Vacation: San Francisco, CA Part II

San Francisco Bay

Tricia got the first chance to share her SF memories, and now its my turn! As soon as Tricia surprised me with plane tickets for San Francisco, my mind was racing. The west coast is uncharted territory for me, especially as far as food goes. And given San Francisco’s reputation as an eating Mecca, I knew that I had research to do. Continue reading

Bluefin Sushi – East Norriton, Pa

Sushi Platter @ Bluefin

2820 Dekalb Pike
East Norriton PA 19401

Moving from Malvern to Blue Bell has its perks – notably, a whole new batch of restaurants that we have yet to explore. Siddharth stumbled upon Bluefin while running a couple of errands. Located in the Northtowne Plaza in East Norriton (at the intersection of Dekalb and Germantown), Bluefin is not necessarily in a spot that would be expected to have great sushi. We did find some favorable comments on Bluefin on Chowhound (best site for reviews from people that are in the know!), so we went in hoping for the best.

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Korean BBQ-style Beef Brisket

Korean BBQ-Style Beef Brisket

Pardon the long absence! Due to a combination of many factors (mainly that I have been focusing on finishing my dissertation!), we have neglected our duties as World Tasters for some time. However, I am now a full-fledged doctor (not medical), and we are ready to share our food experiences with you. Since, our previous post, in addition to my graduation, Tricia has relocated to Blue Bell here in PA. In our explorations of the area, we ran across a wonderful Korean Supermarket just down the road – Assi. Inspired by our trips to Assi, I recently decided to tried to make my own version of Korean BBQ (as you may know, BBQ sauce is a passion of mine). Brisket was a great cut for this recipe, but I think pork shoulder may also work well. The big secret is to cook it for a while to make sure the meat really cooks properly. The result is a deliciously tangy, slightly spicy, and wonderfully tender BBQ beef.

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Mid-Autumn Festival, 中秋節

Greetings, blog readers and happy mid-autumn to all. The mid-autumn festival is a holiday in China/Hong Kong that celebrates the harvest of the fall crops and the time when the red moon is the brightest of the year. Of course, here in Northeast, it coincides with the very beginnings of the beautiful changing colors of leaves.

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Takeout Pick: Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice
401 E State St
Ithaca NY 14850

Ithaca is a college town, and as such it’s loaded with delivery and takeout options. But to be honest, after 5 years here, those options might tend to seem stale. Sticky Rice is a hidden gem among them. While they sell Thai food, they mainly serve Laotian cuisine, which is unique and delicious (and sets them apart from local competitors like Tamarind and Taste of Thai). From grilled duck curry (Gaeng Phed Ped Yarng) to beef stir fry in roasted chili paste, we’ve never been disappointed in their food. Always well cooked, properly seasoned, and if you like it spicy they do it better than any other place in town (be warned their hottest is seriously spicy – attested to by Siddharth, resident spicy food aficionado). At around $10 per dish, we recommend picking 3-4 for 2 people and sharing so that you can have a wonderful family-style meal!


Spicy Recipe Pick: Sweet & Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken

Sometimes I run into a recipe that catches me off guard by how different it is but how good it sounds. This was my reaction when I recently say Andrew Zimmern’s recipe for “Sweet & Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken.” With plenty of Thai chilies and KETCHUP, it sounded unique but absolutely delicious. And it was. I made a few minor tweaks, mainly because I couldn’t find lemongrass (I used a combination of lemon zest, ginger, and scallions). While my reproduction wasn’t exact, the essence of Zimmern’s recipe came through, and it was excellent. Although I used a few extra chilies to satisfy my spicy tastes, this recipes packs quite a bit of heat from the outset. The fact that I was able to use fresh peas that I had picked up at BB farms earlier in the weekend mad the dish that much better. Tricia and I enjoyed this dish over jasmine rice with some dry stir fried snap peas (also from BB) on the side. The recipe is here, and I definitely recommend trying it out!

BBQ Sauce Guide: Regional Variations and Creating your own Recipe

The concept of cooking meat on an open fire likely started in prehistoric times. While that may be at the heart of the rich BBQ tradition, in the United States, the idea of BBQ is intimately associated with sauce. BBQ sauce recipes are among the most treasured secrets of restaurants and grill masters throughout the country. And regional variations in the makeup of sauce recipes are what give way to the age-old debate about where BBQ is best.

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Sandwich Pick: QT Vietnamese

Having heard so much about bahn mi, we were very excited to try it. We were definitely behind the curve on this one. After getting great advice from Yelp and friends on Chowhound, we settled on QT Vietnamese Sandwich as a good spot for our entrance into the world of the bahn mi. Great choice. This little hole in the wall in Market East turns out some fabulous sandwiches. Pickled vegetables, fresh jalapenos and cilantro, great meat (we tried the BBQ pork and the Vietnamese ham), and a lovely mayo and pate spread made this sandwich delicious. The crusty baguette made it one of our favorite picks in Philly. Oh, and while salivating over our memories of these sandwiches, we shouldn’t forget to mention that they have a nice selection of bubble teas, and we also really enjoyed their deep-fried fish balls. For a fast, quick, cheap, and incredibly tasty meal, QT is a great place to go in Philly!

Pandan-Sesame Crepes

An electric green crepe? How’s that for fun with food! The outrageous hue here is derived from pandan essence. Pandan essence comes from the leaves of the screwpine, which resembles but is not related to a palm tree. In Southeast Asian cusine (think Malaysian, Thai, Philipino), pandan is used similarly to vanilla in western food, imparting fragrance to desserts, drinks, and various dishes. The taste is difficult for me to describe, but I have to say I love it! In this dish, I added a few drop of pandan essence (found at a local Asin store – it is impossible to find actual pandan leaves here in Ithaca) to a basic crepe batter. I then made a sweet black sesame filling for the crepes. This is an incredibly easy recipe that produces an exotic looking and delicious dish in a short time and makes for a nice snack or breakfast item.

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