Bok Choy and Broccoli is officially up!

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Bok Choy and Broccoli is officially up!

Instead of my usual Foodie Friday posts where I go on about a food I love, I’ll leave with you with a three-in-one recipe-palooza! My new food blog, Bok Choy and Broccoli, has officially launched, which means delicious vegetarian food unleashed itself out onto the internet!

Right now, we have three recipes up: an udon stir fry with bok choy and other vegetables, a broccoli fried rice, and a vegetarian pajeon (Korean pancakes)! Be sure to check it out!





A Yummy New Endeavor

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Hi everyone!

I just wanted to share with you all some news about a personal project of mine. Over the last few months, I’ve been dreaming of starting a food blog. Yes, that’s right, I’d like to venture into a role traditionally dominated by married women in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. But just think of the food!

Probably the biggest reason would be for the food photography, or the “food porn.” I mean, photography doesn’t get better than delicious pictures of mouth-watering, so-good-you-can-taste-it food!

Over the last week, I’ve been busy trying to figure out how to host my food blog, which basically resulted in days of going back and forth, doing multiple Google searches, and frankly, a lot of confusion. But those days are over (at least I hope)!

So what is the name of my new food blog? It’s…Bok Choy and Broccoli png.001

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Foodie Friday: Samgyeopsal!

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Food is love.

Do you know why I say that? Because I have no friends and food is low maintenance. Because food connects people—food connects cultures and fosters a greater understanding of all walks of life.

My group from AALEC—the Asian American Leadership and Educational Conference held every year at SMU (Southern Methodist University)—planned a reunion for last April 14. The plan was set to go to a restaurant near Super H-Mart, a Korean supermarket in Carrolton. (Side note: another one is opening close to my house and I’m super excited!)

Julie & samgyeopsal

Well, I can’t really say it was much of a reunion since it was actually cancelled a few hours before I was supposed to start, but I forgot to check. Whoops. Luckily for me, my friend and fellow AALEC group member was already waiting at Café Mozart next door! Since we made it all the way out there, we decided we’d at least get a decent meal out of it. My friend is Korean, which made her the perfect companion at Omi Korean Bar & Grill right next door!

When we got there, we decided to splurge a little bit and have samgyeopsal, which is basically fatty slices of uncured pork belly grilled at the table.

Me & Samgyupsal!

I don’t know if I’ve ever had samgyeopsal before—maybe I did when I was younger but didn’t realize it—so I decided to go with the most fun way: treating it as a completely new experience!

So let the record show that on April 14, 2013, I tried samgyeopsal for the first time and actually learned how to eat it! Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

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Let’s get real. There’s nothing more colorful than the beauty that is… les macarons.

You can’t begin to know how excited I was when I found out my friend went to Paris and brought me back a pasalubong (gift/souvenir in Tagalog) from, of all places, Ladurée! I’ve gone on about Ladurée before, like after I returned from multiple stops at the maison in New York. (Yes, I’ll be triumphantly returning this July, as well.)


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Foodie Friday: Chinese New Year

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This is the last Friday of Chinese New Year, so I thought it would be fitting to send it off with good cheer through a Foodie Friday post! On February 9, the day before Chinese New Year, we had a feast of food to celebrate!

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Our theme was more general Asian as opposed to traditional Chinese or Filipino food for the New Year. Unfortunately, I had just gotten the rest of my braces on my top-teeth, so I couldn’t enjoy all of the food—the poor shrimp and bok choy was too hard to eat! But, I was able to have the noodles, and I made sure not to bite them! Luckily, it was Saturday, so my weekday vegetarian diet wasn’t in effect (although, I’d consider Chinese New Year a break day for eating vegetarian), meaning I was able to enjoy the jiaozi and wontons, as well as the noodles and orange chicken!

I hope you’ve all had a great Chinese New Year so far… let’s make the most of our last three days! Gong xi fa cai!


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Who doesn’t love sushi?

I ate my last meal in New York at Morimoto — a Japanese restaurant on 10th Avenue. I definitely didn’t want to leave New York City without having great sushi, and luckily, Morimoto delivered.


Our meal began with the toro tartare.


Our waitress served us the raw, chopped toro, topped with domestic caviar, in a large bowl filled with ice. Inside the bowl was a tray filled with dashes of sauces — wasabi, sour cream,  nori paste, chopped chives, guacamole, and rice crackers — and a cup of dashi soy. To eat the tartare, you use the metal spatula-like spoon to scoop out toro, add condiments, and dip in the dashi soy.

The toro tartare tasted delicious! It’s one of those foods that I’ll want again if I go to New York, but not all the time — it costs $31 on the lunch menu. It’s definitely worth the price for a non-local, though.

Maki and nigiri sushi were next on the lunch agenda.


The shrimp tempura rollspicy salmon roll, and sake (salmon) nigiri created a triumvirate of flavor, headed by the sake nigiri.

