Recipe: Gochujang Balsamic Viniagrette

So I have recently become a kale fanatic – I love the green leafy crisp texture and the nuttiness of the vegetable – I tend to blanch it before putting it in a salad because it is a little bitter.

I tweeted about the gochujang balsamic vinaigrette I used for my salad today, because, well, I’m Korean. And I love gochujang.

so this recipe is for @marianne2679

oh and for those of you who don’t know, gochujang is a korean red pepper paste that is tangy with a hint of sweetness.

Gochujang Balsamic Viniagrette

3 tbsps gochujang
2 tbsps whole grain dijon (I used Maille)
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps grated pecorino romano
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients with a hand blender or fork or whatever is most convenient until it is all well combined.

Top your salad!


Recipe: Quinoa – a recipe and a realization

Quinoa. It started popping up all over appetizer and salad menus about 3 years ago. But I first came in contact with it six years ago because a Peruvian doctor at my mother’s practice told her it was a delicious super food. That’s when my mom started making it at home. Of course, my Korean mother pronounced it with a Korean twang, so I was afraid to say the word for a while. (Mom, don’t get mad)

Anyway, now that it’s ubiquitous, I eat it constantly. Being Asian, I also eat a lot of rice. So the idea dawned on me to make Japanese curry and serve it over quinoa instead of rice. I have to tell you, it’s lacking. Rice has a very specific chewy texture that I call the bounce-back factor. It kind of makes it feel like your teeth are bouncing off the rice grains. I know I sound crazy, but it’s a thing.

After that failed quinoa attempt, I didn’t try to substitute quinoa for rice again. Clearly, it was a traumatic experience.

However, I recently came upon some quinoa sushi handrolls at Sushi Samba. The rolls are not wrapped in seaweed, but rather, in soy paper. I don’t love the soy paper, but then again, if you are going to buy a quinoa handroll, you are likely not looking for a classic handroll.

The health nut in me was overjoyed by the opportunity to have a healthier hand roll. Eat rolls, don’t get rolls. I asked my dietician friend Jason Machowsky what he thought, since frankly I didn’t want to give you all a recipe that wasn’t as healthy as I thought.

Well, Jason told me,

“Quinoa is a great grain! It’s has one of the highest protein contents per serving of all the grains. It is a great source of fiber, some B-vitamins and a number of essential minerals. Despite its high nutrient content, quinoa also has a fair number of calories, with about 200 calories per cooked cup (the size of your fist). A little quinoa can go a long way.”

So now I can encourage you to make your own quinoa sushi handrolls and eat them too. If you don’t want to, head to Sushi Samba (yes, I know it was in Sex and the City and people think it’s just a scene. But I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully, you will be, too.)

Now, as for the cooking, you can find pre-made eel sauce at most Asian markets, but I believe in making it from scratch. That said, if you want some shortcuts, just buy the pre-made eel, already sauced up.

Eel and Avocado Quinoa Hand Roll Recipe

• 2 slices freshwater eel, cooked (approximately 1.4 oz.)

• 0.2 oz. eel sauce (recipe below)

• 2 slices avocado, ripe/freshly sliced (approximately 0.7 oz.)

• 1.2 oz. red quinoa, cooked

• 1 piece soy paper (half cut)


• 1/2 cup soy sauce

• 1/2 cup white sugar

• 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)

• 2 tbsp. cornstarch

Heat soy sauce, sugar and mirin in a small saucepan over medium. Stir

until liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup, add cornstarch until sauce thickens and



• 1 cup red quinoa (100% organic)

• 2 cups water

Heat water with quinoa in a medium sized pan. Cover and keep heat on

high until water is boiling, then turn heat to medium until water is absorbed. Total

boiling time is roughly 15 minutes.


1. Prepare to cut eel. Defrost the eel in its vacuum pack. Cut the eel in half lengthwise. Cut the cucumber into a piece that measures 1/8 – ¼ inch wide (sushi style).

2. Prepare avocado by cutting in half lengthwise. Twist the two halves until they separate. Cut the half into quarters. Cut off the ends, remove the skin and slice lengthwise into ¼ inch slices. Set the slices aside.

