Two New Foods in Two Days!

Enjoying your long weekend?  I am!  I’m writing from the west side of Michigan, a few hundred yards from gorgeous Lake Michigan, where I’m hanging out with the family.  I’m gonna enjoy my time with them, meaning that this is gonna be my only post until Tuesday.  Have a great Labor Day!

I love trying new foods, whether I’m cooking them myself, or the cooking is done for me.  On Thursday and Friday, all the planets aligned just so, and, as a result, I got to try two new foods in two days.  Be still my beating heart!

You know what my friend Debbie is saying right now, after reading that last paragraph?  “That’s fucking bullshit. David is a fucking liar.”  And she’d be saying it in Japanese, because she’s a Japanese teacher.  Ok, she wouldn’t be saying it like that (Debbie does not cuss like a sailor), but she would have every reason to be annoyed at me, because it wasn’t the alignment of the planets that brought two new foods into my life, it was her.  Debbie was directly responsible for both of them.  And I thank her for it.

New Food #1:

Debbie (a friend from high school) and I met up for lunch, and we decided on a Korean restaurant.  I’ve eaten Korean a few times before in my life, but not enough to be very familiar with a Korean menu.  Debbie thought I might enjoy bibimbap, a Korean dish that is loaded with vegetables and rice.  Sure! I’m in!

We met at New Seoul Garden in Southfield, Michigan – a place I’ve driven by hundreds of times but have never been to.

Can’t read that sign?  I can’t either.  Try this one (I presume they say the same thing):

Bibimbap literally means, in Korean, “mixed meal” – and it’s a combination of beef (usually, although you can get it with chicken or seafood), vegetables, rice, and an egg (either raw or fried).  And it’s served in a stone bowl that’s heated, so the rice on the very bottom gets a little crispy – that may have been my favorite part.

Careful, don’t touch!  The bowl is hot!

The egg is covering most of the vegetables, but there’s piles of cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, spinach, and a little seaweed, too – in addition to pieces of beef.

A bowl of hot sauce is served on the side, and you mix some in, and stir everything all up:

Then you dig in!  It was very good.  Lots of different textures and flavors, and very light and filling.

Oh!  A really cool thing about Korean cuisine is that your entrees come with all sorts of sides!  Check out our table:

The aforementioned hot sauce is in the smallest bowl on the very left, and next to it is a broth that also came with my dish.  The big bowl in the back is what Debbie ordered (similar to mine, but with fish, and without the heated stone bowl) and pretty much everything else are sides:  lots of pickled vegetables, like cabbage, radish, and cauliflower,  as well as black beans and sauteed bok choi – all of it delicious.

There’s lots of Korean restaurants in Los Angeles – in fact, there’s a whole neighborhood called Koreatown – and I’m looking forward to eating bibimbap again.

It as great catching up with Debbie, and she gave me a little present in the parking lot as we parted ways, and it was…

New Food #2:

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about any oddly-colored vegetables, but they are definitely a recurring theme on this blog, whether they’re black radishes or orange cauliflowerCheck out My Favorite Posts for links to the unique and new produce items I’ve experimented with.

Debbie gave me something she picked up at the farmers’ market earlier that day, and it definitely qualifies as an oddly-colored vegetable.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

…White Eggplant!

Yeah, I know, it’s actually more of a pale green than it is white, but it’s much closer to white than a regular purple eggplant!  And, yep, it looks like a penis, so stop giggling.  Can we move on?

On Friday, after I got home from the my morning workout at the gym, I decided to make a veggie stir-fry, and include the white eggplant.  I started with some red bell pepper and onion in a skillet with a little Pam:

Then I chopped up the white eggplant.  The inside looks similar to the inside of a purple eggplant, although with less seeds:

I also chopped up half a zucchini and the white eggplant and zucchini got added to the skillet:

For flavor, I added a few teaspoons of this low-sodium teriyaki sauce that I found in my parents’ fridge:

The end result:

I cut a few of the eggplant pieces too thick – they weren’t quite done in the middle – but apart from that, it was a tasty lunch.  The white eggplant tasted like purple eggplant.  Surprise, surprise!  I also ate 3 hard-boiled egg whites immediately when I got home, as I was figuring out what else to make for lunch, and after I finished the veggie medley, I grabbed a few handfuls of blueberries for something sweet.

