extended seattle layover

IMG_4252

So Miss Fats is going to indulge in a bit of a cop-out post for you all.  Here comes the first “instagram round-up.”  She’s not the biggest fan of this form of blogging, but is beginning to see the benefits of round-up post.  After all, Miss Fats is incredibly aware of the fact that not everyone is an avid follower of her ‘grams.  Why is beyond her. (Probably because she doesn’t actually provide you with any way to do so on this blog…oops. She’ll fix these things…)

So for those of you who don’t know, half of Miss Fats is about to embark on the most insane food vacation of her life.  For five weeks, she’ll be eating her way through Singapore, up the West Coast of Malaysia and Taiwan.  Absolute nonsense.  Instead of perpetually being covered in flour, she’s ready to be covered in sweat and smell of rich fish broth and spices as she consumes all meals with her hands on banana leaves.  Next week, Miss Fats will take on Asia with one of her oldest and most glutenous of friends, T.  Both are going to try real hard to not murder each other, but no guarantees.  No, for real: many childish battles will ensue.  Luckily, their mutual obsession with eating and all things weird and food related is what bonds them together for life.  Just wait for the fight over the fish eye. So Sunday Sundaes is going to Southeast Asia for August: readers should prep themselves to get real hungry as the mountain of food pornography actually breaks the interweb.

However before Miss Fats gets to eat Asia, she been killing time in Seattle.  Uninterested in paying rent in August, she chose to spend two weeks in the Pacific Northwest, dining on sushi with Obachan, smelling of B.O. after a big bowl of pho (folks know what I’m talking about) and enjoying a little break from the heat and humidity.  Eating has the been activity of choice for the last week as she made her way through many of her favorite spots.  And for the sake of time and energy, she’s giving you guys the abbreviated version of her activities in ‘gram form.  However she’d like you to consider this a visual travel guide for all future Seattle visits: take religious notes.

IMG_4223IMG_4234IMG_4241IMG_4236

moving from left to right, top to bottom
1. Day one, Miss Fats had to immediately consume Veggie pho at Pho Than Brothers. Seattlites will know this is a bit of a controversial statement to make.  Most hardcore pho lovers have their designated spot for the ultimate steaming bowl of soup and will fight tooth and nail to defend favorite joint.  Miss Fats holds fast with Than brother on the Ave. She’ll refrain from backing her choice here, because her love of that veggie pho on the Ave could fill at least ten separate posts (so much poetry could be written).  But for those of you who want a shouting match, feel free to call Miss Fats up and get ready for a fight.

2. The next day Miss Fats met her food friend J in Pioneer Square for some of the best cured meat of your life at Salumi.  Pictured above is the spicy spicy smoked paprika salami with fresh, house-made mozzarella, onions, peppers and garlic spread on their chewy, fresh loaf of bread.  This sandwich is perfect.  J ended up doubling perfection by grabbing the same as Miss Fats to go and then indulging in the grilled lamb with roasted red pepper business.  Meaty goodness.

3. Friday night brought Miss Fats friend, A into town from Portland.  It’s been over a year since she’s seen A, but whenever she and Miss Fats do get together, they do the food scene right.  (A is the ultimate city tour guide: she knows Portland and Seattle fun times like no other.)  This night was no exception.  They ended up at Little Uncle on Capitol Hill, which is just a little walk up front with a register, and exposed kitchen where you can see them get their wok-on as they fry up some fresh and tasty Thai goodness.  The menu is short and sweet (Miss Fats is a big fan of that) and features one or two daily specials.  Miss Fats went with the special: Dungeness Crab Fried Rice.  She’d like you to now just image giant hunks of sweet, fresh crab in your mouth.  Yep.  That’s what it was like.

4. A ended up going with the Kao Soi Gai, or chicken curry egg noodles, simmering in a crazy flavorful coconut broth and topped with a beautiful mound of crispy noodles and bean sprouts.  Squeeze that lime over top and enjoy.

IMG_4242IMG_4249

5. No line on a Friday night?  Miss Fats had to just do it: big ‘ol scoop of Molly Moon’s Strawberry Balsamic ice cream.

6. This may look like shitty food porn.  FALSE.  It’s the most crazy delicious Caribbean Pork Roast sandwich you could possible consume.  Miss Fats waited for forty-five minutes post hot yoga workout (if you know hot yoga hunger, you get just how dire circumstances were.  It was worth it.)  She can’t even begin to explain the mound of spiced pork shoulder, grilled onions, pickled jalapenos, all mounded on a chewy baguette.  Meat face mess. Pure bliss.