(You can include whatever else you’d like — scallion, carrot, zucchini, radish, magical jumping beans, butterbeer… etc. — to personalize your hand roll.)

3. Tear or cut the soy paper sheets in half. Hold a ½ sheet of soy paper with one side down in the palm of one hand.

4. Press quinoa into soy paper. Moisten your other hand with a little water and ball up the 1.2 oz. of prepared quinoa. Press it into the left side of the soy paper.

5. Lay vegetable filling and eel alongside quinoa. Tightly wrap the opposite right-hand edge around, using a folding and tucking method to create a cone shape with the filling on the inside.

6. Use a dab of quinoa on the corner to secure the inside edge of the soy paper to the outside of the cone.

7. Place on plate & garnish.

Superbowl Kobe Beef Sliders from Stanton Social (Recipe)

With Superbowl Sunday fast approaching, the renowned Stanton Social recently gave me a lesson in crafting their famous kobe beef sliders.
I will say, the flavors are pretty damn good. If you dont have a grill you can do it in a pan, but make sure you use chef Richie Pims’ technique is really piling on that cheesey goodness. YUM!

Kobe Mix:
• 1 lb. ground kobe beef
• 1 tB. soy sauce
• 1 tB. Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tB. butter, softened
• salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together and then mold the burgers into 2.5oz patties. Place the patties on a sheet tray. Cover and chill.

Burger Sauce:
• ½ cup BBq sauce
• ¼ cup Ketchup
• ¼ cup Dijon mustard

• .5 lbs. cheddar cheese, grated
• Sliced tomato
• Sliced pickles

To finish:
1. Grill the top and the bottom of a 2 oz. slider bun.
2. Grill 1 2.5oz burger pattie over high heat. Mark one side and then flip the patty.
3. Top with 2 tB. of cheese and cook to preferred temperature (medium-rare is about 3 minutes on each side).
4. Place 1 slice of tomato on the bun with 1 slice of pickle.
5. Serve with a toothpick through the burger.

Check out the full piece at

and btw, GO GIANTS!!

Making NYC Street Meat: Chicken and Rice Recipe


Photo by Jason Lam

If you are a New Yorker… or know a New Yorker… or know someone who knows a New Yorker, you know about the best halal chicken and rice cart in the city. It’s on the corner of 53rd and 6th and on any given Friday or Saturday night, you may be stuck in line for 45 minutes waiting to get your $6 bite of heaven.

After being on my feet all evening, the sight of this line is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I just want my chicken and rice with the white sauce that tastes so good and so bad for you at the same time. This caused me to join forces with my good friend, fellow foodlover, and producer of new PBS documentary show Kimchi Chronicles Eric Rhee to embark on a quest to uncover the recipe for legit halal.

Now, there are a lot of wildcard factors with trying to recreate the ambrosia from that cart. First of all, their ingredients are not exactly high quality; I think they just clear the mark of safe-to-eat. We wanted to use high-quality and fresh ingredients. Secondly, the chicken seems to change day to day, ever so slightly, from the cart. Sometimes there are more spices in the meat, sometimes there are less. And then, there is of course, the question of the white sauce. It was our belief that it was a mixture meant to imitate the flavors of a good Greek yogurt-based sauce, without having to spend the money on the actual good yogurt.

So here is my qualifier: Our chicken recipe is not exactly what you get from that cart. In fact, it’s better. It makes the chicken from the cart seem over-salted, under-flavored and almost uninteresting.

Yes, that is a bold statement, but try this recipe and see. Our chicken was juicier, had more depth of flavor, and paired flawlessly with our fresh and delicious white sauce.

The best part? As long as you marinate a bunch and stick it in your freezer, you can make this in less than 45 minutes.

So we started by eating off the cart for a few days and compiling a list of ingredients we thought may be in the chicken, while also doing extensive googling. After 3 hours of clicking I was convinced that we should just go to Middle East and buy every spice we could find and then calculate all the different permutations of said spices. (Anyone wanna sponsor me on a trip?) Given the impossibility of that scenario, we compiled the following:

Possible Spices:
curry powder

We decided to also use Greek yogurt during the marination process. I strongly suggest this.

