Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fried Okra

I stole this recipe from a friend of a friend on Facebook; I haven't tried it yet myself:

"Fried okra method: fill a large bowl with cold water and then add 1/4 cup of salt. if it's a very large bowl, add 1/2 a cup of salt. yes, it's a lot of salt, but trust me, it's important. slice your fresh okra and add to the salt water. let sit for at least 30 minutes. drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. it will be a slimy, but that's ok. heat your oil. when it's hot, take a portion of the okra and toss in yellow cornmeal. you can put the cornmeal in a large ziploc bag and toss in the okra and shake to coat. it won't have a thick coating of cornmeal and that's ok. shake off excess cornmeal. fry okra until it starts to turn golden. remove okra from oil and drain on paper towels. repeat with remaining okra. try it. you won't do fried okra any other way. :)"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yum Yum Noodle Bar, Woodstock (Restaurant review)

Friday night we ventured out to the newest restaurant in Woodstock (New York) - the Yum Yum Noodle Bar - at the recommendation of a friend. By "we" I mean myself, my grandmother, and my son. I'm not sure why someone would recommend this restaurant to a 99-year-old woman - it was crowded, loud, and with a very slow kitchen. But we enjoyed the food very much, so overall we were glad we went.

We got there around 6 p.m. and the place was packed; we had to wait 20 minutes or so for a table. I was surprised to find such a crowd that early, but the place only has three tables, plus about a dozen or so bar stools. The restaurant opens at 4:30 (they do not serve lunch), and I guess if you want to beat the rush you have to get there pretty well ahead of the 6 p.m. "dinner hour." If I were to visit this restaurant again I would definitely not go on a Friday night! Since the place is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it's pretty hard to avoid going on a weekend. This phenomenon could be due to the restaurant being so new - I believe it just opened on July 23 - but the enormous demand may continue apace, at least until the tourist season dies down.

Yum Yum Noodle Bar is easy on the pocketbook; a "bowl" (noodles plus protein, veggies, nori and a boiled egg, Japanese style) costs $10 and provides an interesting and satisfying meal for an adult. You get your choice of noodles, choice of broth, and choice of protein; Grandma and I both went for the grilled salmon in our noodle soups, which was delicious.

There are also various "plates" available; we tried the Miso-Cured Grilled Salmon, which was outstanding; and, on the friend's recommendation, the Pork & Watermelon Salad, which I thought was good but Grandma thought was just weird. It consisted of pieces of grilled pork served with diced watermelon and diced green papaya on a large bed of fresh mixed greens.

No alcohol is served, but I loved the Strawberry Mint Lemonade (a beverage which is rather trendy here in Woodstock this summer -- I saw them being sold at the farmer's market a few weeks ago too).

The wait staff were super nice and friendly. The food, as I already mentioned, was quite delicious -- though I can't understand why a children's Bento box of tofu satay would include a fairly spicy satay sauce.

Do try YumYum Noodle Bar, but try to avoid the crowds if you can.