Tag Archives: crab

Maui, Hawaii Part 2

15 Mar

During the difficult times at work, I like to fondly think of my time in Maui. At one point during our trip, Bubby and I had a serious conversation about moving to Hawaii and opening a shrimp truck called Miso’s.  But of course Bubby the buzz kill killed my shrimp truck dreams. At least we should try to visit every year. And every year I’m going to eat this French toast at Kihei Caffe (yes, two “f”s).

Banana macadamia nut French toast

This is the best French toast I have ever had.  Thick slices of crispy sweet bread, thick banana slices, crunchy macadamia nuts, drizzled with maple syrup and the house coconut syrup.

All of the components in one bite made me preach.  “I feel good! I feel good, because I know there’s a God somewhere! There’s a God somewhere! You know there’s a God who sits on high and looks down low! Man cannot make it like this!” Name that movie.

Bubby ordered the pork fried rice loco moco.

The pork fried rice inspired me to make a kimchi pork fried rice loco moco, and everything is better with kimchi. But even without the kimchi, this dish was savory and the perfect salty pairing to my French toast.  Kihei Caffe is a caloric dream come true.  While reveling in our food fantasy, we were suddenly disturbed by a gang of birds.

And the king of the bird gang, Rufio! Ruf-i-oooooooooooooo!

We got the hell out of the crossfire of Rufio’s gang, and went to Charley Young Beach so I could rub my belly in peace.

And at this beach, Poseidon summoned me once again. And in true Hawaiian tradition, I donated my favorite Rayban sunglasses to Poseidon.  Every time I go to Hawaii, Poseidon takes what it wants.  Seven years ago, it was my Juicy Couture red jumper and Ipod.  What was my jumper and Ipod doing in the ocean? Or better yet, why the hell was I wearing Juicy Couture?!  It was seven years ago, and it was a cute ass beach jumper.  Seven years ago, Bubby and I placed our belongings in a locker.  Bubby pinned the locker key to his board shorts while we took surfing lessons.  While Poseidon tossed us around wildly, the locker key unfastened from Bubby’s shorts.  Assuming we lost the key and needed the office to open our locker, we noticed our locker was wide open and empty.  Someone had found our key and stole our possessions, including Bubby’s wallet, our towels, and book.  We walked back to our hotel soaking wet with shame, almost nude, pissed as fuck at Poseidon.  Damn you, Poseidon.  I hope you are rocking the shit outta my shades.

Because there was so much to eat and so little time, we went to Foodland –the best grocery store in the land.  While Kroger (I call every grocery store Kroger) sells rotisserie chickens, Foodland sells spam musubi, ahi poke, and my favorite, spicy raw crab!.

Look at this big ass avocado!

You can also see how the humidity in Hawaii is helping my winter’s eczema, too.

For dinner, Bubby and I went to Mama’s Fish House, a very popular restaurant in Maui.  The restaurant faces the beautiful ocean view and provided a very romantic atmosphere.

Macadamia nut crab cakes

I love crab cakes and cannot wait to go to Baltimore to eat some authentic cakes and to take The Wire tour.  These crab cakes definitely had nice chunks of crab, more crab than breading which is essential for a good CRAB cake.  The tomato relish provided a nice spicy and cool hint of flavor to the meaty cakes.

Opakapaka in lime and coconut milk served in a fresh coconut (Tahitian ceviche)

I asked for extra limes and drowned the shit out of the Hawaiian pink snapper.  I scraped the coconut flesh off the shell and mixed the gelatinous shavings with the ceviche.  This ceviche is making my mouth water as I type these damn words.

Bouillabaisse Mahimahi, lobster, shrimp, scallop and shellfish simmered in a saffron broth, with garlic rouille

Isn’t this picture the most beautiful bowl of underwater treasures?  As you can imagine, the seafood in Hawaii is fresh fo’ sho’.  The scallops were the size of silver dollars and as thick as marshmallows.  There was so much seafood in this dish that every spoonful contained several different types of seafood. My only issue with this dish was that I don’t think the pasta is made from scratch.  If Mama made fresh pasta, this dish would be the best dish of the trip especially since I rationed the garlic bread to last throughout the entire meal.

And to remind myself that I’m on vacation, I make sure the following happen.  I don’t wear makeup.  I must consume a fruity beverage with an umbrella  in it.  And I eat dessert after every meal.  Yes, every meal.  Ergo, ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to Ono Gelato.  The best fuckin’ gelato I have ever had.  Yes, I’ve never had gelato from Italy, but I don’t think I’ll have to.

