Salad)- I ate this at least once a week and asked for extra chilis and no shrimp :).

making papaya salad som tam

papaya salad som tam thailand

Nam Prik Num– Northern Thai Green Chili Paste with steamed vegetables

Nam Prik Ka Pi– Thai Chili Paste with fried vegetables

Fcuk Meaw (No that isn’t a typo.)

fcuk meaw

Kao Soy– Northern Thai Soup made with coconut milk aka very fattening.

northern thailand kao soy

northern thailand kao soy toppings

Thai Vegetable Spring Rolls (Yes, you can get this in the US….)

thai spring roll

The internship at the Mae Fah Luang Foundation was an amazing learning experience. I didn’t learn much about marketing or branding but the cultural experience was invaluable. I think this was a summer of a lot of self reflection and I hope I do lose my sense of self-awareness when I go back to school. When you are really put outside of your comfort zone, you get the chance to step outside of your culture and try to get of a sense of what makes you you. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled all over the world, but I’ve never been to an Eastern country for long period of time before. I thought being in Thailand was going to be similar to my experience in Nicaragua as an Amigos de las Americas Volunteer, but really the two experiences can not be compared. I think I was still very young as a person when I went to Nicaragua and Thailand felt like I was reaching a pivotal point of “growing up”.

bangkok thailand skyline

I want to allot enough time to continue self-reflection at school and I think my decision to cut things out of my life and to work less hours will allow me to do so. I want to continue Yoga when I go back to New York and I think it will remind me patience and to be gentle with myself and my body.

new york city

I still can’t really put into words what happened in Thailand and maybe I am not that different because of it- but I feel older (and maybe a little bit wiser) and I know I’ve made some great friends while I was there and I can’t wait to see them again in the future. (You all better visit me in NYC!)

time flies

Now that the summer is coming to a close, my posts will return to going back to food and food issues. I feel a little out of the loop in the food world and I am going to spend some time now to catch up on reading. Thanks for reading about my Asian Adventures and coming along for the ride. Who knows, maybe I’ll go back to Asia next summer (Bali?).

Chow,

Alicia Kim



Alicia is Alive!

Hello readers and the world!

I haven’t had much access to the internet for the past 3 weeks, so I haven’t been able to blog about my abroad adventures until now. I actually really enjoyed not having access to the internet, it felt like a good cleansing of my mind since I do spend so much time on the computer. I really got the chance to reflect on my own thoughts without any distractions. But now that I do have the internet, I want to shift in just reflecting on my thoughts to actually writing/video blogging them down so that I can go back to them during the school year.

So in Hong Kong and China I was taking a class at New York University called Global Social Entrepreneurship. Originally the class was supposed to take place in Thailand at the Mae Fah Luang Foundation (where I currently am interning), but due to the violence and turmoil happening the class was cancelled and Richard (one of our classmates) decided to come up with a replacement program in Hong Kong and his hometown in China. We all had a great time on our crazy adventures and even though I am not sure how much I’ve learned about social entrepreneurship, I definitely learned a lot about myself (all of which I will share in later posts).

Since we were in Hong Kong, we ate a TON of dim sum. I actually need to confess and let you know that I actually put my vegetarianism on hiatus for the two weeks we were in Hong Kong and China. I wanted to get the full experience of eating authentic Chinese/Cantonese food. Also, I did not have any control over the food that we ordered. Most of the time we had Richard order the food for the table and we ate whatever was ont he table. One thing I made sure of is that the meat was locally produced before I ate it.

Here are some samples (and pictures of food of course) from the trip to give you a taste of Hong Kong/China:

hong kong market

world peace cafe

hong kong dim sum

hkust dim sum

alicia in hong kong

macau food

chinese food

lazy susan

amelia

chinese rice field

Chow,

Alicia Kim
Food for Thought Resident
alicia.foodforthought@gmail.com



Stogo, Arepas, and Governor’s Island, oh my!
September 14, 2009, 2:57 AM
Filed under: Real Eats, Recipes

Hello readers!

