whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘Seoul

THIRTYbyTHIRTY

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So, I feel a sense of impending doom.

Signs that imminent danger is looming just over the horizon.

1983 was the year KISS first appeared publicly without their makeup (however nobody recognised them hahaha), Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first album.
McDonalds introduced the magnificent, magical, mystery meat filled McNugget (I last had them, or any McDonalds product for that matter, just into the New Year of 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic. Happily and fantastically inebriated, in the company of my wonderful sister and brother-in-law, the memory of traipising around one of the most beautiful cities in the world, (so beautiful Hitler declared it was to remain untouched) and the story of forlorness concerning the McNuggets remains such a cherished memory, I wouldn’t trade the shitty food choice for any amount of clean eating kale chips – and when drunk who says “Man, I could destroy a tray of dehydrated kale chips and crudites!” NOBODY. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
Ocean Spray introduced the first tetra pak juice box to supermarkets US-wide.
Kids were fascinated over Rubik’s Cubes, Hacky Sacks, Cabbage Patch Kids and boom box’s were cool beans dude.
Cinemas were choka-block full with Flashdancers and returning Jedi’s.

And thirty years ago in a small, sleepy fishing town, home to the nation’s prized dog, this honeymoon baby was popped out and somewhat welcomed into the world.

“Welcomed/wanted?

Had/hidden.

Copulated/Child,

Result: Repressed/Relinquished.

Irrelevant for this post.

Relevant to me, most.”

So, the point to this post. In a few months I’m turning 30. Joining my best friends in the dirty thirties.

30 is the new 20.

30 is when you become a woman.

30 is when you have the best sex of your life.

30 is when you know yourself.

30 is 30 is 30 is 30 is the end is the end is the end is the start.

It’s a number. But it’s so much more than that.

It’s a pressure we place on ourselves to have achieved this, saved that, bought that, reared and raised this, seen that, travelled there.

I’m just stoked I got through the years of fear and loathing in my early 20’s (who am I kidding, ALL my 20’s) and the return of the almighty Saturn in recent years.

Thirty, oh dear old dirty Thirty, when I meet you head on in a couple of months time I’m gonna have me a wee little party with the friends (and in spirit, my beloved family and friends down under) I hold dear, filled with fine food, single malt whiskey and beer.

So here’s my list, of thirty things to achieve by thirty. Some superficial, some trivial. Some sentimental, some endearing. Some challenging, some silly.

Kind of like the person I’ve grown to be.

THIRTYbyTHIRTY

  1. Start a traditional Korean cooking course at Plaisir Gourmand
  2. Start Korean language class (and this time finish it!)
  3. Take my Ko-mum for a meal – by ourselves.
  4. On my ONE.DAY.OFF go to Seoul Station and take a train to the place where it will arrive closest to 13:13.
  5. Make fresh squid ink pasta.
  6. Wear shorts.
  7. Babysit K&D’s baby for the day/night while they get to live out their long forgotten boozy days.
  8. Host a dinner party.
  9. Grow a plant from a seed.
  10. Make a video of my time in Korea for my grandparents.
  11. Find and visit my foster family.
  12. Volunteer at the Eastern Welfare Orphanage.
  13. Send my sister a snail mail.
  14. Read a poem at an open mic night.
  15. Foster an animal. Do not adopt this animal, repeat – do not adopt this animal!!
  16. Visit the eel restaurant in Paju.
  17. Live out my powerlifting dreams and adhere to the regime I’ve got a weird interest in.
  18. Enrol in the Institute of Intergative Nutrition Course
  19. Buy cookbook and make a recipe a week.
  20. Visit Jeollanam-do to walk over Wolchulsan suspension bridge in attempt to overcome my fear of bridges. (I think bridges are beautiful, I’m fascinated by them, yet despite my faith in maths and physics and many friends that are civil engineers….I always fear for my life when going over a bridge….)
  21. Host a cooking demonstration class (if this does not eventuate via my job – then upload a cooking video to YouTube)
  22. Run 5kms.
  23. Buy a skateboard.
  24. Create my cooking CV.
  25. Cut my hair at least half its length.
  26. Visit a buddhist monastery.
  27. Buy my nephew a drum (In my attempt to make him as amazing as Neil Pert. Rush. This is complemented by number 28)
  28. Make my sister grow my nephew’s hair long. 80’s hair rock long.
  29. Go to a driving range.
  30. Overcome my fear and loathing of my own body and visit a jimjibang. Actually, spend a night at the jimjibang eating ramen (have never eaten ramen) and watching Korean dramas whilst actually just sitting playing on my smart phone.

