Tag Archives: Roy Choi

Roy Choi’s SPAM Bánh Mì

Roy Choi’s “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” is a heartfelt immigrant story AND it includes a fantastic recipe for SPAM Bánh Mì (step-by-step photos below).

L.A. Son by Roy Choi About the book (via Amazon):

Abounding with both the food and the stories that gave rise to Choi’s inspired cooking, L.A. Son takes us through the neighborhoods and streets most tourists never see, from the hidden casinos where gamblers slurp fragrant bowls of pho to Downtown’s Jewelry District, where a ten-year-old Choi wolfed down Jewish deli classics between diamond deliveries; from the kitchen of his parents’ Korean restaurant and his mother’s pungent kimchi to the boulevards of East L.A. and the best taquerias in the country, to, at last, the curbside view from one of his emblematic Kogi taco trucks, where people from all walks of life line up for a revolutionary meal.

Filled with over 85 inspired recipes that meld the overlapping traditions and flavors of L.A.—including Korean fried chicken, tempura potato pancakes, homemade chorizo, and Kimchi and Pork Belly Stuffed Pupusas—L.A. Son embodies the sense of invention, resourcefulness, and hybrid attitude of the city from which it takes its name, as it tells the transporting, unlikely story of how a Korean American kid went from lowriding in the streets of L.A. to becoming an acclaimed chef.

The book is co-written with Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan. Available at bookstores and Amazon.com

Roy Choi’s SPAM Bánh Mì Recipe (posted with permission). Enjoy!

Spam Bánh MìINGREDIENTS

For the pickles:
1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup natural rice wine vinegar (not seasoned)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup of water

For the sandwiches:
4 demi baguettes
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning
1 tablesppon Sriracha
Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 can of SPAM, cut into 8 thin steaks
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Fresh Thai basil or opal basil leaves
Fried Shallots (store-bought)
Limes

INSTRUCTIONS

Daikon and Carrot Quick Pickle for Spam Bánh Mì
Place the daikon and carrots in a small bowl. Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in a small pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it cool until it’s warm. Pour over the daikon and carrots and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Note: The second time I made this, I added fresh chiles from my garden.

Frying Shallots for Spam Bánh Mì
Instead of store-bought shallots, I made my own. Just thinly slice shallots and fry in 350º oil until brown, then drain and lightly salt.

MaggiMayCha Sauce for Spam Bánh Mì
Cut the baguettes in half but keep them intact. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the Maggi seasoning and the Sriracha. I’m calling this Roy’s MaggiMayCha and I’ve been slathering it on EVERYTHING!

Slather the cut sides of the baguettes with softened butter and toast them in your toaster oven or in a pan over low heat until they’re nice and crispy. Set aside.

Frying Spam In Brown Butter
Heat the oil (I used brown butter) in a skillet, add the SPAM, and cook over medium heat until it’s golden brown in color. Transfer to a paper towels and reserve.

Ready To Assemble the Spam Bánh Mì
Slather the buttered sides of the baguettes with the spicy mayonnaise. To build the sandwiches, place the SPAM on the bottom half of each baguette, then top with the pickled daikon and carrots and add a layer of cilantro and basil (I used regular basil).

Spam Bánh Mì
Top with the fried shallots and a squeeze of lime and close up the baguette. CRUNCH!

11BanhMi
Not a fan of SPAM? Try it with grilled provolone instead!

About Roy Choi

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Bánh Mì

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Sunny Spot

An old Virgin Islands Clipping I've said for many years!When I was twenty-two years old, I had the ridiculous pleasure of living in the Caribbean for a few months. It was 1986 and my then-boyfriend Perry (a newly licensed pilot) scored a winter job flying for Air St. Thomas / Virgin Air (no connection to Sir Richard Branson). The small island-hopping airline was based in the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, so we made our home above the hills in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie.

Our apartment in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 1986Our upstairs apartment had a large kitchen (Perry did most of the cooking back then), and just one other room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the island.

Mr Wayman, our landlord built a ramp near the back door so our dog Warhol (who moved with us from the mainland) could run up the side of the mountain. We loved our tiny bit of paradise.

Always a photo buff, I spent most of my time photographing and getting to know the island. I loved pretending to be a “local” for those few months, and on Perry’s days off we would rent a small boat and head to the nearby British Virgin Islands.

Me at 22. At the beach, St. Thomas 1986Our favorite spot was Sidney’s Peace and Love in Jost Van Dyke Island’s Little Harbor, just 7 miles northeast of St. Thomas. Once docked, I would pick out a live lobster from a trap near the shore and the cook would grill it on the spot. Perry always ordered barbecue chicken (he didn’t like seafood) and we BOTH drank heaps of rum at the attached open-air bar. It was “serve yourself” at Sidney’s, and also “total the bill” yourself if you weren’t too drunk. An honor system that you just didn’t mess with in the Caribbean.

Heading to the beach. St. Thomas

My favorite shop on St. Thomas was called Sunny Caribbee, where I picked up island spices, oils and trinkets for the kitchen. There was an elementary school nearby and I loved listening to the students pounding on steel drums in the afternoons.

We left the Caribbean when Perry was offered a job with United Express, the commuter division of United Airlines. He now lives with his wife and kids near San Diego. (More about Perry here)

Walking into Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot for the first time made me smile from ear to ear. I flashed back to 1986 and was suddenly transported to my carefree, twenty-two year old, vagabond self.

