Plouf at Belden Place in San Francisco

Also known as Belden Street, Belden Alley, Belden Lane – we San Francisco know it as the French Quarter of the Financial District. A great place to relax, have a great meal and enjoy the vibrance of the SF community. Especially on warm Friday nights, this place is bustling with energy, great food in a cozy setting. This is a pretty narrow short alley between Pine and Sutter streets but one will find excellent dining – French, Continue reading “Plouf at Belden Place in San Francisco”

West Fungi – Ferry Building

There is this great specialty store at the Ferry Building – Far West Fungi offers the best organic, locally grown produce from the locally located farm. Everyday features luscious, freshly picked veggies, grown at a 60,000 hectare farm in Moss Beach, a town 95 miles south of San Francisco. Away from pollution, away from pesticide ridden land and benefiting from being at few meters away from the Pacific Ocean.

Everything the farm raises is ORGANIC they supply Shiitake, Tree Oyster, Lions Mane, Maitake, and King Oyster to the San Francisco Bay area and all of California

“Small world” in San Francisco

This is an account of an experience I had in San Francisco, a “what a small world” experience that all of us have. What I mean is an incident in our lives where, when talking about someone, or meeting someone for the first time, it turns out that there is a connection between that person and yourself that was totally unexpected; or, a person or a place that is mutually and particularly special to the two of you; or, unexpectedly bumping into someone in an unlikely place.

Continue reading ““Small world” in San Francisco”

Umami – the 5th Taste – Flavoring Secrets of Iron Chef Morimoto


Umami –

A Tokyo Imperial University researcher – Kikunae Ikeda –discovered in 1908  glutamic acid  when brown crystals left behind after the evaporation of kombu broth  – when tasted – reproduced the undeniable flavor found in food. The fifth taste – after sweet, sour, salty and bitter – was umami. Mr Ikeda then patented a process of mass producing a crystalline salt of glutamic acid – AKA – monosodium glutamate

While most of those familiar with the term recognize this salt in packaged products also known as MSG or Vetsin in Southeast Asian kitchens – one will delight in using the natural source of glutamate without the side effects of the commercially produced MSG. Continue reading “Umami – the 5th Taste – Flavoring Secrets of Iron Chef Morimoto”

Recipes for today

I frequent this French restaurant in Belden Lane in Downtown San Francisco where they serve this mussel dish. Its one of their specialties and folks I know love this. Here is my version of this dish – serve it with nice baguette

Mussels ala Plouf

Diced green onions – white and green parts
2-3 lemongrass stalks diced – tender (white) part only
3 cloves garlic – minced
Cilantro minced – handful
1 12 oz can coconut milk
1 cup good white wine
Fresh mussels
For this recipe, use a good quality white wine – something that you will enjoy sipping. Refrain from using cheap wine because it will be noticeable in the dish

Start by sautéing the aromatics in good olive oil – preferably a light olive oil- don’t use virgin olive oil. When they turn fragrant, place the mussels, which have been cleaned and debearded and white wine. Cover the pot for about 2 minutes just to allow the shellfish to open. Discard those that remain closed – these are not good. Then pour the coconut milk and cover the pot. When the broth begins to boil season with either sea salt or fish sauce. I prefer using the fish sauce, the Thai label Tiparos is excellent – not too salty. Before serving I usually finish it with a splash of good virgin olive oil.
Serve with fresh baguettes or any crusty bread.

Thai style ground chicken with Sweet Basil

3 pcs shallots – minced
4-6 cloves garlic
1 bunch Thai sweet basil
Fish sauce
Minced lemongrass stalks – white tender part only
Ground chicken or ground turkey

In about two tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil, sauce all aromatics including the Thai basil. When they turn fragrant, add the ground meat.
Cook until all the liquid from the meat have evaporated. Season with fish sauce – Tiparos is my choice. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Hamachi Kama – Yellowfin Tuna collar

One of the most delightful dishes that one orders in a Japanese restaurant is virtually unknown to many. Once discarded in the past – as only few appreciated that unattractive part of the fish, it has risen as one of the food discoveries in the continual education or reeducation of the Western palate. It is so savory –  rich in Omega 3 oils – another new discovery of the 20th century, many claiming positive health benefits if taken consistently. Grilled over hot coals with just a few sprinklings of salt and pepper brings about the savory goodness of this less known flesh. Continue reading “Hamachi Kama – Yellowfin Tuna collar”

Singaporean Hainanese Chicken Rice

The key to success of this recipe is the timing of how the chicken is boiled.

Whole chicken
several knobs of ginger – about 3 pcs – 1 inch thick
4-5 green onions (roots removed)
1 tsp peppercorns (whole peppercorns)

For the Rice
4-5 thin quarter sized slices ginger
1 head garlic chopped (not minced)/several pandan leaves
vegetable oil 3-4 tablespoons depending on rice portions
jazmine rice or california rice

In a stockpot – cover chicken with cold water, add the knobs of ginger, green onions, pandan and peppercorns. Continue reading “Singaporean Hainanese Chicken Rice”