It has been ages since my last post…so what have I been up to?
Last year I completed the RTRFM radio training course and now I’m one of the volunteer radio DJ’s at the station (1 of 200!) doing a few overnight shows a month. You may have heard me on Snooze Button at 4-6am in the mornings or probably not because who is up at that early in the morning? I’m still a newbie and doing the hard yards, but there is a lot of comfort and freedom when you’re doing the graveyard shifts, I get to play whatever I want!
I love music and I love food, and it’s awesome when I can combine the two in some way. At the beginning of this year I was asked by Chris, the RTRFM Office Manager/Producer of Drivetime, to be a part of creating a new weekly food segment on Tuesday Drivetime at 6pm called The Food Alternative. They have been wanting to get a food show off the ground for a while and have tried various formats that haven’t really worked out, and knowing that I was into food and a blogger, they asked if I was interested in being involved. When I received the email from Chris, I couldn’t believe it, as this was something that I had hoped to do on radio one day! So I am now the producer of The Food Alternative with my partner in food crimes Laura Moseley, together we curate different guests and topics for each show. The Food Alternative aims to uncover and share things that don’t get much coverage in mainstream media, and provide an alternative take on things. We focus on a different topic each week which can be anything from places to eat and drink, cooking, special interests and stories about people, to events happening around WA. You can restream to all the shows online from the RTRFM website (http://rtrfm.com.au/blog/category/food-alternative/). The Tuesday Drivetime presenters are Simon and Anthony who conduct the interviews, but in June they will be over in Brazil for the World Cup so I will be taking over for the last two Tuesdays of June \m/
Supporting community radio! Photo from last year's RTRFM Radiothon which will be coming up again soon in August!
Another music and food thing that happened this year was been asked to put together a playlist for the Riesling Rocks February dinner, which had Pasi Petanen of Café Paci from Sydney teaming up with Co-Op Dining's Kiren Mainwaring to cook a special 11-course dinner using seasonal produce and matched with a diverse range of WA rieslings. I thought a lot about what would be appropriate for the fine dining table but also reflect what I like listening to. The soundtrack that I came up with to accompany the symphony of a degustation was an entirely instrumental mix of tunes from 50 artists ranging from jazz, electronica and indie to post-rock, providing some sweet soundscapes to an amazing meal.
This dessert of carrot, yoghurt and liquorice by Pasi was really something else at Riesling Rocks.
Check out the photos Chris took of Riesling Rocks, the food was exceptional and well worth the $180 per person with matched wines, especially with an interstate chef collaboration which I hope there will be more of and I look forward to the next one. I paid for my meal and was not paid for my DJ duties except with gratitude and trust. Trust in that I didn’t just put together a playlist of post-metal tunes ;) Although I did two mixes – one for the duration of the dinner and a pre-service mix of heavier tunes for the kitchen to get through prep!
But what has kept me really busy for the first part of this year was organising a whole event on my own – Perth’s first food truck festival, Food Truck Rumble, over 10 weeks on a very small budget. I had never done anything like this before so it was a huge learning curve, I basically gave myself a crash course in event management by doing one! Lots of people came down and it was great to see so much support for the food truck scene in Perth but the crowds were much bigger than anticipated which led to huge queues and some food trucks selling out of food. For a first event, a lot was achieved but not without some issues, and I’m looking forward to using all the feedback I’ve received to make Rumble v2.0 bigger and better.
The wonderful Food Truck Rumble volunteer bump in crew!
Here’s an interview with We Love Perth where I talk about how Food Truck Rumble came about and what makes food truck so appealing http://weloveperth.net.au/the-foodies-meet-ai-ling-truong-curator-of-food-truck-rumble/
An amazing video that my friend Riche put together of Food Truck Rumble, Sunday 13 April 2014.
After Food Truck Rumble, I was finally able to start planning my trip to Japan that I had booked last December! In a few days I will be heading to Japan. There is so much to eat and do, and I don’t know how I will fit everything in but I’m gonna try. It will be the first time that I’ll be travelling alone too, well I will be visiting some Japanese friends in Tokyo and Osaka, and then heading down south on my own to Kinosaki, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Nagasaki. If you have any tips for Japan, let me know in the comments :) I’m interested in the food of course but I also want to immerse myself in the local music scene, and visit records stores and live houses.
This recipe that I want to share combines the two things that occupy me right now - Japan and Fermentation. I am a part of a Pickle Club with some wonderful ladies and pickles are fast becoming an addiction.
I have homemade kimchi in my fridge (thanks Jess!). I don’t know if this is a legit dish but I don’t care because it’s delicious. Kimchi Pork Yaki-Udon. I first tried this dish at Is Donburi and it has become a regular order. It’s a fusion of Japanese and Korean, but don’t be afraid of it as it has all the best elements of both cultures –
Kimchi – check
Gochujang and red chilli powder – holy heat yes!
Kewpie mayonnaise – check
Udon noodles – check
Pork belly – double check!
Bonito flakes and seaweed – take me to umami heaven!
Here’s my attempt to recreate the dish at home. Enjoy :)
Kimchi Yaki Udon
(An original recipe by the Blue Apocalypse)
- Vegetable oil
- 400g udon noodles (2 packets, fresh from refrigerated section of Asian supermarket)
- 150g-200g pork belly, thinly sliced
- 150g kimchi, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons kimchi juice
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1-2 teaspoons gochujang (Korean hot bean paste)
- ½ teaspoon Korean red chilli powder
- 1-2 teaspoon light soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 sprig spring onion, thinly sliced
- Top with kewpie mayonnaise, bontio flakes and shredded seaweed
Heat wok or frying pan with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add slices of pork belly and fry until they slightly brown. Add garlic, shallots, kimchi and kimchi juice and fry for 3-4 minutes. Then add the seasonings – gochujang, red chilli powder, light soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste.
NB: With the seasonings I always add in 1 teaspoon at a time and taste before adding ½ teaspoon or more until I get my desired taste, so please adjust to your liking. Especially since you are using kimchi, as it ages its flavour profile will change through fermentation as it ripens and becomes more sour, so every time you cook this dish it might taste a little different depending on your kimchi and seasonings.
While the pork and kimchi is cooking – prepare the udon noodles. Remove from the noodles from the packet, unravel onto a plate and microwave for 1 minute to warm through or blanch quickly in hot water and drain thoroughly.
Add in 2-3 tablespoons of water, the udon noodles, and fry everything together for a few minutes to combine and heat the noodles through. Add in the spring onion and toss through the noodles.
Serve the stir fried pork and kimchi yaki udon noodles topped with kewpie mayonnaise, bonito flakes and shredded seaweed.
See you in a few weeks. If you want to follow my Japan adventures, check my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, that’s if I can figure out how to be connected when I’ve over there… or maybe I’ll just get lost.