Peach-Lacquered Chicken Wings


This recipe is adapted from the most recent Gourmet magazine issue (June 2009). I personally think that the name “Peach-Lacquered” comes from the way these wings are cooked–you have to continually tend to them and coat them for about 20-25 minutes. But, I’d say they were pretty worth it.

The ideal side dish to this would probably be a light, dill-laden potato salad, but we started making ours too late to serve with this dish. If making potato salad, either make earlier in the day or the day before (or buy it!). We instead ate it with some delicious sweet corn-on-the-cob (boiled for about 10 minutes), though a light salad, fries, or a pasta salad would work as well.

Ginger People Hot Coffee Ginger Chews

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

bag_clippedI bought this packet of chews yesterday for $1.99 at World Market. They had a whole display of ginger-themed items and I’ve got to admit that the real initial draw to these was the interesting mascot. It’s a knob of ginger chewing ginger chews. He’s cure, but it just seems wrong to me.

It only took me reading the back of this and surrounding Ginger People packages and finding out that these chews will not only give you a jolt of energy, but that they’ll also sooth any turbulent tummies.

The first one I ate was interesting. I wasn’t prepared for the snappiness of the ginger, and I had to chew and chew to get them down while an explosion was going on in my mouth. The second one I had (as I’m writing this) was much better. Smooth yet chewy, the bitter coffee melds into the sugary spicy sweetness of the ginger and just tastes amazing. The best thing about these little snacks is the fact that they’re travel friendly! They’re individually wrapped and just the right size.

Ginger Chews come in Original, Apple, and Peanut flavor as well. They can be found at local Whole Foods and World Markets, but you can also order them online. I look forward to trying their other treats, and also bought a small pack of “Travelers Chews” for my soon-to-be-starting-college little sister.

Vietnamese Pork with Nuoc Cham


This dish was actually too flavorful for me. There were strong flavors throughout that seemed to compete with each other, rather than play off of each other and complement the dish as a whole. The pork was definitely the best part, and I think would taste great (better?) on it’s own. Salty, Sweet, Fishy, and Spicy.

This makes two servings, but depending on your portion size, two people could share one dish.

  • 1 pound pork shoulder or loin
  • 1/2 package of rice vermicelli
  • 1/2 head of butter lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • ~1/4-1/2 bunch of mint, tor

For the marinade:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2.5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

For the nuoc cham (sauce):

  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1/6 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 carrot, thinly sliced or julienned
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons chili paste or rooster sauce

Place pork in the freezer until it firms slightly, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the pork from the freezer, thinly slice and place in a large ziploc bag. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade. Pour marinade into the bag with the pork and seal, removing as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for one hour to overnight. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the sauce. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Right before grilling, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the vermicelli noodles and cook until tender, about 2 to 4 minutes (4 minutes is too long!). Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, set aside. Remove the pork from the fridge. Grill or cook in wok (whichever you prefer) until cooked through. To assemble, place noodles in bowl or on a plate, then top with the grilled pork, lettuce and mint. Drizzle with the sauce and enjoy!


Food Decor Service Cost
17 16 18 $25

I’ve visited Konami twice. I’ve had both lunch and dinner here, and the verdict is that this place is … okay. There’s nothing really interesting (good or bad) to say about this place. It’s not very authentic, but is definitely not a hibachi steak house. Don’t know if I would come here again, but I’ve been to worse places before.

It’s nice to sit outside and is convenient, but nothing special. The lunch time menu is a good deal though! For 8.95 I got a salad, heaping serving of cold cha soba, and a side of tempura.

From Zagat:

Offering “an oasis of calm amid Tysons Corner’s legendary traffic jams”, this Japanese boasts a “shockingly serene” and “charming” “outdoor patio with a fountain and mini-garden”; they “don’t try to be too inventive” here, but you can enjoy “affordable” sushi that’s so “fresh” it “practically wriggles” along with an “excellent variety of bento boxes” and other options, so it’s “a good place to take a co-worker who will only eat ‘safe’ food.”

Food: 21, Decor: 18, Service: 19, Cost: $29
Tysons Corner | 8221 Leesburg Pike (Chain Bridge Rd.) | 703-821-3400

Lemon Basil Pasta Salad


This pasta salad is healthy, easy, cheap, and delicious! It also gave me an opportunity to try to make tomato roses! The portions in this recipe make enough pasta for a week, so feel free to halve the pasta. I wouldn’t halve the tomatos, though if you don’t make tomato roses, there will be enough tomato to go around.

  • 1 pound pasta (farfalle,fiori, etc)
  • 4 plum or stem tomatoes, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 20 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 1 lemon’s juice or 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to cool down. Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and add the tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and garnish with fresh basil leaves. I’ve heard pasta salad tastes better the day before, so feel free to make the day before. We also chose to add some goat cheese and hard-boiled egg whites.

More pictures in the full entry.

Continue reading