Coconut is the shit.  But add some strawberry into the swirl, and I was immediately doing my happy dance while wiggling my toes.  Bubby even asked, “Are your toes dancing for gelato?”  Yes, Goddamit. Don’t judge me.  Best. gelato. ever.

Okay, I just gained five pounds writing this shit.

Kihei Caffe
1945 South Kihei Road
Kihei, HI

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Place
Paia, HI

Ono Gelato
1280 South Kihei Road
Kihei, HI

Ono Gelato
115 Hana Hwy # D
Paia, HI

Ono Gelato
815 Front Street
Lahaina, HI

We went to two out of the three Ono Gelato locations, and I give 5 slow mothafuckin claps.
 

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The Boiling Crab

5 Apr

Blister turned 33!  Her lucky number is 3! Her birthday is 3-30!  Do I think there is such a thing as a lucky number?? Hell no, but I’ll entertain the girl.  She’s convinced it’s lucky.  After all, it is her birthday.  And where did the birthday nugget want to go for her lucky birthday?  The new Boiling Crab in K-town.  No more trips to Garden Grove or Alhambra, there’s one in the heart of dirty old K-town.

For a table of 6, we ordered a lot of food.  And while ordering, I batted my eyelashes a few extra times.

Blister: Why are you flirting with the waiter?
Bubby: She wants something for free.
Blister: Huh?
Bubby: The other day I was on the phone with her and she was flirting with the valet guy.
Me: I got valet parking for free.
Bubby: It was $2.
Me: Free for me.  *Raising eyebrows up and down.
Bubby:  She’s flirting because she probably wants some extra sausage or corn in her bag.
Me: Sho’ do.

The oysters.

These oysters were fresh, super creamy, and lacked the oceany taste I despise.  Refreshing and chilled perfectly.  Blister ate 3/4 of them because it was her birthday.  There was a lot of “I’ll take the biggest crab… It’s my birthday” and “I’ll eat all the oysters… It’s my birthday.”

We asked for limes, but they had none.  Instead they poured a bucket of lemons on our table.  With lemons, we made lemon sauce with the salt and pepper.  It’s definitely better with lime, but I heard limes are extremely expensive right now.

Fried catfish.

Bubby ordered the fried catfish because he doesn’t think it’s worth the work to wrestle with crawdads and crabs.  He’s a simple and lazy eater.  Did the fried catfish come with bite marks?  My mom took a nibble and threw it back in the basket when she realized I had to take a picture for my “buh-log” which means blog in Korean.

Gumbo.

This gumbo is all kinds of right.  Fresh cut okra and seafood.  The texture was thick and hot.  Nice blend of spices.  Well done, sir.

Crawdads.

We ordered 2 pounds of the whole sha-bang/XXX spicy and 4 pounds of the whole sha-bang/medium spicy.  The whole sha-bang is the best seasoning because it includes all of the seasonings, such as rajun cajun, lemon pepper, and garlic butter.  But the XXX is a million times more spicy than medium that you can’t enjoy the seasoning because it’s too damn spicy.  Stick with medium, XXX is not worth it.  Well, in this case it’s not worth it.  Usually XXX means you’re in store for a good time.  Waddup.

Work.

The meat in the claws was just as big as the tail.

I usually suck on them crawdad heads, but these were filled with oil instead of head juice.  Man, this post cannot be written without screaming “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID” repeatedly.

The prize.  I’m really good at cracking these babies open.  Been eatin’ them all me life.

The victims.

The crabs.  King and Dungeness.

The king crab legs were juicier than the dungeness.  Next time, I’m ordering the king and snow crab legs.  They are most meaty.  Also, I’d like to take note and never forget the image of my mom using the crab claw to scratch her forehead because her fingers were too dirty.  Hilarious.

The snausage.

Was it free? No.  In fact, they forgot the sausage and provided it later.  Flirted for nothing.  But the sausage was good, and had a crispy casing that snapped and the sausage had bits of rice in it.  Blister kept shouting, “There’s rice in it!!!”

This was definitely a birthday feast.  An expensive one, too.

Me:  I think I paid double gratuity.  They already added the 20% and I added another 20%.
Bubby: So basically you flirted and overpaid.
Me:  Dammit!!!!

Moral of the story, don’t flirt unless you’re pretty certain you’re gonna get some free sausages.  The crawdads in this Houston bel-air strip mall is still my favorite of all time, but Boiling Crab is not too shabby.

