Foodie Friday: Tlayuda

Tried out this tasty Oaxacan dish recently… Tlayuda: giant toasted tortilla with lots of fixings This was not your average tortilla. A large crisp circle, it spanned the size of a personal pizza. I loved the different colors offered up by the black beans, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, and avocados. The winning culinary flavors, though, belonged to the meats: cecina, tasajo, and chorizo. Cecina tasted a bit too dry, but after all, it’s a partially dried meat (typically beef or pork). Tasajo … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Arepas

I love being part of a writers' group. One of my friends there, Lisbeth Coiman, is Venezuelan. I had the luxury of being treated to her home-cooked arepas. Arepas: tasty "pancakes" made with maize dough I don't quite know how to describe these puffy bits of dough. They're maybe akin to pupusas and have a biscuit-like texture. However, they're not flaky. There's a heartiness to them as you bite in. Arepas can act like bread, and you make sandwiches with them. A lot of  times, the interior … [Read more...]

Mercado La Paloma

"You are broad minded and socially active." I love living in Los Angeles because of its multitude of cultures. One lively gathering place is the Mercado La Paloma. This area in the South Figueroa Corridor historically suffers from a lack of business opportunities and community spaces. The Esperanza Community Housing Corp decided to renovate an old garment factory to revitalize the area, and this project finished in 2001. The Mercado La Paloma is now home to yummy eateries and unique retail … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Siu Mai

Siu mai: dim sum dumplings, usually filled with meat I can’t believe I haven’t food blogged about this before. Siu mai is a staple of the dim sum cart. The dumplings are quite distinctive because of the pleated edges that decorate their tops. Usually, these dumplings are filled with ground pork, and possibly shrimp. A few other ingredients like mushrooms and scallions round out the flavor. Like other steamed dumplings, the layer of dough is very thin, so it’s the taste of the … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Sweet Duck

Sweet duck: a more sugared-up version of roast duck I admit it. I’m a big duck fan. Ever since I saw the glistening displays in Chinese barbecue shops, I’ve been a sucker for duck. In fact, I’ve posted about roast duck before. Recently, though, I had a sweeter version. The dish was actually called sweet duck. It featured a glaze on top of the skin, a slight subtle honey flavor. Even though the components were the same (tender meat, crispy skin), it didn’t quite compete with the traditional … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Szechwan braised pork

It's been a long time since I've gone for hot and spicy. With the cold and wet weather outside, though, I braved the fiery food. Szechwan braised pork: saucy pork belly Okay, so this actually was one of the dishes without a red hot chili pepper next to its name. The plus part? Lots of tender meat. The minus? Loads of fat. It was too greasy for my taste actually, but it's packed full of umami flavor. Here's a recipe for it. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Lobster Noodles

Lobster noodles: Lobster meat with long noodles This is a gratuitous foodie picture. Yes, long noodles signify longevity. You can find this dish (with or without the lobster) at birthday parties and New Year feasts. The taste is what you would expect--tender lobster over gravied mein. However, I liked the visual aspect of the dish the most. There's something striking about the vibrant red of the seafood against the more subtle tones of the noodles. What symbolic foods do you eat? … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Fried Taro Puffs

Fried taro puffs: steamed taro with crunchy exterior Taro puffs may not be the healthiest choice on the dim sum menu, but they're quite tasty! I love the contrast of the two textures. Inside, there's the nice steamed mash of taro root (usually combined with pork and mushrooms). Outside, there's the crisp exterior with crunchy strands. If you'd love to make your own batch, here's a recipe for them. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday Fiesta

Foodie Friday Fiesta: Lots of yummy eating in Mexico! My blog went dark since last week because I was overseas in Mexico! We traveled to Mexico City for nine days (more on that amazing adventure on Monday's blog). While there, we feasted on goodies. Here's a brief sample of what I enjoyed: Agua: Not just water, agua frescas are delicious juices served at many stands. What I love about these drinks is that you can combine your most beloved fruits into a customized blend. And they're … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Duck Burrito

I ate my very first Duck burrito: a huge burrito stuffed with duck meat My family took a recent trip to Mammoth Lakes for summer vacation. (It was amazing--and there's still snow at the top!) Anyway, we also went to Roberto's, a local Mexican restaurant. On their menu, they featured a duck burrito. As you may well know, I'm a huge fan of duck (roast, Peking, etc.), so I had to try it. It's actually a pretty tasty experience; the meat complemented really well with the spices and brought … [Read more...]