Morimoto: The Holy Grail of NYC Restaurant Week

Hey ya’ll! I have returned from my ski-cation with a sore body, but it was all really worth it. I had a great time with my friends and even survived my first time skiing. Since it was still restaurant week until March 7th (this Friday), I decided that I had to go. My roommate and I scanned the list, and our eyes exploded at one of the places that was available to go to: Morimoto. If you don’t know who Chef Morimoto is then you should definitely me ashamed of yourself. He is one of the Iron Chefs and is a bad ass in the kitchen. At 25$ for an entree and a dessert, I was definitely getting my butt over to Morimoto since I can’t afford this place regularly.

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My roommate ended up going with the Morimoto burger. It looked amazing. I even got to have a bite and it was pretty great. The bread was really soft and the meat was cooked to perfection. Not too chewy or too tough. It was a dry aged burger with miso Russian dressing, sake kasu soba ale cheese, soy ginger shiitakes, and house made nori bun. It was served with some chips that were really delicious. It was also like a little bento box, which is how all the entree options came for New York City Restaurant Week. Morimoto was on point with this. This was definitely a stellar choice. It was pretty hard to choose because the menu had a wide selection of options such as wagyu beef, fried chicken, black cod, and so much more.

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I ended up going with the veggie bop. It was a nice Japanese twist on a classic Korean dish. It came served over rice and was prepared at the table (which I thought was sort of weird since at most Korean places we usually stir our own bibimbap). This one had mushrooms, bok choy, asparagus, sliced carrots, daikon, and a bunch of other delicious vegetables. It was topped with an egg to be fried in the hot bowl. Instead of the traditional spicy sauce, this bop was served with a nice spicy sesame dressing. I really liked the twist of this.

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This was what the rest of our bento box looked like. Overall, I think that this was a very good deal for a NYC Restaurant Week meal. It was tough because they were only having the menu during lunch, so we had to book a time when we could both go and were not in class. Luckily we got a time right at 12 pm when the restaurant opened. Anyways both of our meals typically cost 20$ on the regular. So we were already almost to the cost point of having a 25$ prix fixe meal.

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The salad in the bento box was awesome. It was tossed with some roasted nuts and had a really delicious vinaigrette served on top. This may have been my favorite thing in the bento box. I could have definitely taken a large salad like this before my meal. I will definitely be trying to recreate the salad dressing, so I can enjoy it myself at my apartment. Thanks Morimoto!

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The miso soup was actually quite good too. It was definitely different than the other miso soups that I have had in my life. The broth was more sweet I think than others I’ve had. The tofu was great. It was silken and there were a ton of chunks floating around in it. With the bento box, I actually felt that I was eating pretty healthy overall.

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Obviously I couldn’t go to Morimoto and not order myself a sushi roll. It was a hard choice, but I ended up going with the soft shell crab roll. It was definitely a good decision on my part. It was amazing. The rice was perfectly seasoned on the outside and the inside – my oh my. It was stuffed with fish eggs, avocado, asparagus, and soft shell crab that had been fried. There was also a nice spicy mayo sauce on the inside of the roll. The pieces were huge, but I definitely didn’t care. I shoved each and every one of them into my mouth.

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Look at that bad boy. The last two end pieces were the hardest to eat, but so worth it. If I could afford this place, I would so go back and nom on all the sushi available. I would love to have some of the appetizers too. They looked amazing. Morimoto is definitely the best place to go. This sushi roll wasn’t on the prix fix menu, but who cares. You got to treat yourself every once and a while.

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The dessert was the bomb. It was pretty much a lemon bar topped with whip cream and pistachios. It was served with some pistachio gelato. I probably could have gone without the gelato and just had more lemon bar. It was that good. The whipcream was really light and not heavy, which was good. It let you really enjoy the pure taste of the lemon. The nuts gave a nice crunch to the creamy smoothness of the lemon bar. Overall it was a win. Morimoto, I love you and thank you for having a delicious restaurant week menu!