We did two combinations of these spices. Eaten side by side with the original off-the-cart halal, I can confidently say, our second rendition was the best. The meat was juicy, the flavors were balanced, it paired with the yellow rice and lettuce beautifully.

There were a couple tricks we pulled. First off, we used chicken thigh meat, which has higher fat content and is more flavorful. Secondly, we marinated our chicken for 24 hours. Lastly, Eric came up with a bangin’ white sauce recipe. I wanted to eat that white sauce on everything… from pita chips to cucumbers to off my fingers.

We were able to procure all of the ingredients from a NYC grocery store. If you live in Montana, it may be a little tough to get these, but if you are motivated to try, I suggest

So without further ado…

Chicken and Rice NYC Street Meat Style
By Eric Rhee and Michelle Won

6 chicken thighs, fat trimmed, cubed (you can use bone-in, but boneless will be easier to work with)
3/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup greek yogurt
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
I large onion sliced lengthwise, thinly

Combine all the spices, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of olive. Generously salt and pepper. Then work in the Greek yogurt. Add the cubed chicken thighs and onions and let it marinate overnight. You have the option of adding saffron as well, if you want your chicken a little more yellow and savory. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a hot skillet. Add the chicken and onion mixture.

Heat and serve over yellow rice.

ER’s White Sauce
8-10 oz. Greek yogurt
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
1.5 Tbsp. lemon juice (½ lemon)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pureed
1-2 tsp dill (dry or fresh)
1 tbsp cold water

Mix all together and serve aside chicken and rice.

The perfect thing to watch while eating you new creation? Eric’s show: Kimchi Chronicles, starring celeb chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, his wife Marja Vongerichten, Heather Graham and Hugh Jackman. You think that’s an unexpected group of people to talk about Korean food? You’ve got to watch it to see how genius it really is.

HELLOOO Cupcake! Wait No, Don’t Eat That…

The long-lived cupcake trend means little bitty delicious pastry treats priced anywhere between $4-8.
But you may want to think again before you shove that one in your mouth…

I haven’t done the research myself but frugal dad made up this nifty graphic…
worth a read.

…and btw, making them from scratch is SO much better no matter what.



Holiday Recipes from Chef Eric Ripert

I love Eric Ripert. Everyone loves Eric Ripert. Eric Ripert is the silver fox charmer of the food world.

Everyone I told that I was going to interview reacted in one of two ways.
(1) ooooh hes so hot!
(2) lucky! he’s an awesome chef!

obvs the latter was mainly males, altho some men fell in the former category.

Anyway, spending an afternoon with Eric was not only amazingly delicious, but fun beyond belief. It was like I wasn’t even working.

He taught me how to make his gravlax. It’s gin-cured and remarkably easy to make; it just takes a little time because it needs to sit and cure (duh).

Watch my piece with Eric <~ here… and then make the recipe… and then invite me over.

The recipe is at the bottom of that page. Bon Appetit!

Early Thanksgiving Dinner with Celebrity Chef Todd English

Lots and lots to eat and smile about

Todd and I have been friends for a while, but this was the first time I actually got to work with him.

There are really a number of things i love about Todd…

1. He eats just like me. Fatties unite. From lasagna to sweet potatoes to glazed spoonbread, we tried to finish everything.
2. All my friends fall in love with him. My producers from this shoot, not excluded 😉
3. He always wants a glass of wine, or good sipping tequila. Don Julio 1942, in case you see him in a bar and want to send him a drink.
4. He has like 27 restaurants and yet still has energy to go out. Um, AMAZING.

Trying to look bossy in the kitchen

Anyway, look for my thanksgiving cooking special this weekend! 🙂
AND just as a sneak peak —
his new book, “Cooking in Everyday English” has a recipe for some BOMB miso sweet potatoes…
Just for yall, here it is!

