What a week! I had forgotten how good it feels to finally sit down.
Not only are we smack dab in the middle of a frantic holiday season, my cookbook was officially released on Tuesday! And in the days leading up to the book release party in Brooklyn, I was scrambling hard to get everything ready. There were arrangements to be made, groceries and supplies to buy, and plenty of food to make. Fortunately, decorations were easy enough, after a trip to The Container Store and a paper/craft supply store.
I had the party at 61 Local, a fantastic bar in Carroll Gardens with a gorgeous wide open interior. And for food, I made a big batch of dumplings, Sichuan cucumber salad, and Chinese almond cookies, all recipes straight from the cookbook. For extra fun, there was a raffle for a copy of the book plus a Kung Pao Chicken recipe kit from GrubKit, founded by my friends Max and Barb.
All in all, it was a great night with a great bunch of people, including close friends and family (and many hugs to Barb who was a huge help before and during the party.)
One of the things I'm constantly amazed by is how much the food blogging and start-up community in New York really support one another. As silly as this may sound, it's insanely heartwarming.
Those from the food community who came out on Tuesday included Veronica from Food52, Chitra from The ABCD's of Cooking, Kara from The Great Hot Dog Cook-Off, Melissa from Fork This, Kian from Red Cook, Casey from Good Food Stories, Justin from Justcook NYC, Margaret from Savory Sweet Living, Jackie from The Diva That Ate NY, Dan from ICE Culinary, Jen from Brooklyn Brainery, and Evan from CourseHorse. (If I left out anyone, please let me know!) It's amazing to think that food writing and teaching has not only brought an opportunity to devote two years to putting out a real live book but has also allowed me to get to know a great group of people, some of whom have become very good friends.
I've spent the last couple of days recuperating, answering emails and trying to work on this blog. After the frantic cooking of earlier in the week, I really couldn't muster up the energy to make anything elaborate for myself.
Which is where these noodles come in. These kimchi scallion noodles are basically ramen dressed with a little flair. They are easy, filling, and make use of ingredients I already had in my fridge and pantry. (Kimchi is a fridge staple here at Appetite for China HQ.) These noodles can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes, and can easily become the sort of comfort food you don't think twice about making after a long hectic day.
Or at the tail-end of a long, hectic, but incredibly exciting week.
Kimchi Scallion Noodles
Serves 2 as part of a multi-course meal, or 1 hungry person as a main course
- 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup kimchi
- 2 packs instant ramen, flavor packets discarded
- 1 small handful of peanuts, chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and water until smooth. Mix in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.
- Heat a small pan over low heat. Add the scallion whites and garlic and and gently cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant but before the garlic turns brown. Transfer the scallions and garlic to the peanut butter mixture. In the same pan, heat the kimchi on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, just to warm it up (you can leave it in the pan until the ramen is done.)
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook the ramen according to package instructions. Drain, return the noodles to the pot, and toss with the peanut butter-scallion mixture and kimchi. Transfer everything to a serving dish, top with the chopped peanuts and scallion greens, and serve.