Lei Musubi is a pop-up operating in the DC-Maryland-Virginia region that sells rice balls. They've amassed quite a following since starting out in 2018!…
Go to any ethnic restaurant and you'll often find dishes that have become synonymous with that culture's food. Ramen. Korean BBQ. Pho. Pad Thai. They're famous for a reason; they're delicious and are easily approachable to even the most timid of eaters.
But it's easy to forget that these cultures have so many other culinary treasures, some of which are dishes more commonly eaten at home than at restaurants.
Gang Jued Woon Sen is one such example. It's a mild soup that is usually either served with a spicy dish or eaten on its own as a meal. But I didn't know this dish existed until I asked my blogger friend Pam (of P&H Eats) what was one of the most meaningful dishes she had growing up.
It's a dish with an emotional connection for her. She remembers how, as a little girl, she was crying inconsolably because her parents were away at the hospital, giving birth to her sister. Her grandmother made this soup and gave it to her at the top of the stairs, even though her family always ate at the dinner table.
Anyhow, below is her recipe for the soup. Be sure to check the recipe video where she tells her story about this dish too!
Gang Jued Woon Sen
- 10 c water
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs with skin Can also use 4-6 chicken drumsticks.
- 4 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 piece ginger ~1.5 inches in length, roughly chopped.
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken (low sodium) optional
- 2 packs bean thread noodles
- 1 lbs ground pork
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 c shredded zucchini
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp thin soy sauce
- 1 large egg
- green onion
- 1/4 head napa cabbage
- Soak bean thread noodles in warm water for about 20 minutes (or until noodles are pliable).
- Combine chicken, ginger, minced garlic, thin soy sauce, and fish sauce with 10 cups cold water. Bring to boil, then cover with lid on medium high heat for approximately 20 mins.
- Wash and cut napa cabbage into small, 1/2 inch long pieces.
- Shred zucchini, squeeze out excess moisture in paper towel.
- Add zucchini, 2 tbs minced garlic, white pepper, egg, and soy sauce, to ground pork. Mix well.
- Using the palms of your hands, form small flat "meat balls" (~1.5 inches in diameter)
Finishing the dish
- Once the broth is boiling, gently place in the meatballs to cook.
- Add in the pliable bean thread noodles and napa cabbage a few minutes before serving.
- Garnish with cilantro and/or chopped green onions.
This is Steph (IG: @chinadollbaltimore). She’s a friend and a talented baker—she even made her own birthday cake featured here—and she’s also the founder/organizer of the upcoming Charm City Night Market (IG: @charmcitynightmarket) being held on Sept 22 (Sat) from 4PM to 11PM.
After learning about how Baltimore once had a vibrant Chinatown community along Park Avenue in Mount Vernon, Steph was inspired to do something that would not only share the stories of the immigrants who made this city their home but also showcase the amazing things Asian-American community is doing today. This desire led to the formation of a group who would eventually organize and develop the Charm City Night Market.
These passionate individuals have worked extremely hard to make this dream a reality and in one week, the inaugural Charm City Night Market will open its doors to the public! There will be many artists, vendors, and performances. And food from a lot of awesome places, including Baltimore’s beloved Ekiben and newly minted Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant Kaliwa !
Anyways, if you are in the area, please support Steph and all of the other awesome people and vendors and restaurants involved with this event. You can find (free) tickets here at eventbrite.com but you can also pay for a VIP pass that gains you access to additional food and drinks. You can find more information about Charm City Night Market on their website as well.
Last week, I had the pleasure to attend the first of many Saigon Summers popups that Chef Helen (@miss_hailan) has been organizing in New York City. While she’s worked at some of New York’s best and well-known restaurants, Helen has a passion for sharing Vietnamese food; this dinner allowed her to share this love with friends and strangers alike.
For this dinner, Helen brought in friends from all over the US to collaborate. She brought in Chefs and friends from Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Diego for an epic Vietnamese collaboration dinner. I especially appreciated how your “typical” Vietnamese foods like pho and banh mi were not on the menu. I don’t know much about Vietnamese food, but this dinner really opened my eyes to the delicious flavors and textures of Vietnam. I really need to learn more.
This first dish, bo tai chanh, was simply amazing. Tender beef eye round, watercress, fried shallots, peanuts, lime vinaigrette. Holy crap this was good—and it set the stage for the rest of the dinner.
A lotus root salad (goi ngo sen) was next. Loved the bright flavors and the textural contrast with the cracker.
Baby clams with sesame rice crackers (hen xuc banh trang) were next.
Banh beo, steamed rice cake, was next.
Bo Kho, braised short ribs, rounded up the savory dishes. And this was just comfort in a bowl, much akin to a hearty beef stew.
And dessert was che suong sa hat luu, a tapioca dessert. I could have had like ten more of these… they were that awesome.
The talented chefs:
Anyways, Chef Helen is continuing to do popups in NYC so definitely follow her instagram (@miss_hailan) to keep up on any new popups. Plus she’s just a kind and awesome person and someone I respect very much—she’s hustling really hard to open a Vietnamese restaurant in LIC soon. It’s going to be good.