So the kids are finally asleep (it's 1am NJ time, but 8PM Hawaii Time but hey I'll take it) so I get some alone time to chronicle my gluttonous antics for the past week.
I would say if there was one dish I could not /would not ever leave NJ without having, it is soon doo boo (spicy tofu soup). So I know you can get soon doo boo in other places but no place does it right like So Gong Dong by my parents house in Palisades Park NJ. The brand is a landmark around here and it's quite famous. It was featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations etc.
In Hawaii they have soon doo boo as well and places that are called So Gong Dong but the taste is not the same. Don't get me wrong, Hawaii is good with food, I've learned when it comes to certain foods (ie sushi, ramen, Japanese, Udon, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese.. SPAM, shrimp and many more noms) Hawaii is a food Mecca. But I can't explain it, every time I have soon doo boo anywhere else but So Gong Dong it just doesn't taste right. It's something, like many things, I took for granted when I lived down the street from the stuff. But now that I live a continent and an ocean away, many days go by when I yearn for the hot-scorching-spicy-msg-infested-tongue-tickling-taste of So Gong Dong soon doo boo. When the stuff hits my palate it transports me back to my High School days when I'd venture to Bergen County to have the stuff, when I was so carefree and life was just over the horizon. It evokes memories of my single days after I had graduated college and I was trying to make my way in the world and we had just moved to Palisades Park where the soft tofu was a comfort on love lorn days, always a great compliment with a good time with good friends. It's food that reminds me of the person I was before I became a mother and a wife. Food that reminds me to be grateful for the many steps and people and instances it took to make me who I am.
Well the other day, after a major snow storm, the snow piled high around our house, and our neighborhood. The cold was getting to us. My husband, who loves the stuff too, and I decided we HAD to have some. We had my parents watch the kids and made the trek through the snow, in freezing cold weather, to have a taste of the good stuff.
That is a picture I snapped from my window. Notice there is not much of a sidewalk? Yep we cray.
Well I'll just stop typing and let the pictures do the rest.
This is after it cooled down a bit it came out sizzling! Another thing I loooove about Song Gong Dong is the fact that they give their rice in Dol Sot (stone pot) bowls!
I look like a kid in a candy store~! When it comes out you crack a raw egg inside and wait till it cooks abit. How long do I wait? Till my egg is cooked and the yolk is slighty runny.
It's chow time!
You definitely need some sweet LA Kalbi to offset the spicy salty pot of heat!
So after you're done you wash all the flavorful stuff you had (salty/spicy/sweet) with nurumjee (the slightly burnt leftover rice from the stone pot, with water poured over it). The rich smooth subtle taste of the burnt slightly crispy rice makes it all go down.
We were sooo cold when we got there but sooo warm leaving. We trekked in the snow back to my parent's house. I think I was still high on the msg and I slipped on some ice, fell flat on my back walking back. Ouch! My tail bone! My husband helped me up, I got to my senses, dusted off the snow and smiled all the way back home in the freezing cold, trudging through the tundra.
Was so worth it.
The things we doo for soon doo boo =)