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kalbi jjim, red bean pastries, and khao sarn's larb kai

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kalbi jjim, red bean pastries, and khao sarn's larb kai

apple | Mar 14, 2003 10:21 AM

so i recently had dinner at sage with a friend, and his scallop entree featured a crisp cone-shaped wedge of buttered toast that was filled with shreds of braised oxtail meat. sweet and rich, meltingly tender. it reminded me of a dish that i ate all the time growing up in korea - braised beef short ribs (kalbi jjim) - but i haven't really had a chance to try it in Boston-area restaurants (or the US, for that matter). it usually has chestnuts, sometimes gingko nuts. and it's DAMN good. now i'm hoping to feed it to my enthralled friend, who looked so forlorn when all of sage's rendition was gone from his plate. an acquaintance once mentioned a local Korean restaurant who does kalbi jjim well, but i've since forgotten the name. any clues?

i'm also in search of any exciting korean pastries, especially anything with red (adzuki) bean. a korean bakery would be ideal, but there's a lot of overlap between korean and japanese patisserie styles (i believe we borrowed from them originally), so an exciting japanese bakery would also do. (seoul bakery in allston is a disgrace (sorry), and i like japonaise in brookline but i'm looking for something new). really, if any of you chowhounds are planning a trip to seoul, you must let me know so i can tell you where to go. we really do have phenomenal bakeries - loads of red bean and chestnut puree pastries, cookies, puffs and rolls, fresh cream cakes, sigh...and no one i know ever buys their bread at the supermarket - local bakeries abound on every street corner like paris, so it's more of a daily-run kind of deal. anyway, i'm really craving red-bean. i would be especially thrilled if anyone knew of a red-bean "boong-uh bbang" vendor. ("fish bread" is the best translation i can fudge up.) "fish breads" are those hot, fish-shaped waffles filled with steaming red-bean paste that are sold on the street during wintertime. right alongside the roasted sweet potatoes and whole chestnuts. (i think they also have them in japan.)

i also wanted to thank you all for your responses to my query about almond paste and some other baking items. i stopped by at dairy fresh candies last weekend and had a ball.

one other thing - is it just me that finds khao sarn's larb a bit on the bland side? i went in for dinner last night, and though it was fresh and plentiful, i thought the spiciness was much too mild. i'm used to it being saltier, spicier, and more liberal with its use of cilantro and shallots. would it be fair to assume, then, that i should generally expect a dumbed-down rendition of most of their dishes unless i put in a special request for "pet, pet?"

happy friday, with great thanks,
apple

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