The Food for Thought Explorations floor has been in full swing for the past couple of weeks and even though classes/internships/jobs have already started, we were able to squeeze in some amazing and successful programs!

stogo

We’ve had ice cream (without the cream) from Stogo’s, an organic, gourmet, dairy free, kosher ice cream shop located on 10th Street in between 3rd and 2nd Avenue during Welcome Week. I got 4 different pints: Hemp Raspberry, Mango Sorbet, Berry Mix, and Orange/Coconut flavor. The ice cream is very pricey (~$12/pint), so I would only suggest going there for a very nice treat and if you are lactose intolerant/vegan.

caracas1caracas2Next, we had arepas from the Caracas Arepa Bar, a Venezuelan Restaurant located on 7th Street inbetween 1st and Avenue A after our first floor meeting. An arepa is a flat bread made from corn and it is opened like a pocket to be filled with delicious fillers such as beans, cheese, avocados, plantains, and meat. I bought 5 different types of arepas: The De Guasacaca, La del Gato, De Pollo, La Jardinera, La Mulata and 5 side orders of Arroz con caraotas (rice & beans). Their salsa is amazing! It is sweet ands savory at the same time and it really adds a lot of flavor to the arepa. To view their menu click here. An interesting note on how I found the Caracas Arepa Bar, I learned about them from the Throwdown with Bobby Flay, a show on Food Network (of course!). For a recipe on how to make arepas go here (Thanks Serra!).

The last event he had was a trip to Governor’s Island, NYC. We went on a free ferry ride over there and spent the day eating lunch and biking around the island. The first 90 minutes renting a bike is FREE and we had a great time stopping by the different entertainment spots. You should really check it out if you ever want to get out of city without ever really leaving. There is also an article about the Dutch Festival that was going on while we were there (Thanks David!).

Here are some pictures that we took while we were in Governor’s Island (Photo credit goes to Steven on Clarissa’s camera!):

Governor's Island Ferry

Governor's Island Ferry

Enjoying a picnic Lunch on Kimmel (Road). *Please note Alyssa's expression, kthxbye.

Enjoying a picnic Lunch on Kimmel (Road). *Please note Alyssa's expression, kthxbye.

Riding the FREE bikes!

Riding the FREE bikes!

Enjoying the view of the Statue of Liberty while biking around the island.

Enjoying the view of the Statue of Liberty while biking around the island.

I amsterdam (mini version).

I amsterdam (mini version).

The wonderful RAs that I co-programmed with (David, Clarissa, and Christina). Love you Carlyle!

The wonderful RAs that I co-programmed with (David, Clarissa, and Christina). Love you Carlyle!

Overall, it was a great program and everyone had an amazing time checking out a different area of NYC. We will probably do it again in the Spring when it is warm again.

And as promised, here is a recipe for banana bread that I will be baking for BASE meetings (sign up on Doodle!). I got the recipe from Food Network.

1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

* Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

Enjoy and good eats! If you have any ideas for a program, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Alicia Kim
Food For Thought Resident Assistant
alicia.foodforthought@gmail.com



Meatpacking Local Photoshoot
September 4, 2009, 12:01 AM
Filed under: Real Eats

Hello readers!

Sorry I haven’t written in while, things have been pretty hectic with RA training. Move-In Day and whatnot. But fear not! I’m back and I shouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.

So this past summer I interned with Bridget Williams, a Graphic Designer based in New York City, and she invited me to come to a photoshoot with her yesterday at Milk Studios. The photoshoot was for Meatpacking Local, a magazine given out at the Wine & Food Festival. A bunch of portraits were done of the contributors (Farmers, distributors, chefs, etc.). We also took pictures or produce, oysters, honey, and mushrooms! Hans, the guy who brought the mushrooms, was the cutest man ever! He even brought in “forest debris” to photograph. I never been to a professional photoshoot so it was an overall exciting day with BDUB.

Here are some pictures that I took:

Buying oysters!

Buying oysters!

Wandering Chelsea Market for props.

Wandering Chelsea Market for props.

Himalayan Salt for the Oysters.

Himalayan Salt for the Oysters.

Honey from the rooftops.

Honey from the rooftops.

Delicious honey straight from the comb.

Delicious honey straight from the comb.

Photoshoot inside Milk Studios.

Photoshoot inside Milk Studios.

Meet and Greet our subjects.
Mushrooms ready for their closeup.

