Monday, November 9, 2009


Last Sunday, I trekked out to Eagle Rock in search of the famed Filipino strip mall, home of the holy trinity: Seafood City Supermarket, Goldilocks, and Jollibee. Although the smell of fried chicken at Jollibee was irresistible, we decided to have lunch at Goldilocks instead. It's been years since I had Filipino food and Goldilocks did not disappoint.

Calamansi juice. Calamansi is a Southeast Asian lime that's more reminiscent of a sour tangerine. It's very rare in the U.S. So good!

Teeny tiny spring rolls.

Sticky balls of rice.

Pinakbet: eggplant, okra, squash and string beans sautéed in garlic, onion, tomatoes and shrimp paste.

The pork adobo was tangy, savory, fatty, and delicious.

We were too stuffed for cake. Maybe next time.

Secret Burmese Restaurant

When I first heard about this "secret" restaurant, I was immediately intrigued. Although I grew up in Southeast Asia, I've never actually tried Burmese food. The restaurant operates out of a home kitchen, which leads out to the backyard dining area. Calling the place rustic is an understatement: a couple picnic tables and fold-out chairs, Tupperwares filled with onions and cilantro, and flasks of complimentary tea. The food is home cooking at its best.

The menu is entirely in Burmese.


Coconut noodles comes with hard-boiled egg, shredded chicken, and crunchy split pea fritters. And the tangy noodle salad is the perfect balance of texture and flavor.

Prata and chicken stir fry

Prata is an Indian flat bread with a flaky croissant-like texture.

The dry curry chicken, with onions and tomatoes, is eaten with the prata.

Two very satisfied customer.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Roasted Duck with Soy-Lime Syrup

I was watching Simply Ming a few weeks ago and Ming Tsai made this roasted duck. Since I've been looking for a good duck recipe, this looked promising so I made it for our late Christmas dinner with friends. It turned pretty good. Here's the recipe with my suggestion for modification.

Serves 4

2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
8 limes, washed, halved, juiced, reserve halves
1 cup brown sugar
3 sweet potatoes, peeled, roll cut
1 large onion, minced
1 5 to 6-pound whole Long Island duck, eviscerated, rinsed, dried
Canola oil for cooking
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large, oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat, add oil to coat and sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze with soy sauce and add lime juice and sugar and stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 25%. Pour syrup into a bowl over a bowl of ice to cool. Rinse out the pan and place back over heat.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes and onion, season and lightly drizzle oil over. Dump the potato mixture into the pan. Massage the duck with the cooled soy syrup inside and out and stuff cavity with reserved lime halves. Top with duck and roast until brown, about 30 minutes, then cover loosely with foil to prevent burning. Cook the duck about 30-40 minutes more. (See note below) Let rest 10 minutes before serving on a platter surrounded by the cooked veggies.

What I would have done differently
1) Roast the sweet potatoes in a separate pan and drizzle the soy syrup before serving. Duck is really fatty and I thought by cooking the sweet potatoes with the duck, it made the sweet potatoes really greasy.

2) The suggested cooking time for the duck was not accurate. My duck ended up cooking for 2.5 hours. Click here for Roasting Time Conversion

3) The duck did not turn out as crispy as I would have liked. So I think the next time, I might broil the duck last 10 minutes.

~ MW