IMG_4268IMG_4274IMG_4279IMG_4283

7. What’s better than all this epic Seattle dining?  A big ‘ol pot of Obachan’s sukiyaki.  She’s gettin’ real with that giant pan of Japanese goodness.  You can’t really tell from Miss Fat’s ‘gram, but her preferred mode of cooking is seated on a step stool with the longest pair of chopsticks ever made.

8. Sukiyaki heaven.

9. Here’s T consuming the leftovers from Miss Fats and Obachan’s dinner.  This is pretty typical: T shows up at around 10 pm, mounds up a plate of food and demolishes it.  It’s like she’s a tiny magic elf that sneaks in the middle of the night and delivers gifts or cleans the kitchen.  Only she in fact steals all the food and never does dishes. Please also take note of the size of that helping.  Cleaned her plate, obviously.

10.  Miss Fats kept the Japanese feast going with a Chirashi lunch special over at Kisaku. Fish fest deal of the century.  Best part of this fresh meal, however, was the food conversation with her taciturn brother, K.  After offering her leftover miso soup, K garbled, “I made a sandwich out of a pizza this morning, so that kind of limits how much I can eat.”  No exactly sure how to respond, Miss Fats inquired what was on this “sandwich” and why there wasn’t proper documentation of it.  Apparently it was pepperoni “bread,” mayo, cheese and meatballs.  Kudos to K’s heart for not just giving out then and there.  Miss Fats isn’t sure if she doubts whether their related, or has never felt more certain that they are.

IMG_4289IMG_4296IMG_4317IMG_4331

11. This was Miss Fats failed attempt to “work” at her favorite donut shop, Mighty-O Donuts.  On the bright side, look at that crazy good lemon poppy seed donut.  (Not pictured: the cinnamon sugar one she immediately shoved in her mouth.)

12. This was the even more pathetic attempt at a “planning meeting” with T at Swirl Frozen Yogurt.  They thought it would be a good idea to meet for some fro yo and trip planning.  Only fro yo was consumed.

13. It’s beyond Miss Fats, but somehow she ended up at a Mariners game.  She has VERY strict rules about baseball: she only attends once a year if it’s free.  This was not free.  Miss Fats doesn’t understand what happened.  However, this trip to the ballpark was not actually motivated by the game (naturally).  Instead, Miss Fats friends’ T and K were more interested in the chicken and waffle sandwich.  Rather than shelling out a load of cash on stadium food, Miss Fats opted for sneaking in her favorite fish burrito from Rancho Bravo (sorry, not pictured).

14. After all the eating was done, Miss Fats got real bored.  Luckily that just meant it was time for dessert.

IMG_4338IMG_4336IMG_4343

15-17. Miss Fats had some serious bento box lunch special with Obachan at Fuji Sushi. For $10 she got sashimi, saba shioyaki, california rolls (obviously not eaten), miso soup, salad and rice.  Boom. Obachan demolished her bento (as per usual) and followed up the feast with an epic food coma.  Miss Fats sat down to check email and she looked over to see Obachan snoring in a blissful state of post-bento consumption.  Gurl knows how to live.

Thus concludes week one of Seattle images.  Miss Fats has many more pictures to share, but is currently headed out to Ocean Shores for some middle-aged vacation time.  She intends to do some serious grilling, paddle boating, biking and clamming.  Three slow days of lounging around with a book, rousing games of Yahtzee and binging on s’mores.  More ‘grams to come.

Advertisements

Obachan’s Sukiyaki

IMG_0454Now this is a treat, people.  Miss Fats is sharing a serious secret with you today.  She’s going to give you the run down on Obachan’s famous sukiyaki.  This is easily Miss Fats’ most requested meal by her oldest friends who have had the delight of sitting down with Obachan over a steaming, giant pan of her magical sukiyaki.  They’ll testify to the pleasure party of this dining experience.

For those of you who might not be familiar with sukiyaki, it’s a communal pot of goodness featuring an array of ingredients cooked in a salty sweet broth and consumed with japanese sticky rice.  Though the picture above may look like shitty food porn, it’s actually a tasty combination of items from which you can pick and choose (but lets get real: you just grab some of everything).  The communal pot (how Obachan always serves it up), allows people to choose anything from meat to vegis and makes this dish infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  The key is really the cooking process and the broth itself.  This no fuss family style meal is also perfect for a little dinner party or larger groups of people (permitting you have a big enough pan.  You should see Obachan’s: it’s bigger than her. No seriously.)

