Insadong, Korean BBQ & Seafood Restaurant at North Road, Coquitlam

The members of the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen organised a field trip to a Korean Restaurant and a tour to a Korean Supermarket, led by Minnie and Lan. We went to Insadong, a Korean BBQ and Seafood Restaurant located at North Road, Coquitlam. We were told that dong means village in Korean language.

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Upon entering the restaurant, there is a glass wall with display of some Korean dolls dressed in traditional Korean clothing; certainly brings out the Korean atmosphere into the restaurant.

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Minnie and Lan, the Koreans among the group placed the order of the food. We ordered three dishes to share. We were served ‘rice tea’ and the rice came in metal tin with cover.

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First came all the side dishes which come free with your order. The best is you can ask for free refill of the side dishes. The side dishes consist of kimchi, braised potatoes, bean sprouts, sliced daikon and spinach.

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The first dish we ordered is Steamed Sliced Pork with Spicy Kimchi and Cabbage Wrap. This dish cost $19.99.

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Chinese New Year Potluck at Caring Place

Due to the busy schedule during Chinese New Year, the Caring Place and Gilmore Church Park community kitchen have a joint potluck during the Chinese New Year week instead of having two separate cooking classes with low participation.

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Potluck is always a great way to enjoy a variety of food. More so when we have a multinational group. From left, Minnie (Korean), Lorna (HongKonger), Angela (Chinese), Jenny (Taiwanese), Minoo (Persian), Mable (Chinese???), Jean (Canadian) and Forough (Iranian).

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Lorna brought a big platter of fishballs and meatballs with sar char sauce and soy sauce for dipping. The sar char sauce is too spicy for some people but not for me. Lorna also brought a plate of finger food made from cherry tomatoes and grapes stuffed with cheese and dried prunes. I especially like those stuffed with dried prunes.

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Chinese New Year Series: Hotpot

Believe it or not, we virtually ate non-stop for 5 hours after the Yee Sang. I had never been so full for as long as I remember. We just ate and chatted … and ate and chatted. The primary dish is the hotpot. Because of the number of people there, we had two separate hotpots going.

Hotpot is also known as Da Been Lo or Sang Woh in Cantonese. The best time to enjoy this is during the colder winter months. That is why at this time of the year, some of the Chinese grocery stores have sections dedicated only to hotpot ingredients.

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Hotpot is supposed to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. It consists of a simmering pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. It’s popular these days to use a double pot with a centre divider to have two types of broth — one a normal chicken/pork broth and the other the ultra spicy Thai tomyam broth.

Suanne and I were in charge of the “condiments” and sauces. We had once had hotpot in a restaurant in Richmond where they had available something like 15 sauces. So, we thought that we do the same too. Here is what Suanne prepared: green onions, ginger, cilantro, and three different types of chilli peppers.

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We went around the chinese grocery stores to scour for sauces. I think we got a dozen different ones. They include abalone sauce, hoisin sauce, minced garlic, crispy prawn chili sauce … and …

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… soya sauce, pickled chilli sauce, Thai chilli sauce, sesame sauce and satay sauce.

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The best sauce is still the Sah Cha sauce. This is a popular hotpot sauce originated from Taiwan which is also known as Barbecue sauce. These sauces are meant to be used as a dip and is not something you add to the hotpot.

I guess everyone just did not “get it” because the sauces and condiments went relatively untouched! Next time, I think I will do a demonstration first!

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There are also lots of meat balls of every kind … pork, beef, fish, prawns, squid and what nots. These are the only things that we can be sure the kids will eat. Polly and Vincent provided this, I believe.

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Prawns cooked very fast and adds a lot of flavor to the already flavorful broth. Yummy! Prawns with the shell on will impart more flavor. Double Yummy! Peeling the shells is half the fun when you are sitting around the table chatting. Nice touch, Janice and Bernie.

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Chinese New Year Series: Yee Sang

Check out our other Yee Sang post and video here.

Eating Yee Sang in Malaysia and Singapore is a tradition every Chinese New Year. Yee Sang is basically a Chinese raw fish salad. Unlike Japanese, Chinese do not eat raw fish, preferring it cooked. However, this is the only Chinese dish which we know contains raw fish. However, I must add that this is a dish invented in Singapore and is popular only in Malaysia and Singapore. So, if you ask Chinese outside of Malaysia and Singapore, they will very likely not know what Yee Sang is.

Half the fun in eating Yee Sang is by a communal tossing of the salad with chopsticks. The action of tossing is known as Lo Hei which symbolizes increasing prosperity, abundance and vigor. That is why this dish is very popular among businessmen.

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We gathered around the table with the kids to toss the Yee Sang. We had to make sure we briefed the kids how to toss or else, heaven forbid, they will throw the salad all over the place! They were excited over this alright. However, most of the kids does not like Yee Sang but the adults do.