Boiling Crab
3377 Wilshire Blvd. #115
Los Angeles, CA

Sushi Murasaki

28 Feb

This is my first post about sushi which is really odd because I love sushi.  While other children ate cheerios and watched cartoons on Saturday morning, we ate fresh sushi and tied raw chicken legs on string to catch blue crabs.  My parents would wake us up at 3 am on Saturday morning so we could make our morning drive to Galveston for a full day of fishing and crabbing.  Half asleep, my brother, sister, and I would crawl into the back seat of our Cutlass Sierra Oldmobile and wake up to the smell of the ocean.  My dad and brother would fish all day while my mom, sister, and I would catch crabs with raw chicken and a net.  When we got tired, we would jump in the ocean like children do and play.   When I was 4 or 5, my sister and I jumped into the ocean and my right foot landed on a hard shell with jagged edges.  I’m not sure if it was an oyster shell or a conch shell but it cut deeply into my foot.  I lifted my foot out of the water, and streaks of blood ran down my leg.   I remember it clearly.  My mom yelled for my dad, and my dad ripped open a Marlboro, unpacked the tobacco, spit in it, and created a homemade Neosporin like a Korean shaman.  He packed the tobacco into the cut and it actualy healed nicely.  My Marlboro scar isn’t that bad.  I probably have nicotine permanently running through my veins but whatever.

Anyway, after our long Saturdays at Galveston, my dad would prepare fresh slices of sashimi from his catch of the day.  So at a very young age, we were spoiled with really great sashimi.  I crave and eat a lot of it, often.

We went to Sushi Murasaki in Orange County.

Bubby and I always order the agedashi tofu for our appetizer.  It’s a must.

Fried soft tofu in a tentsuyu broth made of dashi, mirin, and Japanese soy sauce.  The broth was warm and light.  I spooned it into my mouth until it was all gone.  Perfectly flavored.  The tofu was a good soft and silky texture.  Bubby thought there was too much broth to really enjoy the fried texture of the tofu.  I didn’t mind the broth at all.

Our nigiri arrived. Isn’t this beautiful?

Top row (L to R): fatty toro (x2), yellowtail belly (x2), salmon belly
Middle row (L to R):  mackerel, another mackerel, kohada, tuna, sweet shrimp, salmon roe with quail egg
Bottom row (L to R):  salmon, albacore, kumamoto oyster

Fatty toro is the best.  So fatty.  The best fatty toro I ever had was at Urasawa where you seared the outside of the toro on a hot stone rock and it sizzled in its own fat.  Amazing.

The yellowtail belly was also really tasty and fresh.  Bubby insisted I take note of the salmon, “It was most delicious.”  All of the fish was fresh, including the sweet shrimp.  It had a very clean taste to it.  The only piece I disliked was the kumamoto oyster.  I felt sick after eating it.  It did not sit well.

Our spicy scallop hand roll:

The scallops were fresh but instead of adding the spicy sauce into the Japanese mayonaisse and scallop  mix, they just added it on top.  It was okay, but the nori was crispy and good.  I probably would not order this again.

The next dish was the chawanmushi, Japanese egg custard.  The weird thing about this restaurant was the order the food arrived.  I’m used to the chawanmushi and miso served before the sushi.  Here, they arrived last.

The egg custard was soft and silky and super hot.  Mmmm.  I could do without the shiitake mushrooms, I’m not a fan of mushrooms.  But after spoonfuls of treasure, there were nuggets of shrimp and fish at the bottom of the rainbow.  Very good.

We ordered salmon cheeks but they were out.  Instead, they brought yellowtail cheek.  The consistency is similar to hamachi kama, yellowtail collar.  It was really delicate and flaked off in soft pieces.

The sauce was a ponzu sauce.  I could just drink it by the glass.  Try these cheeks, you won’t regret it.

Finally, for dessert, my miso soup arrived.

I would not order it again, it had a strange fish smell and taste to it that I did not appreciate.

When the bill arrived, Bubby noticed that they did not fry my sweet shrimp head.  I love my sweet shrimp head!  But by the time we realized this, I was too full to remind them to bring my head.

Damn it.  I shall not forget next time.  I shall not.

Sushi Murasaki had its ups (fatty toro, yellowtail belly, yellowtail cheeks, chawanmushi, agedashi tofu broth) and downs (kumamoto oyster, miso soup, spicy scallop handroll, no fried shrimp head).  The ups outweighed the downs, and for that, I’ll give 4 claps.