Creamy Miso Sweet Potatoes

“Miso added to sweet potatoes introduces an uncommon depth of flavor that leaves people asking for more!  Use a ricer or food mill to mash the potatoes into a silky puree.  Serve this alongside your Thanksgiving Turkey for a delicious twist on the traditional sweet potato side dish.  Miso is sold in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.  Also try a tablespoon in your vinaigrette.”

Sweet potatoes, 2 ½ lb. (about 3 medium)
Parchment paper
Unsalted butter, ¼ cup
White miso, 2 Tbsp
Heavy cream, 2 Tbsp
Kosher salt, ¼ tsp.
Freshly ground black pepper, ¼ tsp. 

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Scrub potatoes; pat dry, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 1 hour or until tender.  Let stand until cool enough to handle.  Remove skins from potatoes.
  2. Press potatoes through a food mill into a bowl.  Place potato, butter, and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until hot.  4 servings

Note: If you don’t have a food mill, process peeled cooked potato, butter and remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a saucepan, and heat as directed in recipe. 

*Miso (Mee-soh) n. Fermented soybean paste that also contains rice or barley and is used as a flavoring in Japanese dishes.  Miso comes in different strengths and flavors; generally, the darker the color, the stronger the taste.

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Beat (and eat) the Ducks!


Photo by Allan L. Courtney

I know this will only strike a loud, melodious chord with 3 types of people — people who love duck confit, people who love Stanford football and people who hate the Oregon ducks.

I have nothing against Oregonians, but I do love Stanford football. And duck confit is one of my favorite dishes to cook/eat. Sometimes I shred it up and top a salad with it so I don’t have to feel so guilty as I enjoy the decadence. As I shred my duck confit this game day, you can bet your butt I’ll be doing it in the face of my Oregon fan friends.

I want to turn my game day into a “football foodieball” as I watch the Cardinal go head-to-head with the University of Oregon Ducks.

Needless to say, I intend to eat duck from beginning to end. Perhaps we will start with toast rounds topped with duck foie gras, then move on to some smoked duck breast with a grainy french mustard… and then the main event: easy duck confit.

The idea of making duck confit is daunting to most everyone. If you don’t like spending more than 30 minutes cooking/prepping for your meal, you may as well stop reading now. But I love to cook, while working smarter, not harder.

Anyway, duck confit can take days and days to make. My recipe takes some prep the day before and then some lazy cook time the day of (meaning all you have to really do is minimal assembling and a lot of waiting).

This recipe is one I’ve adapted from my beautiful chef friend Jacqueline Lombard who currently works at Lavo and you may remember from Top Chef Season 7.

4 Duck Legs (with thighs)
4 tbsp Kosher Salt
3 tbsp Ground Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 tbsp Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Pimenton or Smoked Paprika
6 sprigs of Thyme, chopped
2 sprigs of Rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp Coriander
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
4 cups of Duck Fat

Combine all the herbs, spices and garlic in a bowl. Take your fresh duck legs and cover them with the rub, generously. Let your duck cure for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
The next day, wash the legs thoroughly with cold water and pat dry. Preheat your oven to 250F.
Melt enough duck fat to cover duck legs (4 cups is a generous estimate). Arrange the legs in a flat dish (a pyrex baking dish or a lasagna pan will do). Make sure the duck legs are as flat as possible so you can cover them with the fat. Don’t pile the legs atop one another.
Add more herbs and spices, if desired.
Cover the legs with duck fat and place in the oven. Cook for 6-8 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.
Remove from oven and allow legs to cool in the fat for one hour before removing.
Strain the fat and you can save it for use later.

Go Cardinal! And don’t just beat the ducks… EAT the ducks.

Homemade Soy Milk

Soy milk is SOOOO much better when you make it at home.

It tastes sweeter & cleaner, and you know there are no preservatives/chemicals.

Eatingrules posted the following video so you can do it at home too (trust me, you want to)

In case you dont feel like watching the video, heres the way my Korean mom makes her soy milk:

My Mom’s Soy Milk

Take a pound of dry soy beans, rinse them thoroughly, and then soak overnight, for at least 12 hours in the fridge (in my mom’s technique). Some say 8 hours is fine.