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Homemade Dolsot Bibimbap

Hey ya’ll! I have an awesome post for you today. Remember that picture of bibimbap that I shared with ya’ll for last WIAW? Well Carrianne and I decided that we were going to learn to make our own, so we didn’t have to pay 14-20$ every time we wanted dolsot bibimbap. We adventured to Koreatown on Saturday to look for our very own stone bowls. We ended up going to H-mart, which sold bowls for about 9$. That included the lid, bowl, and a plate. We got a few food items at the market to add to the our bibimbap too. On Sunday, we started our Asian food adventure.

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Stone Dolsot Bibimbap

1/2 c of cooked brown rice
bean sprouts
matchstick carrots
sauteed zuchinni
sauteed mushrooms (we used a mix of shiitake, crimini, and regular)
1/4 c of cooked meat (we used ground beef with 1 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of soy sauce)
1 egg
1-2 tsp of sesame oil
Gochugang (red paste)

1. First you place your stone bowl on the burner with medium-low heat. Let bowl get extremely hot. Once hot, add in the sesame oil to the bottom of the bowl.

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2. Once you add in the oil, you want to layer in the rice. Try to get the rice coated all along the bottom and the sides.

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3. Then you add in the vegetables one at a time, making a fan like organization throughout the bowl.

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4. Make sure you have cooked everything before placing it on the bowl. A good tip to getting all the vegetables on the bowl in a nice manner and not making a mess is by using tongs to pick up all the things and place them in your stone bowl.

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5. Place the fried egg on the top and in the middle of the bowl. Keep heating until you hear a strong sizzling/crackling noise, which will be the rice cooking with the sesame oil. If you want the rice crunchier, you should leave it on the heat for a longer period of time.

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6. Remove the bowl from the heat with two oven mitts because the bowl will be extremely hot. Place on your dolsot plate that came along with the bowl.

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7. Top with the red paste (be cautious because it can be very spicy depending on the type that you buy), and mix well. You can stir it up and mix all of the things in with the rice.

This was amazing. Seriously tasted just as good as the time we went to the restaurant in Koreatown with our guy friends. We somehow bought the super spicy red paste, so we were about to explode. However I love sweating and cleaning out my sinuses. The rice was perfectly crispy from cooking in the sesame oil in the bottom of the bowl. We had a great amount of vegetables too. You could definitely make a vegetarian bowl by using only vegetables and tofu or vegetables only. I can’t wait to try out more combinations in this bowl because I think there are some good meat options that you can stick in this. Things such as pork belly or real bulgogi beef. Yes, we made a knock off bulgogi with ground beef. It was really delicious though, which was a nice surprise. I am so happy that we ended up buying dolsot stone bowls because this dish ended up being very cheap to prepare.

Also cooking with two is great because you also can clean together, which makes the whole process go by quicker. Anyways Carrianne and I have decided that we are going to be cooking all kinds of Asian recipes, so we can save money and enjoy the food that we love. I hope ya’ll enjoyed this recipe as much as I did. I definitely recommend going out to buy your own stone bowl because this is a really easy and healthy recipe to make. It was like a luxury too. I felt like I was enjoying takeout without having to pick it up or pay for it. Overall this was a success.

Have you ever had bibimbap?
Have you ever tried to make something from a restaurant at home?

 

WIAW: Living in the City

Hey ya’ll! It is that time again: What I Ate Wednesday. We can give a big thanks to Jenn for hosting this lovely foodie day of the week. I am glad that it is Wednesday. I need a break from school. Sometimes it can get so exhausting having 6 hours of straight class on two days of the week. I can’t wait for next semester when I will only have one class a day. I need that even though that means I will lose my four day weekends, but don’t worry because I will still have three day weekends haha. Oh the good life of grad school. Now lets get to the food. I’ve been enjoying some interesting things while I’ve been living in NYC.

