Gaza Korean Restaurant unveils the culture of Korean BBQ!

meat..Meat..and MEAT!!! What kind of cuisines do you think of when you want to eat unlimited amount of grilled beef briskets, galbi steak, marinated chicken and pork belly? That’s right, Korean cuisine!

I was starving the whole day today so I decided to visit one of West Lafayette’s well-known Korean restaurant, Gaza Korean BBQ restaurant, with a couple of my friends for dinner tonight. The restaurant serves unlimited Korean BBQ, ranging from marinated chicken and pork belly to the popular Galbi steak and thin sliced beef brisket. Since I ate at the restaurant tonight, I decided to share some interesting information to you all about Korean barbecue. Korean barbecue, or known as Gogigui, means “meat + roasting”, which is a Korean method of grilling beef, chicken and pork. Most Korean restaurants have gas or charcoal grills that are built into the tables and thus, making it easy for people to cook meat on top of the grills.

These grills are built into the tables and thus making it easier for customers to cook their meat.

These grills are built into the tables and thus making it easier for customers to cook their meat.

The most well-known or popular meat of Gogigui is bulgogi meat, which is the thin-sliced beef brisket that I had at Gaza Korean Restaurant tonight. Buigogi meat are extremely popular because they are beef sirloin or tenderloin and they are very tender and sweet. According to the poll, bulbogi is listed as number 23 on World’s 50 most delicious food, compiled by CNN GO in 2011. Another famous meat that people normally order is galbi. Galbi is different from buigogi in which it is made from marinated beef short ribs and it can be divided into several categories. The galbi I had at Gaza Korean Restaurant early today was Wang Galbi, which is one of the best and most tradition galbi out of all types of galbi.

Grilled Korean Bulgogi

Grilled Korean Bulgogi

Grilled Korean Galbi

Grilled Korean Galbi

Other well-known meat that are ordered in a Korean Restaurant would be short steaks marinated with sesame oil (jumulleok), spicy pork bulgogi (dwaeji bulgogi), and think unsalted bacon/pork belly (samgyeopsal).

There are three kinds of sauces that come with the meat and the three sauces are sesame oil with garlic paste, miso sauce, and spicy chili sauce. My favorite sauce is the mixture of sesame oil with garlic paste sauce and miso sauce because both sauces help bring out the tenderness and taste of the meat and just makes the entire meal more satisfying. I am not a fan of spicy hot food so I don’t particularly like the spicy chili sauce but my friends love the sauce a lot so if you are visiting Gaza Korean Restaurant anytime soon, don’t hesitate to try all three sauces because I guarantee you that you will fall in love in one of the three sauces!

Left: Sesame Oil with Garlic paste Right: Miso Sauce

Left: Sesame Oil with Garlic paste
Right: Miso Sauce

Sometimes when you go to a Korean BBQ restaurant, don’t be surprised that you will get full really fast. And definitely don’t be even surprised when you find out that you didn’t actually get full from the meat, but from the side dishes. Korean BBQ restaurant normally offers customers a variety kind of side dishes. These side dishes normally include potato salad, kimchi, spicy cucumbers, hot tempura, grilled asparagus and green sprouts with sesame oil. These side dishes could be refilled anytime you want. Thus, many customers normally get full just by eating the side dishes. Although these side dishes are extremely delicious, I would rather to be full from the meat than the side dishes. So if you plan on visiting a Korean BBQ restaurant in the future, be sure not to reorder or refill the side dishes, as you will find yourself getting full by eating them with no time! Below is a picture of the variety choices of side dishes that are typically offered in a Korean BBQ restaurant.

Korean side dishes

Korean side dishes

 

After hearing and knowing a general information about unlimited Korean BBQ, I believe you are as hungry as I am and cannot wait to visit a Korean Restaurant soon! So if you plan on visiting a Korean BBQ restaurant, be sure to check out West Lafayette’s Gaza Korean Restaurant! Not only do they offer unlimited Korean BBQ, they also have menu for single orders. Whether you’re eating unlimited grill or just ordering an individual Korean dish, side dishes will always be offered. But remember, don’t just let the side dishes fill your stomach up! For more information about Gaza Korean Restaurant, please visit their website: http://www.gazagrill.com. I hope you will get a chance to taste these awesome food!

