BangMi – Spicy and Good!

bangmi.jpg

Like the sign says, the name of this restaurant is Bang Mi! It means “ten-thousand tastes” in Korean. Whatever it means, how can you not like a restaurant called “Bang Mi”? I went there for dinner tonite with Tash and Chris tonight. We had a chijimi (savory Korean pancake with vegetables and kimchi), Eggplant and Pork Miso Stir Fry, Jap Chae (stir-fried bean noodles) and kimchi fried rice. Mmmm, spicy and delicious.

Shipping stuff home, and then the rain came

I just got back from the post office where I shipped 3 boxes of clothing home to Arizona. I got drenched in the pouring rain on the way back to school. It has been raining like crazy for the last week and according to the weather report, this is supposed to continue for another week. This is the "fifth season" the Japanese refer to as "Tsuyu" or Plum Rain, since this time of year is also when the green Japanese plums appear in markets. They are too sour and astringent to eat raw, but they are used in a variety of preparations such as umeboshi, the bright pink pickled plums that polarize palates almost as much as the dreaded natto (stringy, sticky fermented soybeans), and the delicious umeshu (plum wine). I am finding the rain a little depressing but also very cleansing, as the rain keeps the air smelling clean and the temperatures comfortable.

Salmon Filet with Shiso-Lemon Butter and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Here’s a recipe I improvised for dinner last night at my house with Tash and Keiko. It is inspired by a nouvelle japonaise recipe that someone posted on BigDaikon.com.

Ingredients: (for 2-3 people):

  • 2 Salmon Filets
  • one bunch of asparagus (quickly blanched or steamed)
  • 3 potatoes
  • one teaspoon of wasabi
  • 1 teaspoon of Japanese mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • butter, some olive oil
  • a handful of chopped up green onions
  • a handful of shiso leaves, cut in chiffonade
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method:
1. Peel and cut potatoes into quarters. Boil in salted water until tender. Drain. Mash with a good amount of butter. Mix in wasabi and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and a big pat of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Pan sear the salt and peppered salmon filets so they are nicely browned on both sides but still tender (about 2 minutes each side)

3. Remove salmon filets from the frying pan and keep warm, keeping the butter and oil in the pan to make the sauce. Add the garlic, green onions and shiso leaves to the pan and fry until the garlic starts to brown and the herbs release their aroma.

4. To present: Put a mound of wasabi mashed potatoes on each plate. Put some steamed or blanched asparagus next to the potatoes and put a salmon filet on top. Drizzle some of the sauce on top of the salmon along with some lemon juice.

Inside Man

I headed up to Kokura yesterday to see Inside Man, a movie directed by Spike Lee and staring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster.  The movie deals with an unconventional bank robbery full of surprising plot twists and reversals.  In classic Spike Lee fashion, the film also deals with racial stereotypes and interracial relations with sophisticated and well-developed characters who challenge the notions of who the "bad guys" and the "good guys" are.  I don't want to give away too much.  Definitely check it out!  Also noteworthy is the Bollywood track, Chaiyya Chaiyya, used for the opening and closing credits – it made me want to get up and dance right there in the cinema.