After several visits (including dinner and brunch) I still get that happy feeling when I walk in the door. It’s a mini-holiday, a few hours of vacation. A delicious and less expensive trip to the sunny Caribbean, that’s for sure.

Sunny Spot, Venice
Don’t Worry… Be Happy!

Sugar Cane Fried Pig's Feet at Sunny Spot
Sugar Cane Fried Pig’s Feet

Muh-F*K*N Mofongo at Sunny Spot Venice
Roy Choi’s take on Mofongo! Muh-F*K*N Mofongo: Plantains, Bacon, Garlic, Black Pepper

Cocktails at Sunny Spot Venice!
LET’S PARTY!
Left: Fleur-De-Lis: Gin, Hibiscus, Honey, Chartreuse, Lemon
Middle: Death in the D.R.: Dominican Rum, Lime, Honey, Absinthe, Champagne
Right: Dry Harbour: Pot Still Rum, Lime, Absinthe, Habanero Pineapple Shrub

Cuban Torta at Sunny Spot Venice
Cuban Torta: Pork Terrine, Prosciutto, Provolone, Pickled Jalapeño, Mustard

"What A Jerk" Wings at Sunny Spot
“What A Jerk” Wings: Double coated, double fried

Bridgetown Swizzle at Sunny Spot
Bridgetown Swizzle: Barbados Ru, Averna, Falernum, Lime, Angostura

Diablo Prawns at Sunny Spot
Diablo Prawns w Rum Glaze, Garlic Butter & Herbs

Yucca Fries at Sunny Spot Venice
Yucca Fries w Banana Thai Basil Ketchup

Jamaican Roasted Lamb at Sunny Spot
Jamaican Roasted Lamb w Lettuce Wedges & Pickled Mango

Whole Roasted Red Snapper at Sunny Spot
Whole Roasted Red Snapper w Ginger Oil, Cilantro, Chili Vinegar

The Silver Goblet at Sunny Spot
The Silver Goblet: Coconut Ginger Sorbet

House-Made Caramels at Sunny Spot Venice
House-Made Caramels w Maldon Sea Salt, Toasted Cashews

The back room at Sunny Spot, Venice
The “bird cage” table in the back dining room

The back room at Sunny Spot, Venice
Dinner in the bird cage: Me, Peter, Evelina & Greg

Savory Festival Bread at Sunny Spot (Brunch Menu)
Brunch Menu Festival Bread w Goat Butter, Guava Jam & Rum Honey

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Bloody Mary: Vodka, Dirty Sue, Tomato, Jamaican Jerk Spice

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Banana French Toast: Rum Coconut Whipped Cream, Caribbean Spiced Maple Syrup

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Sunny Spot Egg Plate: Korean Style Baked Eggs, Jerk Seasoned Potatoes, Mo Jo Glazed Grilled Pork Belly

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Eggs, Sausage & Grits: Fried Eggs, Jerk Sausage Patty, Anson Mills Grits, Maple Syrup

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Take a seat!

Sunny Spot Venice!
Sunny Spot

More photos at Sunny Spot

More photos of the Caribbean

Sunny Spot
Website
822 Washington Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 448-8884

An old Virgin Islands Clipping I've said for many years!

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ALL YOU CAN EAT Fried Chicken!

What: All You Can Eat (AYCE) Super-Crispy Fried Chicken

Where: Chef Roy Choi’s A-Frame in Culver City

When: Every Saturday & Sunday, 12-3pm

Cost: $18 per person (including two side dishes)

Beer: Add endless Hite lager for $10 per person

AYCE Fried Chicken at Roy Choi's A-Frame
Roy cooks his KILLER chicken legs and thighs sous-vide, using rice flour for extra crispy breading. Personally, I was thrilled the platter was without breasts. Gimme them juicy thighs (and legs) anytime!

AYCE Fried Chicken at Roy Choi's A-Frame
Sides: Zucchini/Cabbage Cole Slaw and “Supermarket” Deli-Style Sweet Potato Salad.

AYCE Fried Chicken at Roy Choi's A-Frame
Two awesome dipping sauces for the chicken are included: Lemongrass Creamy Dip and Housemade Tonkatsu.

AYCE Fried Chicken at Roy Choi's A-Frame
My favorite of the two salads was the Zucchini and Cabbage Cole Slaw. I eat low-carb when I can and the flavors of the slaw were just like my grandma’s potato salad… sans the carb-loaded spuds. Of course my sweet-toothed Peter loved the Sweet Potato  Salad.

AYCE Fried Chicken at Roy Choi's A-Frame
And YES, I know fried chicken has carbs. I’m telling you… these are WORTH IT.

AYCE Fried Chicken at Roy Choi's A-Frame
The inaugural AYCE Fried Chicken day (July 14) was a HUGE hit! Many thanks to Roy Choi & Natasha Phan for organizing the food crawl last week! Both food and drink were hosted.

A-Frame Website
12565 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA.
(310) 398-7700

A-Frame on FaceBook

Follow Chef Roy “Papi” Choi on Twitter

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” Arnold H. Glasgow

Please check back for Sunny Spot & Chego posts!

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