I think 25 might happen this weekend.
If anybody wants an invite to number 5, 8 or help me eat the efforts at 19, wants to come on along for numbers 16, 20 and 29 or help me (ie: drag me along) for number 22 – here’s your invitation!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…..

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However, there is a distinct line between drawing inspiration from someone else’s work as opposed to copying not only a concept, but a whole shop, right down to the actual menu, spatial design and interior decoration – including personal quirks.

Having worked as an interior designer, I value good design, but above all, design integrity.

I refer to my previous post, (which was sooooo long ago I know) where I hailed Porchetta as having a holier than thou vegan sandwich. I don’t want to slam a small business directly, or wish them into closure, however I think it’s important to be well informed, as things aren’t always as they appear.

After I had posted the previous blog entry, I received an email from Frankie Harrington, owner of Meat & Bread in Vancouver. The tone and delivery of the email was polite and informative, without any spite or malice. Frankie informed me that

“I built Meat & Bread sandwich shop and opened in October 2010 with my business partner. We grew up in restaurants and opening Meat & Bread was our first crack at owning our own. We took many risks in this venture and tried our hardest to be different and to stand out with our approach, cooking techniques and design.”

“It’s pretty upsetting to know that there are people that copy everything…inspiration is one thing but they took everything. My business partner and myself have worked very hard independently to open Meat & Bread…It’s not like we have bottomless pockets and come from a corporate background. This idea is as real as it get’s and we both still work at our two locations 6 days per week.”

Whilst I can not deny that I still dream of that sandwich from Porchetta, their ethics and morals have left a bitter aftertaste. It is a personal decision for me to decide not to visit Porchetta again, mind over stomach, ethics over hunger for me. Besides, Casablanca is just a 5 minute walk away when a carby craving hits, and it hits the spot oh so good.

Meat&Bread-Copy2-02

Written by ayearinpatissiere

May 26, 2013 at 20:09

Porchetta: A brilliant sandwich spot for a vegan!

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I’m serious. I’ve had THE best vegan sandwich of my life here. And I’ve sampled them around the world, Australia, England, Sweden, Laos, Spain to name a few.

I’d been craving a sandwich for a few weeks, yet for reasons of time and a slightly OCD’ish manner of not settling for sub-par food, the craving had remained unfulfilled. However, to be perfectly honest, after finishing up a particularly stressful Sunday of work, when a co-worker suggested ‘Porchetta’ for dinner, I was less than impressed. Mmmmm, sure I thought, I’ll just have the porchetta sandwich, minus the porchetta.

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Oh…..how I was wrong….flip the menu, order number 10, hold the cheese, choose the sambal dipping sauce and wash it all down with a Hitachinonest Espresso Stout (whilst I love this beer – odd choice, they should’ve had at least an ubiquitous Peroni?)

Who would’ve ever thought that the most fulfilling, perfectly grilled fresh vegetables tossed in a light olive oil and herb dressing sandwich would come from Korea, and more specifically, a sandwicherie that specialises in Italian Porchetta – which my fellow dining partners told me was also the best porchetta they’ve had.

