Yamo: Cheap Burmese in SF

If you have lived in San Francisco for at least two years and have still not been to Yamo…you need to go immediately after reading this post.

Yamo has been an SF institution for like…ever. This place is the very definition of “hole-in-the-wall”. Tightly tucked between a cell phone store and the corner liquor, it’s an 8-seater eatery that dishes out the city’s best Burmese food that you can get for $6 a plate.

Yamo-Burmese-Chicken-Noodle-Coconut-Soup-Mission-San-Francisco

I’d heard of this Yamo place many times. Located on the corner of 19th and Mission St., I’d always hurriedly walked past, either on my way to my favorite vegan place, Gracias Madre, located on the opposite corner, or following some hipster foodies to some boujie trendy restaurant on Valencia. Out of all the good eats that SF has to offer, I never felt the urgency to try this hole-in-the-wall place which also didn’t have the best curb appeal.

Well…I know better now.

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Pumpkin Thai Red Curry

Pumpkin Red Curry with Kabocha Squash

It’s been rather chilly here in the Bay recently, and there’s nothing that will warm you up better than a bowl of warm curry. Especially, some spicy red pumpkin curry.

My pumpkin of choice is the Kabocha squash—also known as a Japanese pumpkin. It’s that dark green, squat shaped melon-like thing you’ve been seeing at the grocery store. It’s delicious. It’s flavor is much like a butternut squash, but 10x sweeter and much creamier in texture.

Peeling Kabocha Squash

It works magically in this curry recipe because as the curry simmers, the pumpkin sort of melts away and breaks down and thickens the sauce. No cornstarch needed here.

I threw some cauliflower into the mix to add some crunchy texture amidst the rich creaminess of the overall dish. I also threw in a few red jalapenos as well, for a pop of color, and also because I like things to be nice and spicy. This curry is packed with flavor, mostly because I didn’t skimp on the aromatics—ginger, lemongrass, and chili. No I didn’t use the dried stuff, it is pertinent here to use fresh. And although you will end up with more lemongrass stalks than you can think of ways to use, the flavor is incomparable and totally worth it.

Pumpkin Curry Lemongrass Red Curry Paste Ingredients

By the way, anyone have some lemongrass recipes for me? Continue reading

Kimchi Tofu Dumplings

Pleated Kimchi Tofu Dumplings

I’ve been feeling rather stuck lately…

Career going nowhere. Check.

Relationship woes. Check.

Feeling lost. Check.

Feeling bloated. Check.

Questioning the point of my existence. Check.

Fried Kimchi Tofu Dumpling

Okay I may have exaggerated on that last part. But whenever I’m feeling like this, what does the mature, independent woman inside of me want to do?

 I just wanna go home :(

 

Of course it is not possible to simply go home to mommy, whenever I’m feeling emotionally unstable. At 24 years old, I think it’s safe to say that I am a grown-up. Therefore, I usually satisfy my nostalgia for home in the form of food…such as dumplings. Back at home, my mom always keeps the freezer stocked with plump little handmade dumplings that she gets from the dumpling lady who makes them out of her house somewhere in the San Gabriel Valley (where the best dumplings come from).

Kimchi Tofu Dumpling Wrapping StationFreshly wrapped kimchi tofu dumplings

So I decided to satisfy my yearning for some much-needed comfort food by making dumplings for myself. Geez, it’s been years since I’ve wrapped a dumpling. How do are you supposed to do it again? Whatever… maybe my muscle memory will come into play.Kimchi Tofu Dumpling Filling

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Soft Hokkaido Milk Bread

Soft Raisin Hokkaido Milk Bread

I grew up eating this stuff.

Utterly soft, pillowy, white, glutinous, and deliciously CARB-y.

Despite my recent efforts to eat healthy and semi-carb free, I could not resist making this recipe when I saw it on Food52.

Hokkaido Milk Bread

Raisin Hokkaido Milk BreadDon’t worry, I was intimidated too. I mean look at it, it looks beautiful, and is probably the softest bread on the face of the earth. About a year ago, during my novice pastry days, I’d perused the web looking for Hokkaido Milk Bread recipes to simply just entertain the thought of taking on such a project.

Fresh Baked Hokkaido Milk Bread LoafFrom cooking the “tangzhong” (I still don’t know the right way to pronounce it in Chinese), to converting metric measures to American cups and teaspoons, you could imagine how intimidated I’d felt to try and recreate my childhood favorite comfort bread.

Tangzhong RouxSo what the heck is tangzhong?

Invented in Taiwan, the use of tangzhong is quite prevalent in many Asian style breads. It is a water roux that is cooked and added to the dough. Because this roux holds a lot of water, it gives the bread the moistness and thus, softness that is so characteristic of Hokkaido Milk Bread.

Hokkaido Milk Bread ToastAnother reason why Hokkaido Milk Bread is so soft, is because of it’s higher fat content. As the name entails, milk is added to the dough instead of water, as well as a good amount of heavy cream.

Let’s just say if you’re trying to get your body in shape for a trip to Miami soon (like I am…) this probably isn’t the best thing to be eating. But who cares, life’s too short to skimp on carbs.

#YOLO

Hokkaido Milk Bread Stretchy Continue reading