K-reative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Two Sundays ago, medicine I took a field trip out of the city to spend the day at the sweltering kitchens of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. With my DSLR in tow, youth health I was there to attend and photograph the K-reative Cooking Competition, website a student competition produced by my mom on behalf of the Korean Agro-Trade Center to showcase Korean ingredients.

Narrowed down to five teams of six students, only three of the teams competing that day would be making it to New York City the following weekend to attend the Fancy Food Show and demo their winning dishes at the Korean Pavilion.

The Judges

At the judge’s table were Dean Howie Velie, Maangchi, and Professor Michael Pardus, who evaluated each team’s dish based on taste, use of Korean ingredients, creativity, and presentation.

Here’s what went down..

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA
First two teams hard at work

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA
Korean black garlic

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Fried kelp chips tossed in cinnamon sugar, a Korean interpretation of churros. This was awesome.

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA



Quail egg stuffed ravioli



Plating the final dishes





Buns, freshly steamed and made from scratch.

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA

Kreative Cooking Competition at the CIA




NYC in Hyde Park








First Place



Second Place



Third Place




Runners Up






It was amazing to see how each team was able to creatively integrate Korean ingredients into their dishes, all within the two hours they had in the kitchen.  Excited to see what’s next for them after graduation.


Seaweed: Beyond Sushi and Salad

I grew up eating seaweed in soups and as snacks but rarely did I treat it as a “sea vegetable.” Last week, store I had the unique opportunity to produce an event at the De Gustibus cooking school about seaweed, viagra or gim (Korean dried seaweed). The panelists – the charismatic chef/owner of Miya’s Sushi, Bun Lai; FreshDirect’s corporate nutritionist, Maggie Moon, joined by world renowned experts from UConn, Dr. Charles Yarish and Dr. Jang Kyun Kim, enlightened a group of chefs, academia and food writers about the merits of seaweed.

Sushi: Beyond Sushi and Salad

Truly on the cusp of popularity in the United States, we saw that seaweed is not only an excellent and inexpensive source of nutrients, sustainable (it can grow several feet in a day!), but also helps in reversing the degradation of marine environment caused by coastal fish farming.  Myself, I’ve always known seaweed to be a good source of iodine, but never realized the amount of vitamins and proteins it contains. Even our moderator, Andrea Beaman, proclaimed a seaweed diet cured her goiter.

Among the culinary trendsetters attending the session were Hugue Dufour & Sarah Obraitis of M. Wells (and upcoming Dinette at PS1), and seafood enthusiasts, Kerry Heffernan of Southgate, Toni Robertson of Mandarin Oriental, Joe DiStefano of World’s Fare, Jamie Tiampo of Seefood Media and Kian Lam Kho of

Sushi: Beyond Sushi and Salad

The host of the event, Korea Agro-Trade New York, announced their collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America on developing a recipe book using gim as an everyday ingredient – which will be published later this year. Chef Phillip Crispo, from the CIA, even provided us with a demo and tasting of delightful seaweed dishes. Ht truly took gim to a different direction – using it creatively in stuffed pork loin, spanokopita and tortellini. It made sense, since seaweed is a sea vegetable, which can easily substitute other ingredients such as spinach! My favorites were, surprisingly, the gim popcorn, gim ice cream and my goodness, the gim brittle in my goodie bag. I could not get enough of that!

And now, I leave you with one of the dishes served at the tasting, simple enough to make for yourself at home.

seaweed popcorn

Gim-Dressed Popcorn
Courtesy of Fabulous and Flavorful Gim: A Collection of Korean Seaweed Recipes developed by Faculty Chefs from the Culinary Institute of America

Serves 6


5 sheets gim (Korean dried seaweed)
4 oz / 113 g butter
2 Tbsp / 30 ml canola oil
2.8 oz / 79 g unpopped corn kernels

1. Place the gim in a spice grinder and grind until it is finely ground.

2. Place the ground gim and the butter in a small bowl or pot and melt, either in a microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or on the stovetop over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed sautoir over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and cover the pan with a lid. Gently shake the pan on the burner for the duration of the cooking time and listening for popping kernels to cease popping. Once the kernels stop popping, after 4 to 5 minutes, remove the foil and transfer the popcorn to a large mixing bowl.