This new generation of Korean entrepre-restrauneurs (yeah I’m making words up here – but you get it yeah, in fact – you love it, oh yeah!) are well travelled and don’t do things by halves. If they want to open a boulangerie, they’ve been to Paris, learnt from the artisans themselves, and bought the french flour back to prove it (Alaska in Garosugil uses only French flour). If they want to open a pizzeria, they go to Naples, learn the craft to form a pizza straight out of Italy that isn’t comletely covered in yellow cheese and contains fresh red sauce and real basil (Blacksmith Pizza, Jongno – not the chain that is everywhere, but the small, kitscho restaurant aptly named because he is an actual blacksmith)

And if they want to open a Porchetta Sandwicherie – I’m guessing they’ve travelled to Italy, or at least have an understanding of what makes up a great sandwich.

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Essentials to a great sandwich

1. The bread. It’s a deal breaker.
Should be soft, yet chewy. Hold the crusty baguettes for balsamic and olive oil dipping parties.
Filling to bread should not be in even ratios – think apple pie.
Filling to bread; 2:1.

I would’ve preferred wholemeal, but as this was a pillow of goodness, I’m not complaining.

2. Fillings. It’s a ball breaker.
You can’t polish a turd. No matter how good the bread is, it won’t camouflage poor quality fillings or weird combinations (although I do love crisps and vegemite – but I’m not selling it)
They need to be fresh, abundant and proportionate. You don’t want to be tasting all onion wondering where your damn semi dried tomato went too, considering that’s what jacked the price up to ₩8,500.

Several times I stopped to just examine the fillings of the sandwich, I was amazed at the variety and freshness of the fillings, roasted eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, potato, mushroom, fresh tomato – wow.

3. The spread.
Needs to be tasteful and moist.
With a plethora of condiments, fancy butters, jams, relishes, mustards and mayo’s out there, we’ve come a long way from humble margarine beginnings.
The spread needs to be tasted, but not overpowering. Complementary yet not competing with the fillings.

A light basil pesto was used which led to a discussion of “How good is this basil pesto!”

4. The drip.
Like any good burger, a hot sandwich needs to have some guts and it should be messy, juices running down your hand as you eat it.
I don’t know why exactly, a testament to its freshness perhaps?

5. And now apparently, a dipping sauce.
I was just going to write, I’m not one to dip….but thinking back to my childhood I’ve fond memories of Le Snak, Dunkaroos, Yim Yam’s (who doesn’t remember the disappointment when you found out the dipping chocolate wasn’t the length of the sticks?) but dipping a whole sandwich?
What the?
And somehow, with all the different flavours of the vegetables and the basil pesto, the sambal dipping sauce, more sweet than hot – kind of like red capsicum than red chilli, went amazingly well.

The lowdown:
Jumbo Grilled Vegetable sandwich ₩8,500
Ask them to hold the cheese to make it vegan
I highly suggest the sambal dipping sauce.

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Where:
Noksapyeong.
Take Subway Line 6 to Noksapyeong Station, exit 2. Walk straight for 500 metres take the underpass to the other side of the street. Take the street right from Noxa and it’s on the left hand side about three doors down (hmmm, maybe 5 but I just wanted to remind you all about that mediocre 90’s soft rock band)

https://www.facebook.com/Porchettapage

Written by ayearinpatissiere

December 11, 2012 at 12:00

All apologies

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Many, many apologies.

It has been far too long between posts.

Life became crazy busy, things kicked off for whole*istic faster and bigger than ever expected. Collaborations with Cafe Suッkara and High Street Market, stalls at the Marche Festival , quitting old jobs, starting new jobs……phew.

What a crazy couple of months it has been.

But I’m not complaining, it has all been an unbelievable ride. A sleepless ride. A test of strength, determination, integrity and self-belief. And it’s only the beginning….

A slideshow of what’s been happening, more in depth accounts soon…….so much to write about, so little time.

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

November 19, 2012 at 15:39

High Street Market Collaboration

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Sooooo, a bit of a shameless plug.

High Street Market, located on the cusp of Itaewon and Hannam-Dong, is the boutiquey gourmet deli that I like to frequent when I’m missing Australia and in dire need of a slice of home.

