T is for Tarako

I recently developed an obsession for salted cod roe. I eat it in omelets and alongside rice with sesame oil and some scallions on top.

I once ate a bag of cod roe flavored potato chips in Tokyo. What did it taste like? Deep fried cod roe! While in Tokyo, T  also told me that he really likes it in pasta; tarako pasta.

I forgot this until recently when I was defrosting a piece of it. I tried googling to find recipes but couldn’t find any that seemed legit so I decided to ask T.

T’s instructions:

“Get the roe out of its skins in advance, pour butter over warm boiled pasta in a pan or bowl (ofcourse after draining the water), add cod roe, add salt and pepper as you like for the seasoning. That’s it! And if you would like it to be richer and junkier, add some mayo too. Oh, sprinkle some thinly cut sea weeds over the pasta plate. Bon appetit! Muwah!”

Prep time: 5 mins

Improv: minced garlic and scallions

Result: I’m a true believer!


Asian dumplings

I like dumplings. I like them pan fried, deep fried, steamed, and boiled.

They are my favorite “fast food” because I can make a lot beforehand, freeze them, and cook them within 8 mins. My mom’s traditional Korean mandu with kimchi, pork, tofu, and bean sprouts are great in rice cake soup and my dad’s bite size pork and chive jiaozi are wonderful pan fried. I fell in love with dim sum when we lived in Toronto and last year had the best in Taiwan with my sister.

But last night, I realized that I’ve been narrow in my definition of dumplings. M and I made Tajik pumpkin and beef manti for me. They contained cumin and were topped with yogurt. They were flavorful and tender.

A peep into the steamer:

Manti cooling:

Quick hands are the key to plating manti!

Bow ties made from leftover manti dough:

M and I told me that it only took them 1 hour to make the manti from scratch. AMAZING!

Can I have hot bacon on the side?

Jon Stewart came to town last night. I usually don’t like stand up but I figured I should give him a chance.

Stewart started off the show by describing his first impressions.
Bloomington: A movie-set looking town, where intense eye contact is maintained, and where a fair trade, organic coffee shop can coexist with a store selling tasers!

The comments that really got me laughing were all food related of course; ranging from religious prohibitions of pork and shellfish to America: the home of the Whopper. I won’t even attempt to share these jokes with you because I am terrible at re-telling them.

Before we all got to the show, K, J, A, and I went to Lennies, aka Bloomington Brewing Company for dinner. While browsing through the menu A discovered Hot Bacon as a salad dressing option.

Hot Bacon? What could this be?

We tried to come up with concoctions that could carry that name.
Bacon with hot sauce? Or could it be literally hot bacon strips or pieces?

When our server came to take our order, J bravely asked. Gasps of horror escaped us all as we were told that it was 100% pure bacon oil(GREASE!).  According to our server, people who LOVE their bacon can’t get enough of it!

So what would Jon Stewart have said if he was there with us?


Playing it safe

Last night, I was too caught up with reading about the uncanny valley effect (this is when a human-like object- like robots or avatars- is so close to being human-like that it results in an unpleasant impression!) that I forgot to post the photos I promised!

Non-mayo: green bean salad with tomatoes and red onion mixed with a mustard vinaigrette

Mayo: Red and green cabbage with pickles, dill, and parsley.

At first, I was hoping to make sides that are not usually paired  with pizza to push people’s comfort levels.
But I decided this was a bad idea.  I don’t know my classmates that well and I don’t want them to have a bad impression of me.  So I decided to stick to sides that are somewhat odd but not too out there.

On a Buffet line

Scenario: You go to an event with a buffet line. The food just came out and the guests are being shy.

Which of the following statements best describes your behavior?

  1. Finders keepers, losers weepers!
    You make a straight run for the plates. (I like them when they are nice and warm)
  2. Playing it cool.
    You go to the bar or table and wait for more people to hop on to the buffet line.
  3. A little bit too late.
    You played the “cool” card a bit too long and found that most of the food disappeared.

Now, let’s examine what your plate looks like.

  1. It is piled high, to the max, with everything and ANYTHING!
  2. It is pretty full but not over crowded.
  3. It only has one category (appetizer/entree/dessert).

I usually make a dash to the line and fill up my plate to the brim, just because I’ve seen some horrors committed when you wait to0 long. The classic tragedy of the commons. Free food makes people misbehave.

But the other week, I was at a function (thanks SLIS!) and I played it cool, a bit too long. But in exchange, I was able to have a heart to heart with D.


The reason I bring up buffets is because I just had a very vivid dream about two different ones! The one I remember the most featured everything in a mayo-sauce. Mayo has been on my mind the past couple of days because I’m trying to decide what type of slaw to make for a class movie showing tomorrow. I promise I’ll be back with photos of the slaw I make later tonight!


I have been putting off this moment for quite some time now.

I am terrified of writing blogs.

(I learned in my Research Method’s class last spring that starting off with a confession or showing vulnerability is most effective in building trust with your audience.)

Why would anyone ever want to read what I have to say? Would I be clogging up space by becoming just another blogger? How will I know what impacts and consequences my blog may have? How can I be a responsible blogger?

The source of my fear is that once I add a new post, I won’t have control over it. It’s like when you accidentally let go of a balloon and you sink deeper in shame as you see it sail up, up, and away until it disappears.

I know all of this is silly (especially the pink blow fish balloon! I dare you to click on it), so I’ve decided that my goal for the next year is to work on overcoming my virtual stage fright!

I plan to share my food musings regularly. I hope my posts will make you want to respond and comment so that my thoughts become “anchored” rather than free-floating.