Coming soon: I’m giving 2 restaurants a perfect 5 slow clap rating.  Stay tuned.

Sushi Murasaki
2901 W MacArthur Blvd, Suite 108
Santa Ana, CA

My Last Meal

11 Feb

I have a great fascination for serial killers, I’ve mentioned this before.  And when these killers get caught, I’m even more fascinated by what they ordered as their last meal.  Timothy McVeigh ordered 2 pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  John Wayne Gacy, a former manager of a KFC, ordered KFC.  Robert Madden requested his meal be given to a homeless person.  The state denied his request.  The female serial killer Aileen Wuornos denied her last meal.   It’s fascinating to know what people will order for their ultimate final meal so I asked around.

Me: What would be your last meal?
Nibs:  Mushroom and sausage pizza with beer.
Me: What would be your crime?
Nibs:  Killing  you in self defense after I hook up with your sister at your wedding.

Me: What would be your last meal?
Cellmate:  Fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, soul food (P.S. Cellmate is hella white.)
Me: What would be your crime?
Cellmate: Bathing two babies in the same tub, it’s illegal in Los Angeles.
Me: You won’t get death row for that.
Cellmate: I gotta get death row?
Me: Yes, final meal!
Cellmate: Ok. Rape and murder of my arresting officer because I want to clean those babies.

Me: What would be your last meal?
Papi Chula: Vag.
Me: What would be your crime?
Papi Chula: Killing co-worker.  (I think he’s talking about me because I told him that I was born in Texas and his response was, “evil dragons are not born, they are hatched!!”)

My last meal would be raw crab.  It sounds disgusting but it’s my favorite dish that my mom makes.  The raw crab is not raw but it’s brined in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other spices for days.  The brining process actually cooks the crab just like how ceviche is “cooked” in lime juice.  Once the brining process is over, my mom makes a special sauce with red pepper, green onions, sesame seed oil, a little bit of rice vinegar, and other spices.  The final product looks like this.

I love the fleshy parts of the spicy crab.

This dish is so salty, spicy, and sweet.  It’s really the best dish my mom makes.  I could eat this everyday, and this would definitely be my last meal.  Man, my mouth is watering.  So much saliva.  My crime?  My crime would be torturing and killing Bubby for doin’ me wrong.  Let’s hope he doesn’t.

What would be your last meal?
Discuss as I sit here on the jungle gym with my fro and hot pink jelly shoes drinking my chianti.

Kim Bap

6 Jan

When I was 12, I went to Korea to visit the many relatives that I never knew existed.  I had all kinds of family.  Creepy ones.  Sweet ones.  Dumb ones.  I discovered I have an aunt, my mom’s older sister, who is hella country and makes the most delicious Korean food I ever tasted.  I would say in passing, “Craving dduk (rice cakes).”  That very same day, she would reach in her garden and whip up the most delicious dduk.  Melt on your tongue … sweet dduk.  One time, she made rolls and rolls of  kim bap.  We laughed, gossiped, and ate while we made it.  I thought of her and wanted to experience that same joy.  My parents, Blister, Bubby, and I decided to make kim bap and it was good.

My mom prepped the ingredients.

Rice covered in vinegar, sesame seeds, and sesame seed oil, nori, fried eggs with green onions, dak-kwang (pickled daikon), imitation crab (I protested but my mom insisted we needed color in the kim bap), spinach sauteed with sesame seed oil and sesame seeds, and beef polish sausages.

Layer the special sushi rice over the nori evenly.

Layer the daikon, sausage, spinach, fried egg, crab in rows at the very end of the rice and nori layers.

Tightly roll the ingredients together to form a perfect cylinder shape.

Use your “man hands” to slice the roll.  Make sure you sharpen and wet your knife before cutting so the roll doesn’t collapse.  Side note: Look at those man hands.  Those are my father’s man hands.  Remember that Seinfeld episode when Seinfeld goes on a date with the woman who has man hands.  And on the date, she orders lobster and cracks it with her bare man hands.  And uses her man hands to feed Jerry and wipe food off his face.  My dad’s hands are those hands.  He also has scars on his hands from that time he tried to make fried chicken but ended up burning his face, chest, and man hands.  He’s okay but seriously, my family will do anything for a good meal.

The final product: pop these delicious babies in your mouth.  Yum.

Throughout the entire day while watching Dexter on his couch, I’d yell for my dad, “Daaaaad, pop a kim bap in my mouth.”  He’d give me the look of death but eventually popped a kim bap in my mouth.  Oh burned man hands, I love you.