Friday, March 23, 2012

More of a mental stroll ...

Dear readers! Hurrahh! Spring is here in full force! At least for now, anyway. There are those naysayers with spine-chilling weather reports looming in the background claiming frost is lurking and imminent but we choose to ignore them.

This is going to be a visual post dear readers. My senses have simply been overcome by all the little details in the last couple of days and frankly speaking I have been walking around the city nonstop like a lunatic and taking photos, nonstop, like a complete lunatic. The photo taking lunacy was not strictly confined to the strolling part. I completely cleaned our backyard and went snaphappy on the little gems starting to grow. I went to this cool show  for the first time and, well, you know, snap snap snap... And so, I have lots to share. Like lots. So we'll do some now and some later in the week. Considering it's Friday later in the week will be in about two days from now. And more next week. Mmmhmmm, I got lots people. So let's go for a walk you and I. Not a three hour joint hurting but still can't stop kinda' walk, more of a mental stroll ...

Yep, I really do park this way. The horror. The shame.

The sky.

I wanted to take them all home. Then I considered the stabbing Napa could possibly get. And the stabbing I would probably get. Decided against it. Will visit them instead.

Quebec sidewalks...ahhh...spring ...

Spring on St Laurent ...

Lights and breezes ...

Perfection ...

It's you and me.

Hibernation over.

First beautiful day at the Jean Talon Market.

Freshly pressed. Umm...yeah, yes please.

And now, you didn't think I would leave you without a recipe did you?

Time to dish.

Bubbling, amazing Korean Pork Belly Hot Pot
Adapted from Saveur Magazine

At the end of my walk, this awaited. Korean Pork belly hot pot. Here we go yo.

Here is what you need:

  • 1/4 cup solidified lard or boar bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons of Korean crushed hot red pepper, hot hot hot people!
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 3 ounces pork belly, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 cups rich beef broth
  • 1 sheet of nori 
  • Half a block of silken tofu
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • Half a cup of shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • Fresh coriander
Here is what to do:
1. Heat a medium stone pot or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add lard or boar bacon fat, crushed red pepper, garlic, and half the scallions, and cook, stirring frequently, until fat melts and garlic and scallions are fragrant, 1–3 minutes. Let me tell you, your kitchen will smell heavenly. Then add pork belly, and fry stirring frequently, until just cooked through without browning, about 3 minutes. Carefully add broth, and boil vigorously until slightly thickened, 20–30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut several wide strips of the nori and set aside. Drain the silken tofu, and add to pot. Bring broth back to a boil, and cook until tofu has warmed through and breaks into smaller pieces, about 10 minutes. Add your remaining scallions, and salt and pepper. Stir in your sesame oil and then garnish hot pot with your nori.

3. To serve, carefully bring boiling hot pot to the table, break egg into hot pot, and allow to poach for a few minutes before eating, stir through and add coriander. Serve with bowls of hot steamed rice or udon noodles.

Happy spring!
I hope.

Serves 2 – 4


  1. nice photos! :)

  2. All the photos are really nice Oana! The spring on St. Laurent one really made the street look so different! Really enjoyed that and the one of Napa's paw! So cutee!!!! Thanks for the post!

  3. Thanks so much, yeah it had a different feel to it that night. It made me stop and take a shot. I know when I saw her reach out her little paw I'm like please tell me my camera is close by :).

  4. Great cooking tips! :)) Thanks for dropping by on my blog! :)

  5. Anytime, keep up the good work!

  6. great pics, love Napa paw. I want some pork belly!

  7. Thanks Eve, yeah me too, my baby :). Bellleeeh...

  8. Oana, the hot pot looks incredible. I wish that I had some lard lying around, but sadly, I haven't been to the all this year? Clearly, I need to make good on some of my comments here and cook some meat! Happy spring!

  9. Thanks Katie, to you too! Hey, you've done pretty well considering you don't eat meat all that often. I'm coming around to your end more and more. I think I'm at about twice a week now?