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Who remembers that one time that I went to rave brunch and was pretty plastered by 3 pm? Oh yes I don’t really remember. Just kidding, I wasn’t that drunk, but I was pretty tipsy. Anyways I never showed ya’ll what I ordered because while most people go to drink there is also food served there. I had crab cake eggs benedict. They were actually pretty good. The english muffin was toasted perfectly and the eggs were poached well. The crab cake was just mediocre, but you can’t go wrong with putting crab cakes on top eggs benedict. It came with this awesome hash mix. I wish there had been more of that. It was awesome to dip in ketchup.

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This may be the greatest thing that exists on planet Earth. Welcome to Bibimbap. One night when we were out with our guy friends, Carrianne and I really just wanted some greasy Chinese food. However it was 2 am on a Saturday and we were over by Grand Central, so finding greasy Chinese open at that hour wasn’t the easiest. However we ended up in the wonderful Koreatown. We had a miss adventure where we thought we were going for Korean BBQ, but we ended up in a Korean Karaoke bar. We left and decided to just go into the next restaurant. There I discovered the greatness of Bibimbap. This is a fried rice kind of dish where the rice cooks against the hot pot and gets super crunchy. Mine is topped with bulgogi, a fried egg, carrots, and other delicious vegetables. There is an awesome spicy Korean sauce to go on top of it too. I drenched mine in it. I can’t wait to have more bibimbap in my life.

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I forgot to show these weeks ago when my roommates got them for me, but they spoiled me with Crumb’s cupcakes. I have the birthday cake one, carrot cake, coconut, and pumpkin. The birthday cake ended up being my favorite with the pumpkin following close behind it in second. The birthday cake one had the best icing. It was a simple buttercream with sprinkles. The thing I liked about the pumpkin and birthday cake was that they were stuffed with icing too. That is one reason why I love Crumb’s. They stuff their cakes. The cake was a funfetti cake too, which is probably why it was birthday themed. Overall these were great and the best part was I lost weight haha.

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This picture is a little blurry, but it was super dark inside the restaurant. This past Saturday after Carrianne and I were running errands around Soho, we decided to stop somewhere and get a little snack. I ended up getting wine glazed pork belly, which was to die for. It was this cute little Korean restaurant called Kori. I will definitely be going back because the food was so good. They had bibimbap too (with pork belly), so you know I will be going just for that.

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Well it was Saturday and while we were at the Korean restaurant we decided that we needed to go to a happy hour to get some drinks. Unfortunately this wasn’t a very easy thing to do since it was about 6:30 and we obviously weren’t going to make it. We finally found this place, but we missed the happy hour. Oh well we were still getting drinks. Mine had passionfruit vodka, lemonade, and cherry juice in it. Oh man. It was delicious. I could have thrown a few of these back. My second drink was just the wine of the night, but afterwards I was feeling good.

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The funny thing about the happy hour place we ended up at was that they served dim sum all day. Well of course I was going to get some more food since all I had were those few slices of pork belly. I ended up getting pork soup dumplings. They were pretty good. The dumpling wrapper was super sticky, but overall it was good. The broth inside was perfect. Probably one of the better broths I’ve had in regards to soup dumplings.

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It was dim sum, so I obviously was going to get my staple dish. BBQ pork buns. They were delicious. I don’t think you can really mess those up unless you are drunk while cooking, but still. All you do is steam. I am glad that I got to have a little dim sum on Saturday night because I really can’t live without dim sum. It is definitely one of the greatest meals of the day. I still need to venture out to Flushing to go get my real dim sum on.

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OMG DROOOOOLING. Carrianne decided to make pumpkin scones on Sunday night and I was like yes, yes, and yes. They were so delicious. At first when she was making them I was getting a little skeptical because the dough looked super sketchy. However they turned out perfect. The icing on top was amazing too. It was a cinnamon and sweet frosting that soaked into the scone, which made it taste even better. This was a perfect way to end Sunday night.

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I’ll leave ya’ll with a cute little picture of some red pandas that I saw at Central Park Zoo on Friday. They were the cutest things ever. I really wanted to steal one and take it home as a pet. I would have loved it and cuddled it sooooooo much.

Have you ever had Korean food?
What is your favorite animal at the zoo?