rice cake confessional

adventures in eating

banchen testing

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The apt smells like a mixture of cake + banana leaves because I’m trying out the bibingka recipe from Memories of Philippine Kitchens. I’ll need to do a taste test so more on that in another post.

A few days ago I made a quick run to Han Kook Market which is (not that I’ve been to any other Korean market) one of the finest Korean grocers in the Bay Area. It’s big and clean and has lots of fun stuff to try out and experiment with. In addition to the weird Pocky (see post below) I also picked up some quickie eats- a must since it was a late Friday afternoon at work with more work the next day. What better time to see what the kmarket has to offer.

I ended up grabbing some marinated pork, pickled radish, kimchi cucumbers, dried fish, and seasoned seaweed. I had no clue what to do with the pork but I figured a good pan fry couldn’t hurt. So into the pan in went… I also had some salted egg and tomato on hand so I chopped those up into a nice (and very common) Filipino relish-y/salad thing.

banchen meal

pickled radish – Not bad, not great. I think I prefer atchara instead though.

kimchi cucumber – Tasty with a good bite since it’s covered in lots of chili powder. Decided that I should always have these on hand to add to simple meals.

dried fishies – I picked the seasoned ones (they had plain ones too). They were too salty which masked the fish taste a little too much. They were also chewy/gummy rather than crisp which would have been the preferred texture.

seasoned seaweed – Success! This is the really yummy seaweed they had at our 11 banchen feast at the fancy Korean place on Monroe.

marinated pork – Again, too salty. I was glad I had made a lot of rice since I needed a lot of it to counteract with the super salt fest I was having. It was spicy but not super spicy and the texture of the meat was good. I might try a different cooking method or something. It reminded me of really spicy and softer tocino. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

tomatoes + salted egg – I did not go wrong with this one. It is and will always be a staple for me. The saltiness of the egg is perfectly balanced with the tomato. Same with the firmness of the tomato and the softness of the egg. It just works. The key to this is a really fresh but not overly ripe tomato. I also don’t like it when it’s too wet or mushy – the tomato and egg need to keep their shape. Otherwise, it’s a no-go.

Overall a pretty decent meal that left me full with extra banchen leftovers in the fridge which can only be a good thing.


Written by joann

April 24, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Posted in korean, taste tests

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