 

JSA’s Cooking Class Event Coming Up This Saturday

Doesn’t this Matcha green tea cake look absolutely delicious? 

What about this yummy-looking Oyakodon? 

Whether you are a Japanese anime fanatic or food lover, definitely don’t miss out this Saturday’s Cooking Class event! The JSA officers will be providing the cooking equipments and will be playing anime films for everyone to watch and enjoy. I am a Japanese food lover and so I will also be at the event. Don’t hesitate to come find me and we will chitchat about Japanese food, language, films, etc! So mark this event on your calendar and planner because you surely don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn some cool and delicious recipes!

For more general information about the event, check out the bullet points below:

  • Date: Mar. 1, 2014
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Location: International Center
    523 Russell Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906
  • Fees: $ 5 for members; $8 for nonmembers

Also, be sure to check out the event’s agenda below:

a) Oyakodon (親子丼)- Rice topped with chicken and eggs
TIME: 10:00AM – 12:00 PM
INSTRUCTOR: Jingyi Xu
b) Nikujaga(肉じゃが)- Beef with potatoes
TIME: 12:00PM – 2:00 PM
INSTRUCTOR: Mao Konishi
c) Matcha Pound Cake(抹茶パウンドケーキ)- Green tea pound cake
TIME: 2:00PM – 4:00 PM
INSTRUCTOR: Ming Lee

Pho soup attracts customers in this cold, freezing weather!

Spring is almost around the corner, but our beloved winter hasn’t really left yet. It was relatively warm in the past few days until last night when the snow shower hit West Lafayette again! Not only do delivery restaurants such as Papa Johns and Rice Cafe receive massive phone calls and food orders due to the cold and snowy weather, Green Leaf Restaurant, an authentic Vietnamese restaurant down at the River market, also attracts people to the restaurant for a bowl of hot noodle soup and hot bubble teas!

When speaking of Vietnamese food, pho is the first thing to come to mind. I have personally interviewed Tina Tran, the owner of Green Leaf Restaurant, briefly about the origin of pho. Tina explained that pho was brought to the United States by Vietnamese refugees during the Second World War and it was heavily influenced by both Chinese and French cooking. She also said that rice noodles and spices were imported from China whereas the French popularized the eating of red meat. With this in mind, the ingredients in the Vietnamese pho has made it possible to be a one-of-the-kind noodle soup around the world.

I personally have been to Green Leaf Restaurant for a couple times this winter and I really love the soup in Green Leaf Restaurant. After hearing what Tina said about the history of pho, I feel like I am more attached to Vietnamese food. Whenever I eat the noodle soup, I would think of the Chinese and French spices and meat that help contribute and make this Vietnamese dish possible. Whenever I go to Green Leaf Restaurant in the weekends, it is always filled with tons of people and soups. The waiters and waitresses of the restaurant are also very friendly, nice and patient. One think I like a lot about this restaurant is that the entire restaurant is filled with Vietnamese atmosphere in which the music and teas are all authentic Vietnamese. For those of you who are interested in knowing what the restaurant is like, I have attached a short slide show at the bottom of this post.

If you feel like visiting this restaurant before the winter slips away, below are some basic information about the restaurant!

  • Address: 111 S River Road, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Phone number: 765-743-2288
  • Hours: Mon-Sat- 11AM-9:30PM
    Sun- 12PM-8PM

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now it’s time for you to leave the house, get to the restaurant and get yourself a bowl of hot, yet authentic Vietnamese soup!

Illegal to be fat, are you kidding me?

Asia has the largest shopping mall in the world, has its own version of Christmas Day and even has a universal birthday! What else more? I was reading an article online this morning and came across a very interesting, yet disturbing topic: it is illegal o be fat in Asia, especially Japan. Now I know that many people, including me, are offended and irritated by this statement. What is wrong with being big and what is wrong with being a size-10 or 12 or 20 girl? It is normal and genuine across the world. But when it comes to Asia, it’s a sensitive topic. I am a size-6 girl and I consider myself as healthy and fit. I am satisfied with my body and self-image but I can’t deny that whenever I go to countries like South Korea, Japan and even my hometown, Taiwan, my high self-esteem and confidence just drop off the radar. I thought that it was just me the whole time who was being a bit too obnoxious about myself and that people actually don’t care about my body image. But now I can tell prove that it is not me who’s being sensitive, it is the distorted attitudes of Asians that got myself trapped in my body image.