Once theyre soaked, drain and rinse the beans.

Put 1 cup of beans and 2 cups of hot water into a blender or foodprocessor and puree them. Pour the pulp into a large bowl and continue until all your beans are done.

Place a muslin cloth in a bowl, put a manageable portion of the soy puree in there, then squeeze the living bejeezus out of it. Continue until all of your puree has been squeezed out.

You can use the pulp that remains to make vegetarian dishes like burgers or stir fry. This is actually super useful, so don’t throw it away if you have a use for it.

Take the liquid that has been squeezed from your beans and put it in a pot. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer for 8 minutes.

Remove from heat. Let it cool. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Making the McRib into the MichRib

Yes, the McRib is back. My first reaction was, dude, AWESOME! Mainly because everyone keeps saying its awesome, and perhaps I’m just a follower.


Then I thought about it.

Look, I’m all for its $2.99 price tag and seemingly not-too-terrible 500 calories, but it’s not the most amazing sandwich I’ve ever had in my life.

I made a legit rib sandwich, which, yes, took longer than waiting in the 5-minute McRib line at my local McDonalds. But I think investing a couple hours into a real Rib sandwich that has the fixin’s of a McRib is the right way to go.

To rehash so that McRib enthusiasts don’t burn me at the stake, I get that the appeal of the McRib is the ease of picking it up, the delightfully fake pork rib texture and the tangy bottled BBQ sauce… but give this recipe a shot and you can save the McRib for late nights after lots of partying and booze.

There were a couple things I took into account when making my own rib sandwich. Let’s call it the MichRib.


I wanted to have a really delicious BBQ sauce, made from the juices of my pork ribs.

I wanted to get relatively inexpensive pork because I know no one will make this if my ribs are $15.99/lb.

I wanted to make sure to have the elements that actually make a McRib what it is (onion, pickles, soft bread).

The actual McRib, which I ate 2 of just to refresh my memory, has a patty that appears to be ground pork shaped into fake rib form without bones in it. We all know this does not exist in nature.

You have the option of going to the grocery store and finding some ground pork turned into rib shape. My 2 local groceries stores didn’t carry them, but it would certainly cut down on the labor to create your own McRib.

For my tasting notes, the McRib is highly sweet and tangy. The actual patty itself doesn’t soak in the flavor, which means if you want that, you can cut your rib cooking time in half.

For me, I wanted a permeating savory, sweet, tangy flavor. You will be glad to know I asked for extra McD’s BBQ sauce and I topped my meat with it.


Here’s my recipe.

The MichRib

(serves 1)


1/2 lb pork spare ribs

1 tsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp apple or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced

potato roll or your bread of choice
1/4 onion, sliced
3 pickle slices

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.

Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl. This your dry rub. Cut your ribs so that they are each an individual piece (i.e. 1 bone per piece). Rub it on all sides of each piece of rib. Make aluminum foil package, shiny side down, and place ribs in, side by side.

At this point, I refrigerate my ribs for an hour or so to let the flavors settle in, but that’s optional.

Meanwhile, mix the white wine, vinegar, Worcestershire, hoisin and garlic in a bowl.

Pour liquid into the foil package and stick into oven for 2 and a half hours.

Lower your oven to 200 degrees and cook for another hour.

Pour out the liquid into a saucepan and reduce to about 1/3 (should be syrupy). Taste the sauce and see if it’s to your liking.

Glaze the ribs with your sauce, then put the ribs under the broiler for a 2-3 minutes.

At this point, I let the ribs cool a bit, then grabbed a fork and knife and just pulled the meat off the bone (it should slide off, after braising for so long).

And then just compile your sandwich.
Bread + meat + pickles and onions, for those of you who have never eaten a sandwich.
I added some McD’s BBQ sauce, you know, just for authenticity sake.

P.S. This was an awesome it’s-snowing-on-Halloween(?!)-so-I’d-rather-watch-college-football activity.

Who the heck wants to don a skimpy costume and head into the cold?

Extrapolate that feeling to the rest of winter. This is definitely the way to spend your cold weekend days.