The sake nigiri was absolutely phenomenal! The salmon practically melted in my mouth. The chef’s inclusion of wasabi in between the slice of cool, raw salmon and the sweet sushi rice made the sushi taste ten times better. In Japan, the sushi chef lightly smears a small bit of wasabi in between the fish and the rice, as wasabi should not be mixed in the soy sauce, which is commonly done in the West.

Taking a short break from sushi, I feasted into the crispy rock shrimp tempura.


The rock shrimp tempura had both a green chile and a wasabi sauce. Our waitress gave a ranch dip along with the rock shrimp tempura, which added a cooling dimension to the spicy shrimp. Honestly, I think I should have started with the shrimp, as it’s quite filling. Plus, its hot properties clash with the coolness of the sushi I just ate.

I ended the meal with two more maki rolls.


The spicy tuna roll and California roll were calm and somewhat “safe” endings to the meal.

The standout roll was definitely the California roll. What made it stand apart, especially from other California rolls, was the use of real snow crab meat — very different from the usual imitation crab found in most sushi restaurants and grocery stores.

The Verdict:

I definitely recommend trying out Morimoto if you visit New York. Would I go back to Morimoto if I take another trip to the Big Apple? Possibly, but probably not. I won’t lie — Morimoto is ridiculously pricy, even for lunch. Is the food worth it? I’d say yes, but it’s not the place for someone on a budget (unless you want to leave hungry and underfed). I’d say try it once, then decide to return if you think it’s worth it. Just watch how much you’re ordering.

J’aime les Macarons: An Ode to Ladurée

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I’m not much of a dessert person, but I have a special place in my heart for a certain French sweet… namely the macaron. (Not the coconut macaroon, the extra “o” makes a huge difference.)

It’s no secret that I love macarons; I think this is even my second post about the French confection. My love affair with macarons started a few years ago in Paris at Ladurée, which is famous for its luxury cakes and pastries, as well as inventing the “double-decker” macaron (its current form).

When we visited New York, one of the places on our list to visit was Ladurée’s only North American location on Madison Avenue. (Another Ladurée is supposed to open in SoHo in the near future.) Note: As of April 2014, the SoHo location is open.

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Mesa Grill

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Note: Mesa Grill’s New York location is closed. As of posting, the only open locations are in Las Vegas and the Bahamas

On Day Two in New York, the lunch destination was Mesa Grill, one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants.

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I’m from Texas, land of beef and all things meat. I was actually quite surprised that a restaurant owned by a man well-known for grilling (and Mexican food, which is something else I’m used to) excited me.

There are a few things that made my time at Mesa Grill very significant in my New York journey — first, Mesa Grill was the only restaurant where we, rather my mom, actually ordered from the Restaurant Week menu (which took place between July 16 through August 10, 2012). Second, Mesa Grill had the best service out of any restaurant I went to in New York. I’ll never forget the wonderful waiter we had — he was so personal and friendly, it was great!

On the restaurant week menu was a spicy salmon tartare as an appetizer, wild striped bass as the entrée, and a vanilla bean custard for dessert. I ordered the Mesa Burger — which had the usual lettuce, tomato, and cheese, but also included grilled Vidalia onion, horseradish mustard, and Southwestern fries.


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Momofuku Made Me Love Ramen

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Back when I was younger, Naruto used to play on Cartoon Network. Every Monday and Tuesday night, I’d watch the show, obsessed with the ninjas’ many powers. I think Naruto started my ninja phase — the show made being a ninja look so fun! I think I hit my ninja peak in second or third grade, with my Halloween costume being a ninja for two years in a row.

Naruto, a twelve-year-old ninja and star of the show, had one recurring obsession: ramen. Especially in the earlier episodes, Naruto would be taken to a ramen-ya very frequently by one of his ninja instructors. I’d watch them sit in the ramen shop, slurping down their ramen as Naruto would keep going on about how good it tasted.

Whenever I saw them do that on TV, I’d suddenly want to have ramen too. I had no idea what ramen tasted like — was it salty? Sweet? Did it taste like udon noodles, or was it closer to a chicken noodle soup? By seventh grade, I was buying instant ramen from a Japanese specialty store. The ramen helped my reputation as the kid who brings foreign (i.e. non-American) lunches all the time. Even though I was eating “ramen,” it didn’t feel the same. Continue reading

Haute Wheels Food Truck Fest: Eating Everything in Sight

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“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to EATING.”

Back on September 22, ten food trucks rolled into the Dallas suburbs as a part of the first annual Haute Wheels Food Truck Fest. I am a big fan of food — in case the foodie trip to New York didn’t make you realize that — so naturally I showed up at the hour it opened. My best friend since preschool, Alessia, came with me and we tackled the food trucks together! Thanks for joining me in my goal to eat at all ten food trucks, even if that didn’t work out for obvious reasons!


Alessia didn’t actually join me until I hit Good Karma Kitchen, although she and her parents ended up eating at most of the same trucks, and our families went back to Coolhaus for a group dessert.

The Ten Food Trucks:

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