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Need help for really good meatballs.

Hey Steve!

So I wrote this in another thread, but here you go: "I've experimented a few times with ground pork, beef, lamb, veal, a combination of few or none using a variety of spices and ingredients (cumin, raisins, nutmeg, pine nuts, even grape jelly as a secret ingredient, etc., etc.) My favorite is pork and beef, minced onion, panko, freshly grated Pecorino Romano, parsley, garlic, sea salt, ground white pepper and a full flavored extra virgin olive oil."

Good luck!

Dec 24, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Seaweed in cook books?

Ah, that makes sense. Not sure where you live, but if there are Japanese restaurants near you (owned and operated by Japanese people), I'd recommend trying out some of these dishes:
- hijiki
- sunomono (it's a vinegar based appetizer, tangy and really healthy)
- miso soup (there's seaweed in there!)

...are most easy to find. Seaweed has a unique texture that may take some getting used to. I use seaweed in various forms all the time when cooking Japanese food. I'll be happy to share recipes with you!

Good luck.

Dec 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Favorite Simple Food Preparation?

Greens vegetables: spinach, kale and asparagus particularly are so simple to prepare and absolutely delicious without a need for excess flavoring. Boil for a few seconds then flash cook. Add some bacon or even with just garlic, poached / fried egg, cheese...the possibilities are endless!

Cauliflower is another one I love love love! Roasting with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper topped with grated cheese is wonderful.

Dec 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Seaweed in cook books?

Maybe something like this?
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-sty...

The one thing to ask is are you looking to flavor your food or use it as a main ingredient? How accessible are the varieties of seaweed to you? I'd recommend starting there then narrowing recipes/cookbooks to fit your needs.

Dec 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Favorite thing to cook in a cast iron skillet

Bacon. Thick cut, of course.

Dec 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Fresh uni

Santa Barbara is a very special place -- they also have produce that is hard to come by in the US as well.

Have you tried the fresh uni in Maine or Boston? They're pretty foul.

Dec 02, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Fresh uni

Like everyone else said, most Japanese markets (Mitsuwa, Sunrise, etc.) have sushi grade uni. I recommend sushi grade since it's already cleaned and prepped. Call ahead and ask when they got it in, where it's from, etc.

Sea urchin straight out of the ocean is pretty foul. My mom was born and raised in Japan and even she was shocked when we ordered live uni for the first time in NYC and Boston. It was so bitter and gross; unedible, even. After that, we decided never to eat uni at home and when I told my aunt (who lives in Japan) our story she looked at us as though it was common sense. Fish markets are like neighborhood butchers, where relationships are super important. My aunt told me even she didn't buy uni until she had a good rapport with her local fish merchant...so to buy uni in US is daring (in her words.)

Another option is asking your favorite sushi chef. If you have a relationship with them, sometimes they'll order a little more from their respective distributors and pass it along to you.

Dec 02, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Need a Nice Place for about 100.00 per person

Momofuku Ma Peche (French/Vietnamese)
Pintxos (Basque/Tapas)

It would be helpful if genre were narrowed...

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Pintxos
510 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Ma Peche
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Japanese in Manhattan [split from Quebec board]

I love Yasuda and never had problems there -- but I think that's mainly due to my preference of sitting in front of him. I don't go unless he has openings. Habit of a weird Japanese ;)

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Japanese in Manhattan [split from Quebec board]

Hmm last time I went, it was so smokey my hair and clothes smelled like BBQ. Plus the food was masked with smoke. Normally, binchotan doesn't have that effect. Bizarre.

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Trimmed bean sprouts

Hahahaha! Totally guilty as charged -- I grew up in a traditional Japanese household and my OCD aunt in Japan taught me how to cook. I still string the celery, cucumbers? There is a certain way to shave the skin. I blame them for this anal retentive cooking style; well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to that!

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Cake places in NYC?

I prefer more delicate sweetness than rich (cake, icing, etc.) as a barometer, the only thing I like at Magnolias is their banana pudding and biscotti at Veniero's.

With that in mind, Chikalicious is one of my favorites!

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Veniero's
342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

ChikaLicious
203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Trimmed bean sprouts

I actually cut off both ends while washing -- it's really not that big of a pain and the additional detail of cutting off the stems omits the chance of the floss like portion getting stuck in your teeth...or at least that's what I tell myself. ;)

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

Meatballs?

I've experimented a few times with ground pork, beef, lamb, veal, a combination of few or none using a variety of spices and ingredients (cumin, raisins, nutmeg, pine nuts, even grape jelly as a secret ingredient, etc., etc.) My favorite is pork and beef, minced onion, panko, freshly grated Pecorino Romano, parsley, garlic, sea salt, ground white pepper and a full flavored extra virgin olive oil.

Nov 21, 2010
MonaNomura in Home Cooking

What would be on your NYC Restaurant "Bucket List"?

I'd eat as much ethnic/street food/hole in the walls -- it's what I missed the most when I left Manhattan.

NYC staples i.e. Masa, Per Se, DANIEL, Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, et al. -- I was dating someone with a steep corporate card and was fortunate to dine at all these establishments numerous times -- are wonderful but if it's out of pocket, I say save your $$. You're going to Europe, you'd be able to eat a lot of these foods that are more cost effective...

Foods that are better in The City (and surrounding boroughs) than most:
- Dominican
- Cuban
- Dim Sum, XLB (xiao long bao)
- Ethiopian
- Turkish
- Greek
- Japanese (Aburiya Kinnosuke, Totto, Yasuda, Sugiyama, Rockmeisha, etc., etc.)
- Korean (though LA has better Korean food, it'll be tough finding bassam, soondoobu, or even decent Korean bbq in EU.)
- Italian. I've found the Italian food here to be the best in the U.S., not sure about the EU but 'inoteca, Frankies17 and Il-Postino are three of my favorites
and even Indian.

I even found myself craving halal cart food, hot dogs (not water dogs but Grey's or Crif) and even burgers.

Hope this helps and enjoy Amsterdam; they have awesome cafés, cafe food and a gang load of potato dishes lol.

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Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Sugiyama
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Rockmeisha
11 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014

'inoteca
323 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

Masa
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

Nov 05, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

koreatown soondooboo chigae

$2.50? Um, yes please. Thanks for the info. Definitely bookmarking.

Nov 05, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Japanese in Manhattan [split from Quebec board]

Tori Shin doesn't use bincho tan like Totto, so for me, Totto wins by a landslide.

Seconding Aburiya Kinnosuke (if you know your Japanese) or Totto, if you're entry level (chicken only.)

Stay away from Sakagura -- they're overpriced and not that good.

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Aburiya Kinnosuke
213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

Sakagura
211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017

Oct 20, 2010
MonaNomura in Manhattan

Coming to Seattle Thursday, Leaving Sunday - Please Supply Recommendations

I'm surprised Zoe's isn't mentioned -- one of my favorites in Seattle. Also, if you like cheese pop by Beecher's for three or five year reserve! Yum.

Oct 20, 2010
MonaNomura in Greater Seattle