The interior is warm and cosy and laid out like a typical delicatessen that would fit right in amongst the trendy Emporium or James Street shops back in Brisbane. Since moving to Korea one year ago, I’ve seen the store grow and morph, offering not only long lost items like dried beans, rolled oats, a massive selection of cheese, cured meats, lamb, peas and a good range of baking supplies to incorporating a cafe and dining area and also offering a growing range of hand crafted snacks and ready to go meals such as good breads, hummus, ricotta cheese, lasagne, thai rice dishes and…….whole*istic!!!

That’s right! This Saturday, 20th October, 2012, whole*istic snacks and desserts will be available in store.

crackers and dip

whole*istic menu
all items :

VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE

NO REFINED SUGAR (Fruit, Maple syrup, date sugar) OR SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

NO WHEAT FLOURS. NO XANTHAM GUM.
ALL ALMOND FLOUR

Crackers
₩2,900 p/10
brown rice, quinoa & tamari
rosemary & fig
black sesame, onion & chia

Dips
₩5,900 – 200g
roast beetroot & walnut
semi-dried tomato, basil & sunflower seed
roast carrot, ginger & coconut

Desserts
₩6,000
raw blueberry cheesecake
raw apple crumble pie
raw persimmon & hazelnut cream pie
chocolate caramel tart
pumpkin pie

Energy Balls (all raw)
₩1,800
apricot & almond
peanut & oat
raw cacao & hazelnut

Rosemary & fig crackers, roast beetroot & walnut dip

Black sesame, onion & chia crackers and roasted carrot, ginger & coconut dip

Brown rice, quinoa & tamari crackers and semi-dried tomato, basil & sunflower seed dip

Mix and match

Energy Balls. Can someone please help me think of a better name?? Orbs?
Yup, I spelt hazelnut incorrectly.


raw persimmon & hazelnut cream pie

chocolate caramel tart

pumpkin pie

raw apple crumble pie

raw blueberry cheesecake

Get to high street market this weekend, or email me direct for any orders:
mail@wholeistic.com

Open: 10:00am – 21:00
Phone
 : 02-790-5450
Address : 2F, 737-24, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 19, 2012 at 06:20

Summer’s over but semi-dried tomatoes are here forever

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The taste of the Mediterranean – homemade here in Korea, for 1/4 of the shop price

Although the leaves are yellowing, the air is more crisp and the time spent frolicking in the sun (who has the time to frolic? But the idea, or word is lovely) is becoming shorter, I’ve found a way to savour the taste forever!

Like everything exotic and non-korean in Korea, avocados, watermelon, baby spinach to name a few, the price is excruciating, unbelievable, ridiculous. Semi-dried/sun-dried tomatoes are no exception. ₩9,000 on special? ₩13,000 – ₩20,000 for a small jar?

Sure, I’ve nothing better to spend my money on than eating.

Back home I’m used to picking up a couple of hundred grams for $3 – $5, of varying dried-ness, immersed in different oils or vinegar’s, with different herbs and accompaniments, full fat, fat-free. Pro-choice tomatoes, oh yeah!

So, figuring it’s just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, spices, sun and time, I thought, I could make my own. Except, ah, the long hot summer days are over here – thank my sweat-free brow – so what to do, what to do….

Oven-dried tomatoes! Looooooong, sloooooooow dehydrated tomatoes result in the sweetest tomatoes with a soft inside, encased by a not-too-hard, ever so slightly chewy and dried out shell. Dehydrating them with a dash of olive oil that has been infused with Himalayan rock salt, pepper, garlic and herbs, enhances each flavour, bringing out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I used cherry tomatoes here, because that’s what the ajumma was selling near my flat that day

Although I don’t label myself with a food label anymore such as vegetarian, carnivore, vegan, raw foodist; I eat 80% vegan and raw as much as possible (although since preparing samples and market prep for whole*istic snacks and desserts, my diet has changed to 80% DESSERTS! HELP!!)  and meat/fish if my body truly is craving it or someone has been so nice as to cook for me.

I found that it has been easier to make more conscious decisions this way, without placing limitations and expectations on myself and removing the ‘banned food’ list – which actually makes me want them even more.

Bu,t I digress.