Mushrooms ready for their closeup.

Don't eat the subjects!

Don't eat the subjects!

I got paid in mushrooms.

I got paid in mushrooms.

 Overall it was a great day! It was super long (I was there from 10AM-8PM). We ate a lot, sat around a lot, took a lot of pictures, met a lot of people, and wandered a lot but it was really interesting seeing how food gets styled. I can’t wait to go to the festival to see the magazine after it is all printed!

Anyways, once again, I have failed to provide you all with a recipe post, but I promise the next one will be a recipe! Wasn’t this interesting to see the process on how a professional shoots gets done? A lot of work gets put in to making an annual magazine.

First post since residents have moved in! I hope you all have enoyed and talked to you all soon! :)

Alicia Kim
Food For Thought Resident
alicia.foodforthought@gmail.com



Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA
August 7, 2009, 3:14 AM
Filed under: Real Eats

Hi readers! :)

I’ve been spending the summer in NYC for the first time this year but from July 21st until the 28th I went home to California for my mom’s 50th birthday.

While I was home I was able to attend the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA with a couple of my friends. If you never heard about the Garlic Festival. No worries, I didn’t either until I watched a program on the Food Network and I’m even from the area. Basically it is festival celebrating garlic since Gilroy, CA is considered the “Garlic Capital of the world” (You can smell garlic during the summer time in my backyard even though I live 20-30 minutes away).

This year was the Garlic Festival’s 31st anniversary for July 24th-26th. You can everything with garlic such as garlic bread, garlic fries, garlic sausage, garlic shrimp… the list goes on and on. But one thing you probably will never find anywhere else is garlic ice cream! No, I didn’t try any… sorry guys, I’m not that adventurous. I think think creamy ice cream should be something eaten after you eat a garlic-y meal and not at the same time. There are also street vendors that sell artisan crafts which we enjoyed looking at. Rosa and I purchased ear clips (everyone keeps asking me if I is a new piercing but no, but I wish it was!). This year they even had Fabio from Bravo’s Top Chef come as a special guest.

The traffic to the Garlic Festival was kind of ridiculous- usually a ride that takes about 30 minutes maximum from my house took over an hour. I didn’t know that the Garlic Festival was so popular! Mara drove and Rosa rode shotgun (They’re my friends from doing Cross Country during my high school years)  and I enjoyed the view. I’ve really missed the California landscape since coming to the East Coast.

Here are some pictures I took during the Garlic Festival:

On the road to the Garlic Festival (too much traffic)

On the road to the Garlic Festival (too much traffic)

Garlic Festival Tickets ($12/person)

Garlic Festival Tickets ($12/person)

My yummy (but expensive) garlic fries.

My yummy (but expensive) garlic fries.

Garli Festival 2009

Garli Festival 2009

Cooking with garlic!

Cooking with garlic!

Rosa and Mara sharing Garlic Bread

Rosa and Mara sharing Garlic Bread

Overall, I enjoyed the Garlic Festival even though it was overpriced for what you get (You still need to purchase all the food you want to eat). I don’t think I would go again because I don’t think it changes from year to year. I would suggest you check out the Garlic Festival website and learn about who is going to be there if you’re going to sit in traffic and pay the ticket price.

5 Fun/Health Facts about Garlic:

  1. Garlic is closely related to onions, leeks, and shallots.
  2. Garlic is a good source of vitamin C.
  3. Garlic is also referred to as the stinking rose.
  4. Apparently rubbing your hands on a stainless steel bowl is thought to quash garlic odor?
  5. Garlic prevents heart disease, inflammation, high blood pressure, cancer, and Type II diabetes complications.
    *Facts taken from this article.

Also, another fun note is that there is a fruit called Mangosteen that looks just like a garlic when you open it. Mangosteens are my favorite fruit to eat when I visit my dad in Cambodia (don’t worry, they taste nothing like garlic).

Mangosteen aka Garlic Fruit

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Good Eats adventures! :) I think for the next entry I’m going to be making a recipe and posting pictures on how to make a healthy meal in a student’s kitchen as well as on a student’s budget.

Later days, guys!

Alicia Kim
Food For Thought Resident Assistant
alicia.foodforthought@gmail.com