Tag Archives: momofuku

The Easiest Recipe Ever, or, (Insert “In a Pickle” Pun Here)

Pickles are just one of those things. Salty, sweet, sting-y and sour, pickles can really transform an eating experience (or, if you’re like me, they can be an eating experience in and of themselves). So, when I learned how to make pickles, I was converted – I’ll never buy pickles again. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t either…

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The Family Styles Holiday Eating Escapades, Part Five: Momofuku Inspired Miso Butter Scallops

If you’ve been reading this blog recently, you know quite well that Irene and I have a bit of a thing for David Chang and his small East Village Momofuku restaurant empire.  The cookbook has been bedtime reading for both of us as well as the source of three or four or maybe eight dishes over the past few weeks. I’m almost glad I left the book back in Boston with Andy (it was ostensibly his Christmas gift anyway) because things were getting a bit out of hand.

I first ate at Momofuku Noodle Bar in its initial tiny incarnation about four years ago and felt a pressing and insistent desire to return after finishing the cookbook.  Luckily I was leaving for New York the next day, so less than 24 hours later I found myself alongside devoted noodle fans Lexi and Rachel, hunkered down over steamed buns glistening with fatty pork belly, pungent and slippery ginger and scallion noodles, and a steaming hot porky bowl of classic Momofuku ramen that I could now recreate if I had a ridiculous amount of time and an even more ridiculous amount of pork.

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The Family Styles Holiday Eating Escapades, Part Four: Momofuk-ing Good.

Los Dos Hermanas: We sisters are nothing if not generous. Our brother Andy is a restaurant manager at the amazing Harvest in Harvard Square and one serious food dude, so we bought him something super ridiculously awesome for Christmas: the Momofuku cookbook by David Chang (whose noodle-obsessed-teddy-bear-with-a-potty-mouth steez reminds us just a bit of Andy). A cookbook/kitchen memoir/food porn bible so fantastic, funny, honest and covetable that…well, we kept it for ourselves.

Irene is thinking…I love steamed pork belly buns. Also, I’m wearing a panda hat. And no pants. (Listen, Mei, the only reason I’m wearing a bathrobe – the amazing furry one from Restoration Hardware – instead of real clothes is because you’re wearing all my real clothes, you mooch!)

Only for a week, of course. But long enough for both of us to read it cover to cover and in the process, learn about meat glue,  obsess over perfect ramen noodles, dream of dancing pork belly buns, and develop a minor (okay okay, full-blown) obsession with David Chang.

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The Family Styles Holiday Eating Escapades, Part One: Now THIS is Fried Chicken.

When Irene Bean (little sis) and I (big sis) are in the same place, certain things are bound to happen.  Things like:

1. Obsessive playing of video games (this year it’s Dr. Mario).

2. Multiple rounds of board games (Settlers of Catan, Bananagrams, what have you).

3. Repeated watching of cute things involving babies on the Interwebs (seriously, go watch this).

and, obviously,

4.  A sick amount of cooking. And not just regular cooking. Wake-up-at-7am-and-start-baking-style of cooking.  Make-a-new-kind-of-cake-every-day-style of cooking. Take-24-hours-to-make-fried-chicken-style of cooking. In short, Family Styles cooking.

Hey, it’s the holidays. What else do we have to do?

So here’s what we did. Let’s start off with the chicken. Biggest props go to the Bean for the most laborious, complicated preparation of  Brined-Steamed-Dessicated-and-Deep-Fried-then-Rolled In Special Sauce Chicken from the Momofuku cookbook. Talk about an insanely delicious masterpiece of crispiness. She found the recipe online and spent the first day brining several chickens in multiple plastic bags in the fridge and then steaming them in multiple batches.

Yeah, I know it looks kinda gross, but just wait till it gets deep fried. She then cooled them overnight to dessicate the skin so when the chicken hits the oil, it doesn’t take as long to crisp up the dried skin.  Once deep frying time came around (always an eventful moment in our kitchen), the Bean rigged a Macgyver-style candy thermometer setup using a bobby pin to monitor the boiling oil. I kid you not. It is not pictured though. Sorry.

Then it’s time for a quick dip in the boiling oil. The genius of this extremely labor-intensive process is that the pre-cooked chicken and carefully dessicated skin makes for super short frying time and no danger of overcooking the outside in order to make sure you don’t get raw chicken on the inside.  Plus the skin is thin and incredibly crispy without a thick layer of gross breading and flabby skin. Amazing.

Yup. Tasty time. The chicken by itself was already an amazing bite of oily, crunchy, golden perfection. But to keep things exciting (and add another level of complication to the whole business), Irene meticulously sliced and diced up an Asian vinaigrette with about a dozen ingredients. Jalapeno, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, soy sauce, corn oil, sesame oil, black vinegar, rice vinegar, etc etc = OH HOLLER YOU ARE A WALLOP OF SPICY TANGY NUTTY SALTY YUM.

Stop, drop, and roll. Then fall to your feet in appreciation. This fried chicken is that good, people. Thank you to the inspired brilliance of David Chang and the culinary dedication of my sister. I love you both.

P.S.  If you want to recreate this madness, the recipe is here (in PDF) from TimeOut via the awesome Inuyaki blog.  Or in the Momofuku cookbook. Which I don’t own, but hopefully will someday.

P.P.S. I am still accepting Christmas presents.

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