A dehydrator is just as vital to a raw foodist as the holier-than-thou blender, the VitaMix – which you cannot get in Korea! Here I was ready to part with my ₩600,00 on a blender, but it’s not even possible. (Post to follow on what I did actually get)*be warned – it will be a rant, as after having acquired the most powerful, expensive blender in Korea, it DIED on me within 24 hours, 2 batches of energy noshies, 1 pie crust and halfway through a ‘cheese’cake…breathe in, breathe out….I am floating on al lily pad down a….one day, it lasted one day!!!! …..down a clear, tranquil blue stream….. But as I’d just received a new large, 4 rack oven, I had been reading that food prepared at 48°C or less, can technically be considered ‘raw’.

Which isn’t very hot at all. I’m sure the Bikram yoga room has been hotter than that before.

So anyway, if you’ve got an oven that can function at 48°C, lots of fresh tomatoes (it’s too time consuming to just do a punnet), and lots and lots of time for these babies to dehydrate – read on my friend, read on……

All you need is love! And time, and a big ass oven.

Oven-semi-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 kg tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt (this is more ‘salty’ than salt, so use less at first – then to taste)
1 tsp black pepper – 5 grinds?
1 tsp mixed herbs (I used a mix of basil and Italian parsley)

*Add all spices/seasonings to taste. I LOVE garlic so my recipes are heavy on the garlic, taste as you go, to your liking. Add anything you like. Just remember, the dehydrating will bring out the flavours more.

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a screw top glass jar.
Shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture.

2. Wash tomatoes. Cut in half. If using cherry/grape tomatoes place on greaseproof paper lined baking tray, cut side up.
If using larger tomatoes, scoop seeds out (can add to a smoothie, dip, pesto, sauce, eat, whatever – just don’t waste it)

3. Drizzle some of the oil over the tomatoes.
I used about one tablespoon per line of tomatoes.
There should be about 1/4 cup of oil, more or less, remaining for you to sit the tomatoes in after dehydrating, or to use as a dressing. Beautiful!

4. Place in oven at 45°C.
For 2 large trays of cherry tomatoes, they took 5 hours and were fully dried.
4 hours would create a more juicy, semi semi dried tomato.

Will keep in a sealed jar, covered in the remaining oil for a month? 2 months? Although, I don’t think they’ll last that long….

Cherry tomatoes: 2 hours in

Ta-da!! The finished product – 5 hours on


Drizzle garlic olive oil. Whiz into a pesto or dip. Top a salad.
Eat. Straight up.

I blended mine into a basil, sunflower seed pesto and served atop fresh squash, black sesame tofu (I’ve never liked tofu until moving to Korea – its baffling me -)

Looks like a raw, vegan nachos???

For 2 large trays of Roma tomatoes, well, they’ve been in for 3 hours last night, sat overnight, and we’re up to hour number 2 as we speak.

They’re getting close, but still very juicy

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 17, 2012 at 02:35

Fusion cooking: Kimchi quinoa kimbap 김치쿠이 노아 김밮

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I’m a bit of a mixed bag. More a mixed bag of nuts as I’m kinda nutty, more crazy than quirky.

I grew up in a very Australian household enjoying barbecues several times a week, salad optional; minimum 2 varieties of meat essential, vegemite sangas and sao’s with cheese and tomato. With my Scottish mum designated to preparing meals,(very typically reflective of most baby-boomer nuclear households) there was also a strong British influence. I have very strong and fond memories of casseroles, soups and mince and tatties; not to mention Coronation Street, Heartbeat and whisky.

By face value, I apparently have a very Korean face, but my fashion sense and makeup is not very Gangnam style, or actually my face – no plastic surgery here….yet!

But anyway, I’ve been described as a banana before, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Actually a term of affection or endearment….not as derogatory as it sounds or to be confused with being FOB-by (Fresh off the boat – an Asian in a western country, not assimilating and acting, well, very Asian….I don’t make these things up!!)

So I thought it finally time to embrace my banana-like, Konglish, fusion culture and make food reflective of my own culture. To share my relatively new found love of Korean food mashed together with all the best, fresh elements of Australian food.