Below is the link to the article:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/japan/091109/fat-japan-youre-breaking-the-law

Buddhist Study Group at West Lafayette

When it comes to the West, we think of Christianity as our main religion. However, it is not the same in the East. There are many religions emerging in the East such as Taoism, Shintoism, Hinduism and Buddhism. In Taiwan, the dominant religion is Buddhism and people widely worship Buddha in their daily lives. Committed Buddhists go to temples almost every day and they are strictly Vegetarians as they believe eating meat is a crime. People who are busier will still go to temples at least once a month. It is not rare to find a Buddhist temple here at the United States but it may be hard to find one here in Lafayette and West Lafayette. I have recently came across a West Lafayette Buddhist Study Group here at West Lafayette and its core objectives are to host meditation sessions and being in the “loop” about local meetings and other activities related to Buddhism. For those who are interested in learning more about the Buddhist Study Group, please visit their website: http://www.meetup.com/west-lafayette-buddhist-study/

Other Buddhist groups in West Lafayette and the state of Indiana:

Buddha Statue

Buddha Statue

Taiwan, South Korea and Japan celebrate White Day.

Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, what’s next? In most Asian countries such as Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, people celebrate White Day, which is on March 14, a month after Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, women and girls normally prepare presents for their boyfriends or people they admire as an expression of love, affection and courtesy. Typical gifts are usually handmade chocolates and cookies. However, on White Day, reverse happens in which men will prepare gifts for the women who sent them gifts on Valentine’s Day as a return of favor. Sometimes if a man prepares gifts for  the woman who gave chocolates to him on Valentine’s Day, it is a sign of approving the woman and willing to love her back. 

Nowadays, many Taiwanese celebrate the White Day and girls usually anticipate their presents from their boyfriends or people they love. White Day is highly celebrated as Valentine’s Day by Taiwanese and many other Asians from around the world. 

Now that you know what White Day is, it is time to wait and anticipate your chocolates from your other half on March 14! 

Where’s my Valentine? How about some Taiwanese cuisines?

It’s Valentine’s Day today! Are you thinking of what to eat or where to go on this special day? Forget the common sandwiches, hamburgers, and prime ribs that we normally eat on special occasions, maybe it is time to try something different, fresh and authentic- Taiwanese food! When a foreign walks on the streets in Taiwan, it’s not surprised that they will see Taiwanese restaurants everywhere, every street and every block. Taiwanese love to eat and try different kinds of food. From stinky tofu, Shanghai style dumplings and braised pork rice to shaved ice mountain, bubble teas and Taiwanese mochi, Taiwanese enjoy all kinds of food and sweets that not only reflect their cultural background but also their authentic and diverse taste for the food. Below are some pictures of the kind of Taiwanese food that we simply just can’t live without!

1. Beef Noodles 
beefnoodles
 Beef noodles is one of the most authentic and popular dishes in Taiwan. The soup is beef broth, served mainly with udon, Lo Mein or rice noodles and topped with green onions. Beef is normally served with either shredded beef or beef cubes. In Taiwan’s competitive market for beef noodles, beef has to be tender and chewy in order to stand out in the crowd.

2. Stinky Tofu
stinkytofu

When it comes to the most classic and original Taiwanese traditional food, Stinky tofu is one of the best. It could be seen as love-it or hate-it dish  as some people love the taste of it yet some people hate the smell that comes out of it. Tofu is deep-fried and it is topped with sweet and spicy sauce. Normally the dish comes with non-spicy kimchi.

3. Pineapple Cake
pineapplecake

Pineapple cake is another traditional food in Taiwan. Yet, it is more like a snack than a meal. Pineapple cakes are normally used as souvenirs for friends or family due to its iconic flavor. This Taiwanese pastry is made with mini-pies filled with candied pineapples. Thumbs up for this iconic flavor!

There are a lot more traditional and delicious Taiwanese food that are flavorful and iconic. For more references or information, check out CNN’s report on the 45 Taiwanese foods that people can’t live without: http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/eat/40-taiwanese-food-296093

If you are hungry for these Taiwanese food now, Echo Karaoke by the Wabash Landing in West Lafayette is not featuring Taiwanese cuisines!
Check out the menu below: 
echofood

Be sure to stop today for your Valentine’s dinner! It will be an unforgettable dinner!