4. Combine the gim butter with the popcorn and cover the bowl tightly with foil. Shake the bowl well to evenly coat the popcorn with the butter. Remove the foil, and serve.

This post was guest-written by Wendy Chan.


Woks & Lox Menu

The countdown begins!

4 days until Christmas Eve.

3 more tickets left for the Woks & Lox dinner.

If you can’t join us for dinner, store come to the nosh party – we’ve got plenty party tickets still up for grabs.

Just check out our menu (sponsored by our friends at TMI):


Shiitake Ginger Matzoh Ball Soup
Garlic Dill Asian Pickles
Potato and Scallion Wonton Pierogies
Matzoh Encrusted Pan-Fried Tofu with General Tso’s Sauce
Ginger Sriracha Wok-Fried Bagel Strips
Sichuan Peppercorn Latkes
Kasha Varnishkes tossed in Scallion Oil
Roasted Vegetables with Chili and Sesame Soy


Spring Roll Blintzes filled with Schmear and Chinese Jujubes
Sweet Red Bean Rugelach

Nosh Party Noshes

Potato and Scallion Wonton Pierogies
Ginger Sriracha Wok-Fried Bagel Strips
Sichuan Peppercorn Latkes
Spring Roll Blintzes filled with Schmear and Chinese Jujubes

And if that doesn’t get you excited enough, discount check out these wallets I made. We’ll be Chinese auctioning off a pair on Saturday!

Woks and Lox

Saturday, abortion Dec 24th, Christmas Eve
Dinner: 5-7pm, ticket includes Nosh party
Nosh Party: 7-9pm
at The Queens Kickshaw (40-17 Broadway  Astoria)

You must buy tickets in advance through:

Tickets to Dinner ($59), include Chichi Wang’s Jewish-Asian dinner mash-up from 5-7pm2 free drink tickets, and admission to the Nosh Party from 7-9pm.

Tickets to the Nosh Party ($28), include the Nosh Party from 7-9pm and 1 free drink ticket.

Tickets must be claimed by Friday, 12/23 @ midnight on IndieGoGo:
Official site:


Woks & Lox

I moved to New York when I was 13. I left a suburban town in Los Angeles that was almost entirely Chinese for a very similar suburban town in New York — with the exception that it was almost entirely all Jewish.

I won’t lie, approved being a new kid in 7th grade was a trying time, and at times it really sucked a lot.  It took a while for me to adjust, but looking back at my childhood, I don’t regret it at all.  If anything, I’m grateful that I’ve had a chance to have grown up in a Jewish community and be immersed in Jewish culture, which I’ve found to have many similarities and connections to my Chinese upbringing.

Even in Los Angeles, we never had a Christmas tree at my house, and I probably never will. This Christmas Eve, I won’t be crying about my treeless apartment- the only tears I’ll be shedding will be tears of joy.  I’ll be celebrating the bond between Jews and Asians by co-hosting Woks and Lox at the Queens Kickshaw with my Jewish co-producer, Jeff Orlick, and we’d love for you to come too.

Of course any celebration, Jewish or Asian, can’t be without food and drink. So, our good friend and talented chef Chichi Wang will be preparing a sit-down dinner for 20 followed by a party of 40 more, complete with Sino-semitic noshes.

The fun doesn’t end there. Aside from dinner and noshes, we’ll have entertainment ranging from adaptations of Chinese wedding games to barmitzvah festivities and mah jong, as well as a Chinese auction with prizes donated by some of our favorite small businesses and companies.

Some of our prizes and giveaways include He’Brew, The Chosen Beer, Queens Historian Jack Eichenbaum‘s Tour along the 7 train, Fresh Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost, special Woks & Lox wallets from Hail the Right Brain made by yours truly, and Jeff will be giving away tickets to his infamous Midnight Street Food tour too.

