Dinner Parties & Exploring Koreatown

Warning: this is going to be a random post. It's been too long since I've written here, and I just had so many things going on in my brain that I wanted to put on here. Basically I decided a dinner party would be a perfect excuse to cook a bunch of new food and write a blog post. Also, there are very few things that make me happier than cooking for and with friends.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There's some necessary lead up to this dinner party. First, Rachel and I recently bought a new house with a new kitchen and new gas stove. We're breaking the kitchen in the way you gotta break in a new kitchen (with delicious cooking duh). 

The other thing is I discovered this book Koreatown by Deuki Hong & Matt Rodbard. I'm about halfway through it and it's already one of my top 5 favorite books (not cookbooks, books in general). Does anyone else read cookbooks cover to cover like narrative books? Is that weird or totes norms? Anyway, it's amazing. The recipes are accessible to an amateur cook like me and the food is obviously delicious, but the illustrations and photography are also fantastic and the interviews are enlightening. 

In the book is a recipe for pineapple kimchi that I knew I had to make as soon as I saw it. I started talking to my friend Ben about it, and he immediately went all in on the idea of pineapple kimchi. We decided to use the dinner party as an excuse to hang out and make a bunch of Korean food. We made the pineapple kimchi, which is so sweet, tangy, and funky all at the same time that no description adequately describes it. Basically, you just have to check the recipe below and make it for yourself. I also made the Kongnamul Muchin (Crunchy Sesame Bean Sprouts) from Koreatown. Ben smoked pork and made a gochujang sauce (which I do not have recipes for because he's the one who made it so go ask him yourself anyway jeez). I also made guava ice cream for dessert and Rachel made guava gin fizzes to kick that dinner party off right!

Finally, I hate taking blog photos. We ran a bourbon blog for several years and that whole staging stuff before serving is tiring and tedious. (Kudos to all of you who manage to do it without tearing your hair out.) So instead I just left my camera out and let anyone grab it and take pics whenever. 

Kimchi Pineapple


  • ½ cup peeled, cored and chopped Asian pear
  • ½ cup coarsely ground gochugaru
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tspn minced ginger
  • 1 large pineapple, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Add pear, gochugaru, fish sauce, garlice, sugar, and ginger to a food processor and mix until smooth. In a large pickling jar or airtight container, add the pineapple and 1 cup of marinade and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Bloggin' 'Bout Biscuits

Everything is a work in progress. We're all working on ourselves, trying to become better people, and learning new things. I've said it a million times: I suck at baking. But I've always wanted to be a dude who could make biscuits because biscuits are delicious. They also hold this weird exotic, nearly unattainable breakfast status in my brain because, when you grow up in Hawaii in a Filipino family, you eat rice with breakfast (and every other meal). 

Anyway, in the spirit of being a more complete, better human being and living my life like Bon Jovi, I decided I needed to be a dude who can make biscuits. Now, if anyone ever thinks "Oh hey, I could really go for a biscuit right now. Who can make me a fresh biscuit?" It's me. I can make a biscuit. Next step is to make a mean fried chicken because duh, chicken and biscuits.

Also, can we talk about dough for a second? Dough is so cool. I've played with dough a lot in the past several months. Even though I'm not much of a Patty Cakes Bakersman, I have this thing with noodles, which obviously requires dough (duh). I mentioned briefly in my carbonara post that making noodles is very satisfying. IT'S BECAUSE OF THE DOUGH! I totally understand bakerspeople in a way I never did before. You very precisely measure out all these ingredients, mix all that stuff together, make this weird ball of...stuff, and transform it into OH MY GOD THE MOST DELICIOUS THINGS! My wife makes bread every week and then we make pizza with the dough and every time it's like "OH MY GOODNESS THE HOUSE SMELLS LIKE HEAVEN!" Anyway, dough is cool.

On my quest to become a bro who can bake a biscuit, I used Sydney's recipe on Crepes of Wrath. If you're not reading her blog then you're probably doing food and the Internet wrong. Also I'm not really a bro but I like alliteration. She used leaf lard, which I couldn't find. I used some cheap lard I found at my local grocery store, and it worked adequately enough to make a dang good biscuit. Eventually I'm gonna find some leaf lard and make these biscuits again. Also, I didn't have a round cutter so I just used a drinking glass. It actually worked well because air gets trapped in the glass and pushes the biscuit dough out after you cut it. Eat your biscuits with jam, gravy, butter, or whatever other delicious thing you want to eat your biscuit with. I ate mine with creamed honey. Recipe below this biscuit just chillin' in my backyard.


Blue Ribbon Biscuits (via Crepes of Wrath)
Prep time:  30 mins
Cook time:  15 mins
Total time:  45 mins
Serves: 12 biscuits


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup leaf lard, cubed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 2 cups whole milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in your cubed leaf lard and cubed butter (if you are not using leaf lard, I recommend using ½ cup unsalted butter and ¼ cup shortening) and cut the fats into your flour mixture until coarse crumbs form, using either your hands or a pastry cutter (I find that hands work best).
  3. Add in your milk and mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms (do not over mix). Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out, knead gently a few times to bring the dough together, then form into two balls. Set one ball aside while you roll out the first.
  4. Roll the dough into a rectangle, a little smaller than your baking sheet, then fold that rectangle into thirds, like how you'd fold a piece of paper to fit into an envelope. Fold the dough again into thirds, this time in the opposite direction.
  5. Press the dough with your hands into a rectangle about 1½-inches thick. Use circle cutters to cut the biscuits out, being careful not to twist the cutter as you pull each biscuit out and place on your baking sheet (twisting the biscuits ruins your nice layers). Repeat with your other ball of dough.
  6. Bake the biscuits for 15-17 minutes, until just barely golden (start watching them at around 12 minutes, as every oven is different). Allow to cool slightly before serving.