Monthly Archives: September 2011

Oyster Mushrooms and Ground Pork

Experimented with these large oyster mushrooms I found in Chinatown. I didn’t really know how to make them but remember eating them at home. I marinated some ground pork in soy sauce, brown sugar, minced ginger, soy bean paste, and cooking wine. After about 10 minutes, heated up some oil and threw in the ground pork. I added slivers of shallots, hoping to take away some of the porkiness. Shallots are also just delicious. When the ground pork was about ready, I threw in the ouster mushrooms. The pork was so flavored that I didn’t have to add anything else. The mushrooms cooked very quickly and added moisture to the dish.

Springy and more dense than normal mushrooms, these mushrooms really seem act like meat. The dish went very well with rice.  Next time I will use less sugar because the mushroom itself already has a sweetness to it.

Gusto Ristorante: Orecchietti Al Forno (Prosciutto Cotto & Green Peas)

Gusto Ristorante e Bar Americano
60 Greenwich Ave
(between Perry St & S 7th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

Thought I would upload another one from this place. It was delicious and creamy… Maybe too creamy. The freshly crushed black pepper that waiters always offer when you get your pasta was absolutely necessary to cut the creaminess. The parmesan crust was a nice salty addition.

Gusto Ristorante: Pappardelle with Shredded Oxtail Ragu, Rosemary, and Arugula

Gusto Ristorante e Bar Americano
60 Greenwich Ave
(between Perry St & S 7th Ave)
New York, NY 10011

Bought a $50 for $25 card off of Living Social for this one. I always get these foodie deals in my inbox but the restaurants featured are always average expensive places. I have a huge pet peeve against paying high prices for mediocre food. It just does not make sense to me. If you need a bit of ambience too, there are plenty of places with good food, nice ambience, and good prices.  It is pretty hard for a place to get high reviews if the food is more than $50 per person.  The food better be DAMN good and the place better be REALLY cool or EXTREMELY beautiful.  I still want to go experience the Phillip Johnson designed bar at the Four Seasons in NYC.  Even if a drink is at least $20… I need to see the crazy beautiful light/sculpture at the bar…

Anyway, Gusto is rated very well and is an Italian place. I have not found many good Italian places in New York… Daily Catch and Giacomo’s in Boston still win. Decided to buy the card deal and give the place a try. The place is very modern chic… beautiful mirrors, spacious seating, elegant lighting fixtures, and foreign waiters… Ambience, yes?  Yes. Food… This Oxtail Ragu is the Italian version I’d Xi’an Famous Noodles. Very very tasty tomato sauce with hints of oxtail, rosemary and garlic. The shredded Oxtail had a great balance of fatty and lean meat. The Pappardelle itself was a bit too thin (therefore not chewy or QQ enough). $19 for this pasta. A bit on the pricier side… Especially since portions were not huge. But with my card, we only had to pay tip. Ultimately spent $35 on an AMAZING grilled octopus appetizer (I don’t even like octopus) and two pretty great pastas. I may go back because the food was solid and the place was so pretty.  Boston still wins though.

Joe’s Ginger: 小笼包 (soup dumplings)

Joe’s Ginger
25 Pell St
(between Doyers St & Mott St)
New York, NY 10013

Hot, steamy, and filled with delicious soup… These were perfect for one of the first cold days of the year. Joe’s does not quite match up to Ding Tai Fung (best soup dumplings EVER) because their skin is still on the thicker side and the dumplings have been supersized like all American dumplings.  It takes more skill to make thin and chewy dumpling skin.  Though, I don’t doubt that the chefs here don’t know how to make thin skinned dumplings.  Thicker skin may be preferable to the American palate.

Oh – note that Joe’s Shanghai, the hyped up restaurant next door, uses the same kitchen as Joe’s Ginger.  Same owner.  Same kitchen.  Just less hype.  Avoid the lines and go to Joe’s Ginger.

Steamed Eggplant with Dipping Sauce

This is probably the healthiest way to eat eggplant. Usually cooking eggplant requires a ton of oil because it sucks it right up. For this dish, you just steam it and make a dipping sauce. I fried up some chili and garlic, added some soy sauce, black bean sauce, vinegar, and a bit of sugar. The steamed eggplant is sweet and mild, pairs well with a spicy sauce.

Spicy Green Beans and Pork Butt

We ran out of soy sauce so I had o improvise my marinade for the pork butt. I used salt, brown sugar, Sichuan chili pepper, sesame oil, and some Lao Gan Ma crispy chili sauce to marinade the butt. Sautéed the meat until medium and removed from heat. Then sautéed green beans with garlic and a bit of salt. Once the beans were almost done, I threw in the meat to stir fry together. Cooked until green beans were soft and the meat was still tender.

Roasted Pork Belly

Boyfriend made this last night for our “mid-autumn moon festival” celebration. It took about 2.5 hours to make, most of the time allotted to having the meat cook in the oven. It was definitely worth the time because the meat was so soft and the skin ever slightly crisp. He had used a made-up marinade of soy sauce, sugar, chili pepper, olive oil, random spices, and leftover red wine from the weekend. ‘Twas yummy.

Ippudo: Wasabi Tonkotsu Ramen

65 4th Ave
(between 9th St & 10th St)
New York, NY 10003

I wanted to try something new at Ippudo because I always get the Modern. The Modern is a tasty milky pork broth with a hint of roasted garlic flavor. I have also tried the Miso and the Chicken Broth ones as well. Both are good but do not compare to the more flavorful Modern. We were all craving ramen but did not want to make the trek to Totto so ended up at Ippudo. The Wasabi Tonkotsu ramen was the perfect “try something new” ramen because it was delicious and different. The soup was infused with Wasabi and the ramen was the curly kind, not the straight kind you usually get at Ippudo. Definitely have a side of their seasoned soft boiled egg because it is the best!  Lines are usually crazy long.  We went at around 11pm and still had to wait.

But seriously, if you really want some amazing ramen, check out Totto.

Soy Sauce Fried Rice (酱油炒饭)

My grandma would look down on this dish because Sichuan-ers rarely use soy sauce in their cooking, and NEVER in rice. Soy sauce is more of a northern thing. Beijingers, for example, love their soy sauce. Well, I grew up in Beijing so I guess it is okay for me to make soy sauce fried rice. Had just a bowl of leftover rice (the best kind for making fried rice because it has dried up. If you use fresh rice, you will inevitably end up with a mushier fried rice where the individual rice kernels are rounded at the ends… Do you know what I’m talking about? I notice weird things like that. Anyway!). Scrambled up an egg, added the rice with soy sauce, a little brown sugar, garlic powder, and salt.