Tag Archives: rice

Moksa, Central Sq

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Moksa – 450 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

Oh hi! Its been a while, I know. That’s what a new, demanding job will do to you. Don’t get me wrong, I have continued to go out and eat my way through the city, take food photos, make notes, and write up drafts, but the sitting down and cleaning them up part has been something I am struggling with. Ok, enough about me, lets talk about stuffing our faces at Moksa in Central Sq.

I was stoked (stoked? Who am I?) when Moksa opened up in Central Sq last year. Having lived in Central Sq for years its fantastic to see all these new places popping up. We paid a visit to Moksa a couple of months after they opened and were looking forward to a few cocktails and nibbles after work. It was fairly nice out so we sat outside and kept sitting there for what seemed like forever until someone came over to take our drink order. I got the Peking Sailor which is Hendricks Gin, Campari, Elderflower Vinegar, Bubbly and Cucumber (they had me at Gin and Bubbly). The drink was ok, not sure it was my favorite thing ever (I switched to wine right after) but how it was served was hilarious. I don’t think it was meant to be ironically funny but when the waitress came out with these big glasses brimming with umbrellas and tchotchkes (thanks for the spell check, BL!) I couldn’t help but blush and look around hoping no one had seen the ridiculous cocktail I was about to drink. I mean, we are two women in their 30s in Central Sq, not at Senor Frogs on Spring Break in Cancun. I understand how many may like this sort of attention but it’s just not our thing. After much giggling we moved on to the menu and waited for our waitress again.

We decided to share a few small plates starting with the Vietnamese Spring Roll with Cilantro-Lime Sauce. This dish was delivered to the wrong table but eventually found its way to us. The Spring Rolls were pretty simple, fresh and overall pretty good, probably the best thing we ordered.

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Next we got the Thai Green Papaya and Mango Salad with Peanuts, Mint & Chili Lime dressing. Unfortunately neither of us were really a fan of this one. It was a little bland and the peanuts on the soft side which didn’t add that crunch we were hoping for. Next.

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I had the highest hopes for this next dish, the Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Remoulade. If you know me at all you know I always lean towards shrimp dishes whether they are fried, buffaloed (yes, I am making that a verb), grilled, tossed with pasta, however you want to make them I will eat them. I’m pretty much the white nerdy version of Bubba from Forrest Gump.  Anyways, popcorn shrimp is one of my favorites and adding remoulade to any fried food makes it a baller dish, I could eat that shit by the spoonful.

The remoulade was fantastic but the shrimp were super dry. They were on a small salad that added some moisture but then they sat on top of another dry bready thing. Too much breading on the shrimp which contributed to the dryness. Pass me my recockulous cocktail to get this to go down, please.

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We wrapped up the night with the Vegetarian Fried Rice with Carrots, Onion & Sake Shoyu. Totally fine but nothing to write home about.

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After dinner we sat with empty glasses for over 20 minutes before we got up and went inside to ask them if we could pay. Can we please pay? Please? We’d like to give you money. Okthanks.

Needless to say, we weren’t fans of the service or food. I’ve heard the dance club in the back is decent and recently had a friend who got the bartender to swap shoes with her so she could go in (no flip-flops allowed) which has boosted my opinion but I think I’ll be going down the road for food in the future.

How did Moksa measure up? 2 Spoons!

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Fins, Beacon Hill

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Where: Fins – 240 Cambridge St Boston, MA 02114
When: March, 2012

March 1st was a pretty weird day. It was my company’s final packing day before our big move from First Street to Tech Sq in Kendall Sq. The fridges had been emptied and cleaned, all supplies had been packed up, framed photos of those we work for were taken off the walls and wrapped in bubble wrap, and rugs had been rolled up and taped. March 1st marked a day of great forward movement and accomplishment for all of us but it also marked the last day I was sharing an office with my office mate of almost 5 years, Alicia. I couldn’t help but get a bit choked up about no longer sharing an office with her – we had shared a lot of great recipes, food stories, heart to hearts and cries (mostly on my part). She had become a good friend and a phenomenal colleague. Alright, enough sappiness, I knew she would be just down the hall in our new place but it still felt like it was the end of an era.

We decided to go out to lunch on our last day as office mates and chose Fins, which had just opened its second location on Cambridge Street in Beacon Hill. I remember Alicia talking about how good Fins was when she lived over in Brighton so was looking forward to their grand opening!

It was pouring rain, naturally, so we hopped into a cab and across the river. The atmosphere and layout of Fins is really nice, I like how one of the dining rooms is separate from the main entrance as it was a cold windy, rainy day so it was nice not to get a gust of cold air every time the door opened. The restaurant was busy but we were quickly seated among all the other professional lunchers.