Kimchi quinoa 김치쿠이 노아 with sesame leaves 깻잎, tofu 두부, cucumber 오이 and lotus root 연근

Kimbap 김밮, directly translating to seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) is as revered as tteokbokki 떡볶이 in the hearts and s(e)oul of all Koreans, bringing back memories of childhood, picnics and uni days. Both are cheap, tasty eats available at all street vendors or quickly slapped together by mothers as a snack food with limitless variations.

Tteokbokki 떡볶이: soft, chewy rice cakes simmered in hot pepper sauce with fish cakes.
Pretty tasty. Extra tasty after soju.

Kimbap is the equivalent to a sandwich. Similar to sushi, (but don’t mention that to hardcore patriotic Koreans, may as well ask them if Dokdo belongs to Japan) Kimbap is rolled rice, usually short grain white rice seasoned with sesame or perilla oil and with a variety of fillings; usually the ubiquitous yellow pickle, sweet marinated lotus root, bulgolgi ham, egg, tofu and sarimi stick. Due to the heavy lashings of sesame oil, no other seasoning is usually required making it the perfect snack/meal on the run.

Traditional Kimbap 김밮: yellow= egg, orange = carrot, dark brown = marinated lotus root, pink/brown= ham, translucent yellow = pickle, green = ? cucumber? probably another bloody pickle?

Quality varies from the GS25 roll or Samgak kimbap 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbap); that’s been sitting there for god knows how long, to the skinny, uniform rolls at any street vendor, battered, deep-fried and deep-fried again as you please! New restaurants such as School Food are revamping humble Korean staple foods by substituting white rice for black rice and more gourmet fillings.

Fancy pants School Food kimbap


Still-life artistic triangle kimbap shot

And then, there’s me, committing cardinal Korean food murder, fusing together well-known foods from Australia, like quinoa and cashew chive pesto and salad fillings such as mixed greens and cucumber with traditional Korean ingredients. Yet to try a hamburger with the works style with beetroot, bacon and a fried egg, but never say never, right?

Some worked, some didn’t.

I liked them all, and so did some friends and random taste testers, but when you’re messing about with very traditional Korean food, with tastes that are ingrained and reliably taste the same wherever you go in Korea, there’s going to be some resistance.

It’s like changing a cheeseburger. Or leaving out the beetroot on a hamburger.

You’re messing with the food gods.

But it’s a start, and generally feedback was good, although the flavours need to be very strong for the korean palette. The kimchi infused quinoa was more popular, as there was some familiarity.

Looking forward to more experimentation with new flavours, bases and fillings, let me know if you wanna be a taste tester!

Kimchi Quinoa kimbap: Attempt #1
Kimchi and green pepper to be mixed with quinoa.
Marinated lotus root for filling

Added in green pepper, kimchi, sesame seeds and yellow capsicum to the cooked quinoa

Pressed out the kimchi quinoa onto the kim (roasted seaweed)
Added some marinated sesame leaves in soy sauce  깻잎 장아찌

Added the marinated lotus root 연근조림 – yeongeun jorim
Should have divided this quantity with cucumber to provide a refresher from the spiciness of the peppers and kimchi.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling. Arg, is that Limp Bizkit? I don’t even like Limp Bizkit…..Except for that Faith cover.
I should delete that.

Continuing on…I don’t have a bamboo mat for ease of rolling, so you can sub with greaseproof paper or seran wrap just fine.

Second variation: quinoa cooked in coconut milk mixed with capsicums and a crunchy mix of toasted peanuts, sunflower and chia seeds.

Added lettuce, cucumber, carrots and sprouts

Kimchi variation #2
No peppers this time in the quinoa, added fresh sesame leaves, tofu, lotus root and cucumber.

Ta daaaa!
Make sure you cut the kimbap with an extremely sharp knife.
Running the knife under hot water will make your life easier

Bottom kimbap was quinoa mixed with cashew chive pesto and black sesame seeds with cucumber, carrot and tofu

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 07:30