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The Yee Sang is characterized by it’s colorfulness. It is served in a large flat platter with vegetables arranged around a small serving of raw fish in the middle. It had been many, many years since Suanne and I have last eaten Yee Sang. So, we were glad when Jess told us she knows how to make it. It looked really good and it smells great too … just like the Yee Sangs I used to know.

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Gilmore Community Kitchen Potluck

Here is another end of the year Potluck post. I promise this is the last one. 🙂

The Gilmore Park Church community kitchen also ended the year with a potluck. Potluck is a great way to share a variety of food especially when we have people from different cultures.

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Tanni shared with us some pork satay. The pork satay was quite spicy and flavourful. You know, in Malaysia there is no such thing as a pork satay. This is because Satay is a Malay (Muslim) food and they don’t touch pork at all. I would love to have some peanut sauce to go with it just the the way it should be.

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Martha made Japchae for the potluck. She told us that wood ear is a very important ingredient for the Japchae because it gives the dish the crunchiness.

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Minnie shared with us a Korean seafood and chives pancake. The pancake goes with a soy dipping sauce with peppers and green onions. (more…)

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Peace Mennonite Community Kitchen Potluck

I visited the Peace Mennonite Community Kitchen before the end of 2006 for the first time. There are five Cooking Clubs in the city of Richmond. I had been attending three of the cooking clubs regularly. They were having a potluck to end the session of 2006. Good timing!

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Here are some of the dishes shared by the members of the kitchen.

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Andrea brought a Spelt Salad, crunchy and healthy.

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Tito made a Cassava Cake. A soft, sticky and sweet dessert. This is a bit too soft for the type that I am accustomed to. I had actually made this a few days ago and will blog my version which is firmer. (more…)

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Fisherman’s Terrace Restaurant in Aberdeen Centre in Richmond

Fisherman’s Terrace Restaurant was really busy, perhaps due to Christmas and year end celebration. We had to wait quite a while even though we had reservation.

Something different about this restaurant is that their teapot has the label of the tea on the teapot. There is one disadvantage for non-Chinese reader eating here as the menu is only in Chinese. We have to order from the menu and not from a cart.

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We ordered twelve varieties of dim sum, some of them in two servings. Here is what we ordered…

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Cold Shredded Chicken Salad.

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Shark Fin and Scallop Dumpling. (more…)

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Caring Place Potluck 2006

It’s coming to the end of another year. The Caring Place Community Kitchen ended this year’s sessions with a potluck. No cooking demonstration this time, just everyone coming with food to share.

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This is a small group but have one the strongest supporters. The numero uno and the assistant group leader of the entire Richmond Cooking Community Kitchen is from this group. From left, Shaker, Angela, Minoo, Jean, Betty, Yvonne and me.

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Jean, who always cooks the most and creative dishes, made 3 dishes to share. I am always amazed with her ability to think of so many varied types of food to cook.

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The Chicken Pot Pie was flaky and had creamy rich sauce in the fillings. (more…)

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KL Series: Poh Ting’s Homecooked Meal

My sister-in-law is a prolific cook. When I was in Malaysia two months ago, she cooked up a storm. This time it was not any different. I love this kind of cooking — it is exactly the same type of food that mum cooks.

I really don’t know what these dishes are called and so I will just describe them. This one below is chicken and mushroom. What I like best about this is the sweet soya gravy. There is only one way to eat this … to drown the rice with the gravy. This is so good that sometimes I just had the gravy with rice only.

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Mum also makes this simple dish very often. It is long beans omelette. The long beans is diced into small pieces and then fried with eggs and soya sauce. The soya sauce give this dish a thinge of saltiness.

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Picnic at Riverfront Park

I organized a picnic among friends on Saturday last weekend at the Riverfront Park in south Vancouver. Seeing that it was the last weekend before the start of another school year, I wanted to make this picnic to end the summer with a bit of a bang. There were about 9 families in all.

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The Riverfront Park is a little known park located on E Kent Ave S, just south of SE Marine Drive at the turn off in Jellicoe. The park had a great view of the Fraser River and is very well maintained. It’s a great place for a quiet picnic.

As usual, the picnic is centered around food. Janice brought her peanut satay sauce marinated chicken wings. Bernie did all the barbequeing. The wings were very well grilled — and very juicy. He kept the supplies going for quite sometime.

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Eric is the master chef among all of us. He always try making something new for us each time we met. This time he made Briyani Chicken Rice. The Briyani Rice were flavourful and reeked with spices. It was awesome. Sabrina is such a lucky girl to have a husband who loves to cook!

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Wai Bing brought her homemade Vietnamese Rolls. She told us she learnt this from her sister just before she came to Vancouver. It was very nice, especially when it goes with sweet chilli sauce.

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