Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stir Fried Udon Cravings

The other night, I made ddukbokki with udon noodles in place of the usual ramen noodles. I love the chewiness of the udon noodles. And later that night, reading Faye’s blog post made me crave some more of them chewy noodles. She blogged about a Chinese breakfast that she had, which included some really delicious noodles. She didn’t say how it was prepared other than that it was stir fried and spicy, but the pictures looked really yummy. It totally made me want some! When I woke up today, I decided that I wanted to eat more noodles (again). And it was going to be stir-fried just like Faye’s.

I didn’t even really have any idea what flavors Faye’s noodles consisted of. Considering that it was a Chinese dish, most likely it was oozing with Chinese flavor profiles. Well, mine wasn’t going to be Chinese style. Heck, I don’t even cook Chinese food. It was going to be…..well, my style, the way I like it, -salty, spicy, and sweet (very mildly sweet) just like what Gomo of cHowDivine likes with her food!

As usual, I just used whatever ingredients I had. I had some beef brisket and some veggies. I love the crunchiness and flavor that the veggies add to this dish. I wish I would have had some green cabbage and some bell peppers too. But I was out. All I had were: onions, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, garlic, and Serrano chili (for that extra kick).
I think this is the first meal I’ve cooked at home in weeks. It seems like I didn’t cook anything at all over the holidays. I mostly ate out or ate other people’s cooking. Speaking of which, do any of you guys ever pretend to like someone’s cooking just to be polite? Most of my friends and family members know that I am not the type of person to pretend to like anything if I actually don’t, including food. But with acquaintances that I am not that close with and other certain people, it’s a little hard. I was at a friend’s house and one of the girls made cookies. They were some kind of holiday-ish gingerbread type cookies. She baked a batch and offered them to us. At first bite, I was thinking to myself that the cookies weren’t made properly. First of all, they looked like they were overmixed or something, having lost its shape. They were way spread out. And it totally could have used a bit more baking spices. Everyone else was telling her how good the cookies were. And I don’t think they were lying to her face because they kept grabbing for more.

I have known this girl since she was a little girl, so she is no stranger. But it’s not like I can tell her in front of everyone what I thought was wrong with the cookies. I just took one, took a bite, and then inconspicuously threw it away when no one was looking. But other than the cookies, the rest of the food that evening was yummy. Their mom is a good cook and had prepared most of the food.   
There was this other time when a friend’s mom made Kimbap that was really really bland. You know how Korean moms can be…they offer you food and keep trying to feed you more and more when they see your plate empty. I had some just to be polite. When I stopped eating, she kept telling me to have more. People’s parents are on top of the list of people that made you feel obligated into eating their bad cooking out of politeness. It’s hard for me to be blunt with the older generation. But with my own parents, they always know. My mom hears insults about her cooking all the time by me. lol. She already knows that she’s a bad cook and does not like cooking anyway, so.

When someone does not like my cooking, I would hate it if they pretended to like it just to be polite. I’d much rather them tell me that it tastes like shit. And I’ve had that said plenty of times about my food(mostly as a newbie…not lately though) . Constructive criticism about our skills helps us fix mistakes and improve. It’s even necessary if you are doing it for a living.


  1. Ohhh I love your noodles!! I've never used udon for stir fry before. Do you use fresh udon ? What's your sauce recipe for the stir fry?

    I, personally, lie if I don't like the food someone prepares. Especially if it's elders. I may not eat a ton of the 'bad' food but I do my best. But that's just me. You must have a cool relationship with your mom if you guys are that honest with each other! My mom doesn't cook much so I don't have the chance to be very honest w/ her in that dept.

  2. Oh how polite of you to lie lol. But you wouldn't ever lie to ME just to spare my feelings, would you? Yeah my mom and I tell it like it is. When her food tastes bad, I let her know. When she thinks I am gaining weight, she will tell me I'm getting too fat and to go on a diet.

    For this dish, I used soy sauce, garlic, honey, s/p, sesame oil, gochugaru (red pepper flakes), and sriracha. I made it for myself three times this week already.

  3. It definitely depends on who you are talking to. I always try to be polite and generalize unless I really like it.

    I have shared food with coworkers before and have wondered whether they really 'like it" or are just being polite! I make sure my husband tells me more truthfully so I can tweak the recipe, toss it, or add to my rotation. I like trying new things though so only my favorites get made often.

    1. Hi Lynn. Are you a friend of Faye's? The plates (empty plates=mission accomplished) should be able to give you an idea if they really like it or are just being polite. If they keep asking for more, I know that they actually liked it and weren't just eating just to be polite. But definitely depends on who and the situation. For me, personally, I am really really bad at pretending to like something. I usually throw it away when no one is looking lol. But if it's amongst people I am chummy with, I will just let them know it tastes like shit.


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