Keep it up, David!

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11 Responses to Two New Foods in Two Days!

  1. Alexandra says:

    i love trying new ethnic foods! I cook all the time, but i love when other people cook for me, especially when it’s something i couldn’t make myself — cool!

    -alexandra

  2. amy says:

    hi david – i feel bad i don’t comment all the time – but i read your blog all the time… and it’s fab! you do a great job!! and can i have a bite of your stir-fry please?

  3. Lynn Mackie says:

    I never knew about Bibimbap until I saw Mario Batali make it for an Iron Chef competition. It looked so good and I have been anxious to try it ever since. Hard to find that kind of food in the deep South.
    I have been cooking all day since Tropical Storm Lee showed up and spoiled the holiday weekend. Enjoy your time in Michigan!!!!

    • Debbie says:

      I haven’t seen Mario Batali’s recipe, but I would imagine it was super complicated that included more unusual ingredients like bean sprouts or bracken fern. The nice thing about bibimbap is that you can make it with any sauteed vegetable. The version David had (and Mario probably made) will be more of a “restaurant” version instead of what a mother might make at home. As a kid, my mother rarely used the exotic vegetables that David had in his bowl when she cooked bibimbap.

      Common vegetables that you can use (that are still quite authentic for bibimbap) are: spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplants and cucumbers. Julianne and saute it all in sesame oil with a little salt, garlic and sesame seeds. Most people cook each vegetable separately but I just do it all together with the hardest vegetable first (so they’re all cooked by the end). Cook some ground beef (another way to simplify it at home) in soy sauce, garlic and a little vinegar. Throw everything on top of rice with a fried egg. The hot pepper paste sauce is found in most Asian grocery stores (they even sell it on amazon.com). No matter what the company is, they sell it in a red tub so it’s easy to buy (I can’t really read Korean so I just look for the red tub and buy the cheapest one). Mix a little paste to some vinegar to thin it out. The tub lasts for a while…when I’m done, I wash them out and use them as crayon containers for my students. 🙂

      I read the blog last night and just made it with some vegetables that a friend gave me from his garden. I used some cabbage…not really common in Korea but it worked! I feel like it tastes a little different every time I cook it because I use different vegetables every time.

      I like this woman’s recipe/video. I hope you can try it out.

      http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/bibimbap

  4. Floriana says:

    Both look delicious! I never tried either, but then I am not big on experimenting with new foods.

  5. nanasu says:

    I too read every day just do not post everyday! I love the hair and new glasses! Very s e x y! Will you hug Richard Simmons for all us fat ladies who will never meet him?! Thanks. I would love to go to his classes, what a hoot! I’ve been a fan since the General Hospital days! And your fan since I seen the two of you on Ellen who is also one of my all time favorite people! Keep it up David!
    Love & Prayers from that nana in Indiana {susie on face book}

  6. Debbie says:

    David, you make me sound so angry! Actually, the first thing I thought was, “I wonder who gave him the 2nd experience to a new food.” I forgot about the white eggplant because I originally bought it to make Quinn’s baby food. I agree that it tastes like a normal eggplant. I cut it up and put it in my pasta sauce instead of pureeing it for the baby.

    I had a lot of fun on Thursday. Enjoy the rest of your time at home…try not to get decapitated in Ohio!

  7. I need to try Korean food!!! I’m not a big fan of kimchi but that bowl thing looks like something I’d like. Keep it up, David!

  8. Kenlie says:

    I cannot believe I missed this! What an interestingly odd eggplant! I love it even though it doesn’t look very white. Maybe I’ll go dream of veggies now…….Sigh……..=)

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