Cooking The Books – Momofuku
This post would have been up earlier this week, but I’ve been watching Go Back To Where You Came from on SBS after dinner, and it’s what reality TV is meant to be. I’ve been left feeling a little jilted after watching, and not been able to really concentrate on much else. Did you watch it? What do you think?
Anyhoo, back to the Momofuku feast. I think we would all like to thank and hate Penny for choosing Momofuku as the book we cooked through! Many tweets and emails containing “DAMN YOU DAVID CHANG” and “DAMN YOU PENNY!!!!!!!” were exchanged throughout the organising process. I think we all thought cooking through David Thompson’s book, Thai Street Food was the hardest challenge we would do; but boy were we wrong. David Chang’s Momofuku had many of us stressing out, BIG TIME. Lots of tweets went out asking the twitterverse where to find rare ingredients, and for some, travelling to the ends of the earth trying to find said ingredients! Luckily lots of tweeps including Bernard from LuxBite was able to help me find a substitute for “white baking fat”. I ended up going with lard instead of copha, and it worked out fine. On the downside, I still have a lot of lard… and it smells funny.
I really must thank Penny for choosing this book though. I bought the book assuming there was a recipe for “Crack Pie” and “Compost Cookies”. Upon receiving the book from my online order, madly flicking through to find both recipes were not in there, and being scared off by other recipes, I put the book on the bookshelf most likely never to be used again! Now I know what some of the recipes taste like, I want to make them myself, and even try some we didn’t make. Call me insane.
I know a few of us, me included even started preparing a week in advance. Usually I could get away with prepping the day before…. or in cooking Nigella’s book; just a few hours before.
Cherrie and I teamed up and tackled two of the three desserts in the book. We decided on Cereal Milk and the Fried Apple Pie. I only found the shortcake recipe on the day of the feast; otherwise I’m sure we would have gone with that instead of the cereal milk. We both gave ourselves tasks to complete during the week and met up the day before feasting at Cherrie’s house to combine our elements together and do the final prep. We even had Cherrie’s gorgeous daughter Deanna help us out. We also enjoyed fresh jaffle sandwiches (which were 100% awesome) and tasted our way through a small bowl of jelly belly jelly beans. For the record I HATE the cinnamon one… that jelly bean should just die. And for that matter, anything that is meant to be cherry flavoured and tasted like rancid cough syrup. Blergh!!
Feasting Day began with most people arriving late due to meat not cooking at their homes in time. By about 2pm the table was bursting with food, and everyone dying to dig in as most of us had skipped breakfast (me included!).
There was a lot of ssams. Don’t know what ssam is? Don’t worry, neither did I, but Google helped me find the answer!
“Ssam, literally meaning “wrapped,” refers to a dish in Korean cuisine in which usually leaf vegetables are used to wrap a piece of meat such as pork. It is often accompanied by a condiment known asssamjang and can also be topped with raw or cooked garlic, onion, green pepper or a banchan (small side dishes) such as kimchi.”
I would have to say there wasn’t a bad dish at all. I even tried and enjoyed the brussel sprouts… I know, I’m amazed as you are.
Kat’s beef was sex on a plate. It seriously just melted in your mouth, the marinate was an orgasm for the taste buds. I’m sorry guys, but I need to make you understand how much I loved that beef!!!
April’s pork sausage was loaded with flavour, and the sauce and pickled veg was a great accompaniment.
Oh hail Agnes for going through all the effort to roll out fifty buns and make the famous Momofuku pork buns. They were just phenomenal, and I’m so glad I scored the leftovers to take home.
Thanh managed to squeeze in making flinstone rib-eye which was delicious too. He was up late experiencing what goes on in the kitchen at The Point, so kudos to him!
Brick chicken by Penny not only looked fantastic, but tasted fantastic. Cooked perfectly, and bursting with flavour.
I-Hua and Aaron’s pork belly ssam was deeeeelicious, and the seeded mustard sauce which I failed to snap was so good. I do love seeded mustard sauces though!! And their roasted rice cakes were something I’ve never experienced before. A bouncy kinda texture, but still delicious. And because they needed to make the broth for the roasted rice cakes, but only use 5 tablespoons of it, they went all out and make the ramen as well!! The ramen was deliciously good, probably Deanna’s favourite dish I’d say!
It was a bit of an awkward feast as we had to kinda of push people out of the way to wrap meat in lettuce or buns, or get other people to help us out (thanks Henry and Kat for making me pork buns!!).
Dessert time and the pressure was on for Cherrie and I. Luckily Penny had baked blueberry cookies to keep the crowds off harassing us, but as we started deep frying apple pies in a big ol’ pot of oil, the crowds began to gather and the remarks of how this unhealthy the deep frying was began to flow.
Yes, in the book it is really called “chocolate-hazelnut thing”. We started everyone off on the cereal milk. This didn’t get 100% favourable feedback. Thanh made clear his disgust for it, where as Kat and Penny opened their minds a bit more and didn’t shut if off until a few bites later and said it worked. Although no one could understand why avocado was included. It wasn’t a sweet dessert, almost savoury!? The jury is still out on this one.
The fried apple pie was a hit, although the miso butterscotch got lots of weird looks and confused everyone. It’s saltiness helped to off set the sweetness of the pie. Everyone loved the soured-ice-cream though. Someone even said it tasted like cheesecake!
Thanks to everyone that came along. It was such an effort by all!
I won’t be posting the recipes, as they are about 2-3 pages each… and I don’t want to relive it all just yet!!