I started with the Seaweed Salad and Alicia with the Miso Soup. Both were good and pretty standard (no complaints, I don’t want my Seaweed Salad jazzed up too much). Alicia, having just recently had sushi delivered from Fins, ordered the Shrimp and Chicken Fried Rice which she loved. I had a bite (love dining with Italians who insist you try their food!) and can confirm it was really good. The rice was really good just on its own – plump little moist bites full of flavor. The chicken and shrimp just added to it.20120303-093616.jpg

I got the Spicy Tuna Maki and Fin’s Special Roll, per Alicia’s recommendation, which is shrimp tempura with peach, cucumber with mayo & bean sprout. The tuna was super fresh with just the right amount of spice. The shrimp tempura maki was delicious although always a bit of a struggle to eat those larger pieces. You never really know how something will work when they through something wacky like fruit in with sushi but this worked. My only disappointment was that one of the ends had just the tempuraed shrimp tail and I wanted more shrimp! It was a small disappointment though and the rest was delicious.

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Overall, the service was great, ambiance friendly and more sophisticated than a lot of the sushi places I go to, and the food was terrific. I think this is a great spot for lunch or dinner with friends and coworkers. Not particularly romantic but it might have a different feel in the evenings.

Alicia and I are have pretty much settled into our new offices in Tech Square (which is awesome, btw) and have made plans to go out for dinner once a month to catch up!

How does Fins measure up? 4.5 Spoons!

Shrimp Curry with Rice, Recipe

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I found this recipe on Eat.Drink.Think.’s blog (funny, sounds a bit like 5 Spoon’s former name, “Eat Drink Repeat”!) about a year ago and it became a quick favorite. It’s super simple and quick to make but good enough for company. I was able to get to the grocery store, pick up ingredients, get home, change, and make it all within about an hour fifteen. Not bad at all.

I tried finding the original on Bon Appetit’s site as that is apparently where it came from but I unfortunately wasn’t able to find it. The only change I made was that I sautéed some red pepper in with the onions for a little Vitamin A and C. I also just added the whole bottle of clam juice, as I knew it would be wasted if I didn’t, which was about a ¼ cup more than it called for so I also increased the cream and mango chutney a little to balance it out. This recipe is pretty forgiving so don’t stress about changing things up a little! I bet it would be good with some spinach too actually… mmm.

Don’t forget some naan to serve up along side!

Shrimp Curry with Rice
From here, but adapted from Bon Appétit

Yield: Serves 4ish

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon curry powder
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup bottled clam juice
3 tablespoons mango chutney

Cooked white rice
Chopped green onions

Naan (my addition)

Method:  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to skillet and sauté until almost opaque in center, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with curry powder. Stir until onion is tender, about 1 minute longer. Add cream, clam juice and chutney. Boil until sauce is thick enough to coat spoon, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Return shrimp and any collected juices to skillet. Cook until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 1 minute longer. Spoon rice onto plates. Top with shrimp, sauce and green onions. Serve with naan.

Oyako-Don, Recipe

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While surfing one of my favorite websites, Tastespotting (tied in first place with Anthropologie), last night I came across this recipe for Oyako-Don. I typically avoid trying Asian inspired recipes as I can never find all the ingredients I need or don’t have the proper equipment but this one seemed pretty doable. I rented a Zip Car and ran over to Shaws to get what I needed.

Side note: Today was also the day when I realized that an hour to pick up the car, go to the market, find parking, shop, check out, drop everything off at my place, and return the car is not enough time. Well, it is enough time but it means I am driving like a maniac, hitting curbs trying to park, dropping things, and ultimately leaving groceries in the car after returning it.

I couldn’t find super dashi, or any kind of dashi, at Shaws so headedto Whole Foods once I dealt with the car debacle. Whole Foods also didn’t have super dashi but, unwilling to give up, I pulled out my trusty iPhone and found a recipe for it. I just needed kombu and katuobushi. I hadn’t heard of kombu before but am familiar with katuobushi, which are bonito flakes (easier to pronounce) . I used this recipe for Kombu and Katuobushi Dashi. It was super easy (is that where super dashi comes from?) and I now have plenty of kombu and katuobushi to make as much dashi as I can eat for the rest of my life.

I like this explanation of the dish’s name: “Oyako means “parent and child” because both chicken and egg are used in this dish. Don comes from the word Donburi, a “large bowl” in which savoury rice or hot noodles with soup are served.” – Hideo Dekura

This recipe is easy, assuming you can find the ingredients, tasty, filling, and I bet it will make great leftovers for work tomorrow.

Oyako-Don
(Adapted from To Food with Love)

Ingredients:
200g (7 oz) chicken thigh fillet
1 tablespoon mirin

Dashi Mixture:
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sake
1/3 cup dashi
5-6 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced plus extra for garnish
2 eggs, beaten
2 bowls cooked short-grained sushi rice
Method:
  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinate with mirin.
  2. Combine ingredients for dashi mixture.
  3. Pour a little oil in a small pan and fry chicken until browned and cooked
  4. Add green onions and fry until softened.
  5. Add dashi mixture and bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
  6. Pour beaten eggs in a circular motion over the simmering mixture. Set over low heat till egg is just cooked.
  7. Place a portion of hot rice into each bowl and slide half of the chicken and egg toppings over the rice in each bowl. Garnish with extra spring onions and serve hot.