A 20-something year old navigating her way through the foodie blogosphere with a stack of chocolate krinkles by her side

Going Trader Joe’s Happy! September 19, 2011

Filed under: Korean,Trader Joes,Vegetables,Vegetarian — chocolatekrinkles @ 1:06 am
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I love Trader Joe’s. I find every food-related thing I want or didn’t even know I want there. It’s all sorts of awesome.

When I went there the other day trying to solve my what-do-I-eat-for-dinners dilemma, I found my answer. Not in the veggie aisle. Not in the meat department. But in the frozen meals section. I usually do not do frozen meals. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve had frozen meals.

But TJ’s frozen meals just looked way too good to be true. Korean food? Check. Japanese food? Check. Flatbreads? Check, check, check!

After looking at the nutritional labels, the calorie count and sodium content seemed to be kept in check for most of them so how could I not buy some?

The past two nights have been marked with great laziness, lack of food, and a pretty great desire to finally dive into my frozen meals. The first night I tried the Trader Joe’s Bibimbap Bowl.

But then I realized, something was missing. I mean, go big or go home, right? Traditional Bibimbap bowls tend to have one of my favorite things ladled on top:

Yep, a fried egg. Yummy!

Verdict: Not too bad for a frozen meal. The meat and veggies tasted fairly fresh (for a frozen meal) but I could’ve used more of each and less rice. If you get one of these, definitely add the fried egg. I say, go big or go home!


The next night, I thought I’d continue the Asian frozen meal theme and go for the Trader Joe Sans Rice and Vegetable Bento Box.

Okay bear with me as I describe each one and my rating (1-5, 5 being super yummy). Starting from the top left hand box to the bottom right hand box:

1. Pumpkin with Shiso Seasoning – 3; but keep in mind, I’m not a pumpkin person

2. Spicy Long Beans – 2; as I feared, these were lanky and quasi-mushy. I only ate a couple before I declared it a fail.

3. Eggplant with Miso Paste – 1; way too mushy and I couldn’t even taste the Miso Paste

4. Soba Salad with Oyster Mushroom – 5; did I ever mention I heart soba?!

5. Shiitake Mushroom with Carrot and Edamame – 4; self-explanatory.

6. Baked Tofu with Teriyaki Sauce – 4; how have I never baked tofu before? Amaze-balls my friends!

7. Brown Rice with Seaweed and Sesame Seed – 3; just tasted like reg ole brown rice.

8. Curry Flavored Brown Rice – 3; a hint of curry but really it was just yellow brown rice

9. Teriyaki Flavored Brown Rice with Vegetable – 3; also just tasted like brown rice

Verdict: Also not bad for a frozen meal and it was relatively filling, even if I skipped out on 2/9 of the bento box. Would’ve loved more flavor and maybe a separate Soba Salad with Mushroom frozen meal. How awesome would that be?!


I think tonight and tomorrow night will be TJ’s flatbread night so tune in for those reviews!



Tubu Choerim June 30, 2011

Filed under: Korean,Vegetarian — chocolatekrinkles @ 8:04 pm

Aside from the meat, my second favorite thing abt Korean BBQ-ing it is the banchans (“side dishes”), with a special one that always gets my attention: spicy tofu. It’s spicy and healthy, albeit lightly fried ha!


  • 1 block firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch rectangles
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce* mixed with an equal volume of water
  • 2 tsp Korean chili flakes** (add more/less to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped into a paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5-8 scallions, sliced into 2 inch segments
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

* Use low-sodium
** I used regular red pepper flakes since I couldn’t find Korean chili flakes — although according to this blog, it makes a difference.. but what I don’t know can’t hurt me!


  1. Lay sliced tofu on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes (to draw out excess water). Blot slices with a paper towel before frying.
  2. Combine soy sauce, chili flakes, sesame oil, garlic, and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Fry tofu in a non-stick pan with about 2 tbsp of oil (I used Canola) for 3 minutes on each side (just enough so the tofu isn’t raw anymore).
  4. Add scallions and keep frying.
  5. Add sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for until most of the liquid evaporates. Flip tofu at least once during this whole process.
  6. Add sesame when done cooking.


It’s my go-to when I’m not feeling meat-y or fish-y — delicious and filling! Next time, I’ll have to try to find the ever-elusive Korean pepper flakes and see how it tastes different (if at all)

Source: Blazing Hot Wok


Beef Bulgogi

Filed under: Korean,Meat — chocolatekrinkles @ 7:52 pm

I love me some Korean food, I really truly do. Unfortunately, it’s kind of pricey to eat Korean food so often –and quite frankly, not so healthy. So when I found a recipe for beef bulgogi for a fraction of the cost (and calories!), I jumped at the chance to give it a whirl.


  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce *
  • 2.5 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

* Use low-sodium (tastes the same and less salt content!)


  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl (with the exception of the beef). Put beef in a separate bowl and pour combined ingredients over it. Cover, refrigerate and let sit for at least an hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat grill and lightly oil grate.
  3. Grill beef 1-2 minutes per side (or until slightly charred and cooked through).

Makes 4 servings.


Great and easy to follow recipe. Not to mention, the short cooking and prep time… works out well with my short attention span and all!

Source: All Recipes