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shaved ice, anyone…?

July 31, 2005

it’s been a looooong time since i went home… 7 years… yes, 7 years… it sounds pretty crazy but haven’t made it back there for that long time…
people ask me what i miss the most about home, korea, and the answer is my family, of course, then food, especially street food and snack… thankfully in new york, there are a couple of places i could go to have good korean food… korea town in midtown and flushing in queens… and even in jersey if someone offered me to drive me out there… yet it’s not that easy to find real street food… one of my favorite things is called “toek-bok-yi”, finger-sized-rice-cakes-stew (?) smoldered in red spicy sauce with glass noodles and eggs and vegetable… unfortunately it’s really not easy to find this dish when you are at the restaurants… it’s usually eaten by teenagers and you can find it in most of those little push cart parked along side the streets that can be found everywhere in korea… and all the little cheap snack bars in front of schools… most of time, whenever i have carving for it, i end up making it at home… but it’s not the same…
then the next favorite food is more or less of dessert for the summer time… think it must have come from japan since japanese has it too… it’s shaved ice… if you live around east village, you might have had it… japanese version is shaved ice with some kind of flavored syrup from green tea, mango, lychee to calpico poured on, topped with condensed milk and sweetened red bean sauce… and it’s GREAT for the summer time… korean version would usually have shaved ice, tons of fruit, condensed milk, red bean sauce and little tiny bits of rice cake… and we koreans, of course, like to get very elaborate and even add a scoop or two of ice cream of your choice… and whipped cream…!
anyway… since i live closer to east village than korea town, i end up getting it at japanese bakeries nearby… they sell it at my beloved panya… a japanese bakery on east 9th street between 2nd and 3rd avenue, closer to 3rd avenue… and their version is very simple yet a bit pricey… $3.75 without red beans, $4.00 with it… i would recommend to spend that extra quarter and indulge yourself unless you have something against red beans…
then a few steps away from panya on the same block but closer to 2nd avenue, i don’t know the exact name, there’s this little joint sells takoyaki (japanese dough filled with octopus or vegetable then cooked like those chinese mini pancakes)… they also have shaved ice… for mere $2.50 with almost all the flavors as panya… but $1 extra for red bean topping… but the ice was not as finely shaved as panya which made it a little more difficult to eat… so i preferred panya’s version better…
then i also saw that they are selling shaved ice at dumpling man on saint marks between 1st avenue and avenue a… guessing it’s more or less chinese take on shaved ice… i haven’t tried it yet because whenever i go by there, it’s closed… maybe closed on mondays…? we can go on and talk about the dumplings but it’ll be another blog…
or… in my case, i make my own… i purchased this ice shaving machine from korea town a couple of years ago when i didn’t live near anything… and started making my own… get all the stuff you need from either japanese or korean grocery stores and you are all set… i brought the machine to a party once trying to convert people but didn’t seem to work…
but if you are hot and near east village or korea town, why not give a try…? it sure will cool you down… i think ones in korea town will be more expensive since they get so elaborate as i mentioned… but hey, we like to show off once in a while… heh heh heh… about $6. or even more…
mmm…
i’m gonna make one right now…

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