Tender White Cabbage with Salt Pork ~

White cabbage is a more tender version of green cabbage.  If you have an Asian grocer near you, you can easily find it there.  If not, you can certainly use green cabbage here.  Just cook it longer.  If you can't find salt pork, you can use bacon as well.

This is a delicious side dish on a cold winter's night.

1 small head of white cabbage, cored and sliced thinly.
3 slices of salt pork, diced.
freshly ground black pepper

In a large saute pan, on stove top, turn burner on medium high heat.  Add oil and salt pork.  Saute about 5-7 minutes until pork renders, stirring.  Remove salt pork and add sliced cabbage.  Toss the cabbage until it's coated and shiny.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper and cook on medium low for about 10 minutes, or until cabbbage starts to wilt.  Cover and turn heat off.  Let sit on stove top for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the salt pork.


Traditional Miso Soup ~

My friend's mother grew up in Japan and this is how she serves Miso soup.  Traditionally, the rice is served on the side as in my picture.  My friend adds soup to her rice, that is the way she likes to eat it.

It's a simple, yet beautiful soup.  Very light and delicious too.  Any way you want to try it, you'll enjoy it. 

Miso soup:

4 cups of water
1 cup of chopped cabbage
1 inch rectangle soft tofu (not silken)
1 T. Miso paste
1 tsp. dashi powder
1 scallion, chopped
cooked rice

Bring water to boil, add miso paste and cabbage.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until cabbage is tender.  Add dashi powder, stir and turn heat to low.  Add tofu and let simmer for 4 minutes on low.  Serve with rice and scallion.

Oh, the way I eat it is to just add the rice to the soup after it's cooked.  Anyway you serve it, it's delicious. 

Enjoy ~


Boston's Chinatown ~

I live about 7 miles north of Boston, but hardly ever go in town. Most of us avoid it because of the traffic, crowds and construction.
But, there are times and places that just cannot be missed. And Chinatown to me is one of those wonderful, little places tucked away in the heart of the City. A city, almost of it's own. I love the entrance to this part of town.

I had a mission this early morning too. I wanted to get to a bakery that makes Bahn Mi sandwiches. If you haven't heard of them, google them. They are Vietnamese sandwiches, made with meat, pickled vegetables and a lovely pate like dressing on a crispy baguette that is heavenly. And while waiting in the bakery I picked up some other delicious treats too.

Here we are heading over the Zakim Bridge, which leads directly into Boston. It was early in the morning and on a Saturday, so NO traffic whatsoever!

Oh, did I mention parking?  Well, usually it's a problem.  High
costs and lots of driving around to find a lot or garage.  We were hoping to park on the street and we had plenty to choose from.  Our mission for this visit, was to get a Bahn Mi sandwich.

We parked on Beach Street, right near this little bakery , Mei Sum that makes wonderful sweet and savory treats.  And being adventurous, I tried a few things I had no idea about.  My report is, all of the things I tried tasted excellent.  But, there is a language barrier, but don't let that stop you. The cost is fairly inexpensive and the pastries and food are wonderful.  I wasn't disappointed in anything.

While we were waiting for our sandwiches to be made, here are a couple of things that I saw.  These are fresh Bean Buns, ready for the oven.

Sticky rice, wrapped in Banana leaves.  I believe in the center there was taro, but I can't be sure.  The lovely ladies at the counter do speak English, but not fluently.  I believe this is a Holiday specialty though.

These next pictures are of the bakery case, lovely and inexpensive pastries.  I plan on trying different ones each time I visit.  We got the Coconut Snowballs today.  I wish I had enough in my budget and waistline to try one of everything.  ;)

And now for the big moment, our sandwiches.
Here is the Vegetable Bahn Mi:
And the Beef Bahn Mi, and this was heavenly.  Sweet, savory and just melted in my mouth.  Love the pickled veggies with cilantro and jalapeno.... super yum!
 While we were waiting for our sandwiches, a man was standing and eating a delicious looking bun.   He had a label on his jacket that said something in English, so I asked what it was.  He said it was a Beef Bun and that it was good.  So, I ordered one of those to take home for the next day's lunch.  At .90 cents, how could I go wrong?
Here's what I cut into the next day for my lunch.  It was fabulous, a sweet bun and tangy barbequed beef.
I loved my little visit into Chinatown and my friends and I discussed coming in for the day soon.  I agree, but think it's best to wait until Spring.  Can't wait....