Sunday, September 26, 2010

LA Little Tokyo Food Tour

Many people think that the beach (and fantastic weather) are really the only reasons to visit LA. They are wrong. The real beauty of LA comes from having the best and most authentic food from all over the world right here in one place. I have never been to any other city in the world that has LA's diversity and authenticity of world cuisine.

While I do a lot of food exploring here on my own, I figured I should continue my food-tour tradition with a local favorite, Little Tokyo. A couple of friends and I signed up for the Six Taste Little Tokyo Food Tour (, and had a fantastic time. I'm not going to write about each thing we had, since when I tried to do that for the Seattle Pike's Place tour, I never got around to posting all the pictures. The summary is that we had a lot of fun, ate some great food, and discovered a bunch of new places that I plan to come back and investigate further. On a side note, this food tour had a lot larger portions (at least for the first 3 or 4 stops) than any of the other tours I have been on, so definitely don't eat before you go.

fruit tea with cherry, strawberry, hibiscus and maybe some other stuff?

learning about the different types of tea and their manufacturing process

Orange + something black tea, reminded me of the MarketSpice tea from the Seattle Tour except without the cinnamon. They also have a "transition tea" for coffee drinkers looking to switch to tea that is dark and about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. It has even sort of has a rich coffee flavor to it, didn't get a picture, sorry!

fresh made marmalade and excellent fresh made cream on scones

The Japanese love their food challenges lol. This is a BIG bowl of lots of rice and sashimi + soup on the side lol I don't think I could do it in 15 minutes...

mmm toro, also very fresh udon and good wasabi!

Didn't go inside here, just learned about it.

Remember this is a "Little Tokyo" tour not a "japanese food tour"... This middle-eastern fusionish bar added some fun variety.

I love sweet potato fries, and theirs were executed very well, but it was actually the regular fries that really surprised me, a great blend of crunch, crispy, and yummy!

Pita chips

beef, chicken and falafel

First ever alcohol on a food tour lol: white wine sangria with peach, orange, and basil(!) really unique taste

Need to come back and try more of these!

Fruit tea, LOTS of fruit!

Learning about these mini-savory crapes

I don't think I have ever had mochi this fresh, really soft and yummy

this shop has been run by the same family for over 100 years!


more mochi with white bean, strawberry and chocolate pieces

Mochi-Lato = Mochi with Gelato inside yum!

Mint chip mochi-lato, a great ending to a excellent food tour!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sriracha Mashed Potatoes

So I wasn't able to find any recipes for Sriracha mashed potatoes online anywhere (if anyone has one please leave a comment!) so I experimented and came up with the following ratios that I liked (your tastes may vary of course):

Per each russet potato you are using (mine were about .8lbs each if that helps) use:

2/3 cup of half-and-half (warm)
0.4 of a stick of butter (little less than half)
1 tablespoon of sriracha
salt and pepper to taste
chives and cilantro to taste

Follow this or your own method for making the potatoes themselves:

I just added the sriracha, chives and cilantro at the same time as the butter/half-and-half.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spicy Miso Ramen Recipe

So I have been craving miso ramen recently... Unfortunately the closest decent ramen place is probably 20-30 minutes from my house depending on traffic. Instant ramen never quite lives up, so recently a Japanese friend of mine (Thanks Yumi!) translated a recipe for spicy miso ramen that she found. I tried it the other night and it turned out really good, though I overdid the veggies a little bit, probably want to use less next time.

recipe for spicy miso ramen (2 servings)

  • noodles (the typical kind used for ramen)

  • veggies - I used leeks, green onions, seaweed, tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts and baby bok choy. I told you I went a little overboard ;-)

  • roasted sesame oil (just for flavor)

  • garlic (minced) 2 cloves

  • ginger (minced) 1 piece

  • 豆板醤 1/2tsp - This is Bean Paste with Red Pepper

  • ground pork 100g (about 1/4 lb)

  • hot water 4cups

  • +sake 1 tbsp

  • +salt 1/2 tsp

  • +sugar 1 tbsp

  • +Awase (red) miso paste 3 tbsp

  • +Chinese soup broth base (this one took a while to find at the japanese market, hopefully this picture helps you find it) 1 tbsp

Preparation :

Prepare hot water for cooking noodles

  1. cut veggies into small pieces.

  2. put sesame oil into a pot, add garlic and ginger and 豆板醤 until you smell garlic... then add ground pork.

  3. just before the pork is fully cooked, add the 4 cups of hot water, and put in all the ingredients with "+" (sake, salt, sugar, miso, broth base), and bring it to a boil.

  4. Cook noodle in another pot (follow the package direction)

  5. While cooking the noodle, stir fry veggies (bring the gas level to high) in a frying pan, and add salt and pepper.

  6. I added the veggies I didn't want to stirfry into the broth at this point

  7. When the noodles are cooked, remove them from hot water, and drain. Put the noodles into a bowl, then the miso soup that you just made.

  8. Put the veggies on top, and it's ready to eat!

Note: Step 7 is pretty important and needs to be done real quick before the noodle gets too soggy.

And that's it, I didn't get a picture of the final product since I was too busy eating it! Enjoy :)