cruise food (casual)

we enjoyed lots of good food on our alaskan cruise aboard the celebrity infinity. here’s some of the breakfast/lunch/buffet stuff…


eggs benedict


breakfast buffet


smoked salmon on a bagel


spaghetti bolognese


assorted food from the grill


special brunch buffet (1 day only)


dessert table at the special brunch buffet


sushi – available everyday 5-9 p.m.

formal dinner pictures coming soon, plus great food in seattle!

kung pao chicken

cameron got me two chinese cookbooks for my birthday. what a smart guy…


kung pao chicken
from chinese cuisine by su-hueu huang

2/3 lb. (300g) chicken meat
for marinade: 1/2 tbsp cooking wine, 1 tbsp each: soy sauce, corn starch
1/2 cup oil for frying
3 dried red chili peppers, diced
1 green onion, cut into 10 pieces
for sauce: 1/2 tbsp cooking wine; 2 tsp sugar; 1.5 tsp each: corn starch, vinegar; 2 tbsp each: soy sauce, water
1/3 cup fried cashews or peanuts (or roasted)

1. use the blunt edge of a cleaver to lightly tenderize the chicken meat; then cut into 1″ cubes. add marinade; mix thoroughly. before frying, add 1 tbsp oil and mix so that the meat will separate easily during frying.

2. heat a wok then add oil. stir-fry chicken until cooked; remove (precooking). remove oil from the wok. reheat the wok then add 1 tbsp oil. use low heat to stir-fry the diced red chili peppers until fragrant. add chicken, onions, and sauce mixture. turn heat to high and quickly stir-fry. add nuts and mix.

comments: this kung pao chicken was yummy. the dried red chili peppers we have are small so maybe next time i’d add another one to make it a little spicier. hmm, i don’t know what else to say.

well, this is the first recipe we’ve tried from this new book. so far so good. apparently this book was first published in 1972 and the author was principal director of the wei-chuan cooking school in taiwan.

brownie update

this is an update to my go-to brownie recipe. i think i made it better!

so because of our resolution to bake our own bread this year, i bought a 25 lb. bag of bread flour from costco. because of that, i’ve been substituting bread flour for ap flour in a bunch of recipes and seeing the effect. i’m telling you, the ben & jerry’s brownies are better with bread flour. i think the original recipe is ever so slightly too fudgy, so using bread flour makes it every so slightly more cakey. the texture is now perfect. try it! :) different bread flour brands have different compositions though, so if it turns out too cakey, maybe you need 1/2 ap flour, 1/2 bread flour.

chodang restaurant

here’s the soondubu from chodang (i like to put all the rice in it).

i first had soondubu in the summer of sophomore year of college at young dong garden in arcadia. it was love at first bite! anyway, when i go home i like to go to young dong garden if i can. i don’t know why i’ve never written about it… i love it! that place is still my favorite soondubu place in socal. they give delicious korean pancakes.

then when i came to hawaii, cameron and i tried a few korean restaurants to find some good soondubu, but most of the restaurants were kind of expensive and the soondubu wasn’t that great. i tried to put soondubu out of my mind. then one day, we decided to try koreana in kaimuki. on the front of the menu, there were several grand opening specials… soondubu for $6?! AND it was delicious! that was a really good day. for a little while, we went there every week.

but it was not meant to be. koreana was always empty when we ate there. one day we went, and the gates were closed. :( i was really sad… was it better to have soondubu-ed and lost than to never have soondubu-ed? i was resigned to live life without soondubu.

there was this small korean restaurant called chodang near ala moana that we’d seen before, and one day we decided to try it. they had a picture of soondubu in the window… but who could replace koreana? we sat down and looked at the menu. it was the most wonderful thing i’ve ever seen on a menu… on the front it had a list of daily specials… the same specials as koreana IN THE SAME FONT! open the menu – same sections and fonts as koreana too! hallelujah! this was another great day :)

luckily, chodang doesn’t look like it’s going to close any time soon. it’s always busy when we go there. the soondubu is WAY cheaper than anywhere else, and tastes better than all the other ones i’ve tried in hawaii (um except koreana since it’s the same soondubu). i don’t think they have a mild version though so just suck it up if you are afraid of spicy food. it’s worth it. anyway, that’s about all i can comment on since at koreana and chodang all i’ve ever gotten is soondubu… well i think the side dishes are good too :) one time we got some bulgogi – that was good, but i don’t know how it compares to other places. cameron has been getting the bibimbap lately. he also tried the spicy beef soup once – he said that was really good.

now i’m craving some soondubu… chodang is open until 12am i think…

chodang restaurant
451 Piikoi St #110
Honolulu, HI 96814

slow roasted pork sandwich

a while ago there was one of those 40% off borders coupons so we picked up this book:

wichcraft book

it’s recipes from tom colicchio’s (judge on top chef) ‘wichcraft sandwich shops. the main reason i wanted to get this book is we already made one of the sandwiches in it, and that sandwich is one of the best sandwiches i’ve had. also, there are gorgeous pictures of every sandwich, which is always nice in a cookbook.

a lot of these sandwiches are pretty involved but the results are delicious so it’s worth it. i really love a good sandwich :)

slow-roasted pork with red cabbage, jalapeños, and mustard

from ‘wichcraft by tom colicchio with sisha ortuzar
makes four sandwiches


1 tbsp caraway seeds
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 (1.25-1.5 lb.) boneless pork shoulder
2 cups shredded or thinly sliced red cabbage
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 ciabatta rolls
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 large jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

1. preheat the oven to 250F. combine the caraway, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns in a spice grinder and process utnil they have the courseness of salt. combine the spices with salt.

2. rub the pork vigorously with the spice mixture until completely covered. any spice mixture that doesn’t stick to the meat an be removed. place the meat in a roasting pan, cover tightly, and cook in the oven for about 4 hours. the meat should be fork-tender and some of the fat should have rendered into the bottom of the pan. transfer the meat to a plate and discard the fat from the pan.

3. increase the oven heat to 350F. in a bowl, combine the cabbage, oil, and vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper. the cabbage should taste quite salty and tangy.

4. slice the ciabatta rolls in half. spread the mustard evenly across the bottom halves. using a couple of forks, pull the roasted pork apart and distribute some on the bottom and top halves.


5. place the bread in the oven and remove when the bread is lightly toasted and the meat is heated through. add the cabbage on the bottom halves and top withe jalapeño. close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.


comments: yum, this sandwich is quite good. it’s a really nice combo of flavors and textures with the salty pork, tangy crunchy cabbage, spiciy jalapeños, sour mustard, and toasted ciabatta bread. good to have some kettle chips as a side too.

it’s not very difficult, but you gotta be home for a few hours while the pork cooks in the oven. the pork turned out a little bit too salty for our taste, so maybe next time i won’t rub in as much salt.