IMG_0434Miss Fats will say that this dish requires a bit of hunting for ingredients.  However that’s really only if you want to stick with the recipe exactly.  The sukiyaki meat in particular can prove challenging.  This super thin sliced beef is the perfect tender cut for the quick cooking and communal pot.  She recommends aiming for a cut of beef that resembles  Philly Cheese Steak meat. The other challenge is the shiraki, or japanese yam noodles.  However thanks to the low carb fad, many grocery stores actually carry them in the guise of some bullshit “magic” noodle name.  These can typically be found near the tofu at gourmet grocery stores (they will be vastly marked up, so if you do have an Asian grocery store nearby, Miss Fats recommends heading there first).

IMG_0422The yummy broth base may require some hunting, but once you have them on hand, you can make this dish whenever you want.  The trickiest item would be the mirin, a sweet japanese cooking wine that is key.  Miss Fats has seen this at many grocery stores in the Asian foods aisle, but again, it will be overpriced.  She highly recommends a trip to the Asian Grocery store to pick up the shiraki, meat, mirin, and sake.  Over-buy and hoard.  The meat freezes well.

IMG_0436So Miss Fats is going to give you the run down on this process featuring the standard ingredients to be found in Obachan’s pot.  However she also highly recommends the addition of cabbage, green beans, broccoli and water chestnuts (not all at once unless you have some sort of crazy monster pot).  In order to make this happen you need a pot at least 3-4 inches deep that had a lid and the wider the better.  Miss Fats has never tried this in a stock pot, but she doesn’t see why it wouldn’t work.  Lastly, feel free to alter the amounts of any of these ingredients: if you dig on those noodles, fill half your pan (Miss Fats’ fantasy sukiyaki).  For you meat lovers out there, you can also cook as much meat as you want, and simple reserve the excess in the bowl that you keep off to the side. (Obachan always does this for the boys.)

Obachan’s Sukiyaki:
6-8 servings
serve with white rice

1 1/2 lbs of sukiyaki beef, or thin cut
1 onion, thick sliced
1 8 oz package of shiraki noodles (or yam noodles)
1/2 package of tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bunch or 5-6 green onions, roughly chopped including most of the green
1 small can of bamboo shoots
4-5 eggs (or however many people you have)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cooking sake
2-3 tbs mirin (to taste)
3 tbs sugar (to taste)
water
1 tbs or so of oil

IMG_04391. Heat oil in pan over medium high heat.  Add the beef, breaking it up and cooking until just brown (this should only take a couple of minutes.  Reduce the head to medium low, add the soy sauce, sake, sugar and mirin.  Stir and taste the broth.  Add more of any of the ingredients to taste.  You are aiming for a nice balance between sweet and savory.  The broth should be really concentrated at this point: do not worry.  The water added at the end will dilute it.

2. Section off the beat into a pie-piece like mound (see above).  Following this arrangement, add the onions, tofu, shiraki, and bamboo shoots, doing your best to keep them relatively contained to individual sections.  Leave a little space for the green onions (or any other quicker-cooking vegis you want to add).  Pour enough water into the pot so it almost covers all the ingredients.  Cover, turn the heat up to high, and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it.

3. Once you see the onions start to turn translucent, add the green onions and eggs.  For the eggs, use chopsticks or any cooking utensil, to create little pockets and break them into the space.  Cover and cook until your eggs are to your liking and the onions are soft.

IMG_0449See: not so hard.  To serve this up, Miss Fats recommends just throwing down a hot pad onto the table and plunk this sucker down.  (Obachan’s is so large and heavy, she always requires help with the carry to the table.)  All you need to do is lay down a little white rice and go to town on this thing.  Make sure you’ve got a big ‘ol spoon to scoop up broth too.

IMG_0450

This meal comes with a warning, however.  No matter how hard you try, this dish will never be as good as Obachan’s.  Believe her: Miss Fats has been expertly taught how to execute this dish by the master herself and still cannot manage to create the perfect pot of sukiyaki.  But for those of you who haven’t or never will have the pleasure of dining with the master herself, Miss Fats warns you that this dish will make you pretty popular among your friends.  This messy pot of japanese food love can easily become a staple of friendertaining/ annoying cooking requests.

Miss Fats encourages you all to get out and try to create this delightful dish.  It encourages new flavors and communal eating, which Miss Fats is a huge supporter of.  For years, Miss Fats’ family gathered at Obachan’s every single Wednesday to chow down on sukiyaki good times.  She hopes you will continue this tradition with friends and bring a little Obachan into your eating experiences.

IMG_0462