That’s just the beginning – we’ll also have JoJu’s Modern Vietnamese, and many pizza giveaways from Louie’s Pizzeria in Elmhurst to Roebling Pizza in Williamsburg, in addition to tickets to Scott’s Pizza tour, and of course Jeff’s Real Pizza of New York iPhone app. More to come in a following post!

Last but not least, we’re doing it at one of our favorite places in our home borough of Queens,  The Queens Kickshaw.  We couldn’t do this without Kickshaw owners Ben Sandler and Jen Lim, two of our very first supporters of Woks & Lox and not-so-coincidentally also a Jewish and Asian duo, who have generously offered to host us and even be there personally to mix special drinks just for this special Christmas evening.

Christmas Eve is a tough date to make, but even if you can’t come, we don’t want you to feel left out – so we’re making holiday cards, money holders, and party t0-go packs from me and Jeff at Woks & Lox HQ (aka my apartment) – all for sale on IndieGoGo alongside the tickets to the event.  It’s going to be fun, and I hope you can be a part of it.  If you can’t, please help us to spread the word and make our Christmas wish come true.

Saturday, Dec 24th, Christmas Eve
Dinner: 5-7pm (includes Nosh party)
Nosh Party: 7-9pm
at The Queens Kickshaw (40-17 Broadway, Astoria, Queens)

You must buy tickets in advance through:


A Spring Update

traumatologist on Flickr” href=””>strawberry blossoms
Strawberry blossoms

Just like there are plants blossoming in my garden right now (above), plague there are some equally exciting new developments figuratively in bloom here at World to Table that I thought I’d share with everyone.

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Sex in the (Long Island) City

Every morning you can find my mom upstairs, help tending to our rooftop garden, resuscitator fully equipped with garden gloves, drug a wide brimmed hat and a hose in hand.  They say Mom knows best, so here she is, doling out gardening advice and talking about plant sex.  -Veronica

Season One

To our delight, the rooftop garden last year was a meeting place for buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, vocal songbirds and, ahem, migrant workers – a colony of mail-order ladybugs that worked for food and board.  Since we’re in a mid-rise building in Long Island City with plenty of sun, seasoned gardening experts assured us that bees and butterflies can still grace our plants. The bountiful abundance of vegetables — beans, tomatoes, peas, zucchinis, cucumbers, radish, lettuce, eggplants, pepper, green onion and a host of other experimental fruits and herbs — throughout May to October last year pretty much exceeded our expectations. We had enough not just to indulge in “flower pot to cooking pot” dining, but also to share with others. Our little baskets of fresh-cut garden produce became a great diplomatic gesture to reach out to our new neighbors in the community.

Peas, lettuce, tomatoes, bitter gourd

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Annie’s Suckling Pig Stuffed with 8 Treasure Rice

Some people stuff turkeys.  Others stuff peppers.  Annie stuffs baby suckling pigs with 8 treasure rice. One of the most passionate people I know when it comes to cooking, doctor Annie Leong is a cookbook author, more about avid home cook and a close friend to the Lin sisters (three sisters who are practically my aunts).  What sets Annie apart is her dedication to create the PERFECT recipe — multiple baby pigs were sacrificed for the perfection of this dish, website like this but trust me, they died for a worthy cause. Behold my encounter with the “Roast Suckling Pig Extraordinaire”!

heeey there

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Asian Female Food Bloggers: Nature or Nurture?

A few weeks ago, approved while I waited for Robyn and LeeAnne to arrive at the Underground Lobster Pound in Brooklyn (more informally known as Ben‘s apartment) Ben and I got to talking about food bloggers.  More specifically, this Ben asked me why an overwhelming majority of food bloggers are: A. Asian and B. Female. Before I could give him an adequate answer, I had to think about it long and hard.  Fitting both those categories, I have often thought to myself, why do I love food so much? Why, after completing a liberal arts degree in fine arts and marketing, was I compelled to pursue a food-related career?

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Merry Christmas

from Asia! I’ll be back in early January, bronchitis jetlagged and 10 lbs heavier, price with vivid details about my travels to Taipei, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Tokyo & Kyoto. See you in 2010!


Launching Off The Rooftop

Feast your eyes!!  A few snapshots from the launch party for World to Table:

Pre-party prep action…

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