Jun 21, 2010

Foodie Crib: Jai Yung


Jai Yung

Foodie Crib

Grand Rapids


Black Belt in Asian Cuisine, Photographer, Blogger, Bartender

Foodie Morsels

There was no question that Jai Yung was going to draw a culinary DMZ zone between neophyte foodies and hard core foodies when she invited me and four other friends to her Foodie Cribs meet Traditional Korean Barbecue Feast this past
weekend. Her creamy white skin, exotic eyes and slender profile exudes "Asian-ness" down to her confidence in preparing an all out Korean BBQ feast. This South Korean native is deep in the core of the Grand Rapids foodie scene. Jai teaches private groups in the art of making sushi and Asian cooking. She's a member of the Sushi Syndicate, a local dining club made up of GR's best palettes. Aside from cooking, Jai has an eye for everything beautiful through the lens of her camera. Her blog, TrublissChic, is one of my favorite blogs for creative stimulation. Her martial arts sensei keeps her physically and mentally fit and it shows in her discipline in keeping a holistic outlook in life. And if that's not enough, she is also an expert mixologist. A dream girl for sure...

Jai woke up at 6AM to start preparing our meal. Starting with her homemade kimchi. Then slicing and marinating of the beef for the bulgogi. Followed up by wrapping colorful vegetables into spring rolls. Then there's the dumplings, the sauces, the accompaniments for the bulgogi. The table was set so wonderfully that it was difficult to actually sit down and mess up the place setting. The first person to indulge in the goodies on the table felt like the person to pull that last jenga piece that toppled the tower of wooden blocks. She ordered some soju for the feast, but the delivery didn't make it on time; perhaps a blessing given it's 20% alcoholic content. However, sake did make it to the table and had a lively effect in the festivities with every "kanpai" we shouted. 

The food was simply outstanding. You knew that Jai gave it all she's got and every one around the table were blown away by her talent and attention to details. Jimmy Le, a Foodie Crib alum, brought his amazing Dragon Ribs to add the exclamation point to the feast. Man about town, Paul Jendrasiak, was responsible for the sake, while Bar Divani's Rimple Nayyar, supplied the after dinner wines. My wife Elena and I brought a Persian appetizer to nibble on before the meal along with a bottle of our favorite bottle of chardonnay, Wyncroft, for the evening's hostess.

"Only the good Jai Yung," we all sang at the end of the night. We bow down our heads to the Asian Culinary Goddess! Komawo, Jai!

Jai Yung's Bulgogi

2 1/2 lbs of beef, thinly sliced
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 heads crush garlic
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs sake
black pepper to taste
1/2 fresh lime

Marinate all the ingredients overnight or for several hours. Saute or grill. Serve with boston lettuce (for wraps) or rice.

Bulgogi was the star of the evening
Marinated Cucumbers, Mangoes with Red Onions, Hard Boiled Eggs...
Spring Rolls
Sauteed Dumplings
jLe Dragon Ribs
Jai's Homemade Kimchi
Bento Box for the dinner guests
The Table Feast
Rimple enjoying his first bite
Sake to me!
No question what this South Korean girl drinks!

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