Super Bowl Sliders

The Super Bowl has become one of the biggest holidays of the year in the states. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t an official government edict, that it has no religious status – not even some ancient pagan ancestor, or that it is usually a pretty crappy football game that only people in the two cities involved really cares about. It is a reason to go to someone’s house, gather ’round the big screen, and eat yourself into oblivion.

This year we were invited over and told to bring sliders of our own design. At first, I was not too excited. I am not a football fan (college basketball is my sport of choice – I went to Kansas and my son goes to Duke) and I didn’t relish a wasted day of boring sports and overindulgence. I started to think about things and try to make the best of it. There was some serious cooking skills at this place (professional caterers, graduates of chef school, people from Louisiana) and I decided to go for it and make an effort at putting together some original sliders.

If you don’t know, sliders are small hamburgers, originally from the White Castle chain. They have gone beyond those simple (but good) tiny versions of the All American Burger. Recently, I have been to a couple of food trucks – Easy Slider and The Butcher’s Son for example – that raised the bar on the creativity of sliderdom.

So I sat down with a sheet of notebook paper and worked out three different versions of sliders – two fairly pedestrian ones and one that was a bit more exotic.

First, BLT sliders. Simple – bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a roll with a little mayo. Easy and foolproof.

Then, for a second slider, I went for a Blu Cheese slider. Sliced sausage with blu cheese coleslaw and blu cheese crumbles on top.

Finally, with a little trepidation I designed a Korean slider. Pork Bar-b-que with caramelized kimchi. Soy sauce and Sriacha on the bun for a spicy kick. I still had a bunch of kimchi left over from my trip to Super H Mart. I ground some up in a food processor and sauteed it with some brown sugar (caramelized kimchi).

So I made a trip to the store and then set up an assembly line on the kitchen counter. The nice thing about sliders is that you can make a boatload of ’em without too many raw materials. There isn’t much in each little thing.

So we headed over and I lugged my trays of sliders into the house. The BLT and Blu Cheese were fine cold, but I heated the Korean sliders up in the oven. The first two disappeared immediately. I didn’t even get to try any myself, they were gone as soon as I set them out. The Korean sliders weren’t such a big hit. They were too spicy for most folks’ taste – but the more adventuresome eaters seemed to like them. I thought they were good – but I’m used to kimchi and spicy stuff.

I guess I had a good time, though we stayed too long and I ate way too much. I remember looking at a plate where I had stuck a few jalepeno peppers wrapped in bacon and thought, “I should not eat these. I’m already full and if I do it will make me sick.” I did and they did.

There was some point in the game where I think the announcer said, “And on that play Brady had no choice except to eat the football.” I know how he felt. I felt like I had eaten a football.

It even killed the next day. I walked around in a haze, dehydrated and worn out from the effort of digesting all that food.

So I swear I will never do that again. I’ll have to read this again to remind myself before next year’s Superbowl.

BLT Slider

Blu Cheese slider

Korean slider - bar-b-que, kimchi, and sriacha

Slider assembly line

One nice thing about sliders - they are easy to transport

 Thunder Burger

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duck shredded & sandwiched

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Whiskey BBQ Sliders with Jalepenos

Turkey Burger Sliders


Turkey Bacon Sliders

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Oven Baked Burger Sliders

Bison Sliders w/ Crinkle Fries

Hot Pepper BBQ Pork Sliders

Pulled Pork Sliders w/ Homemade French Fries

The Best Sliders

Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders (by PW)


Super H Mart

I love the Saigon Market near my house, but I have been hearing the virtues of an even larger Asian Market called Super H Mart. It’s in north Carrollton, which is on the other side of the Metroplex from my humble home, but my car gets good mileage and I had some time today, so off I went.

It looks like a Kmart

Super H Mart is a chain, which started on the East Coast. It’s a huge place, with a massive grocery store surrounded by little stores and a long corridor of a food court. The biggest draw is the produce department with an endless assortment of fruits and vegetables… from normal looking peppers to the strangest looking spiky fruits from the far corners of the globe.

The place was packed with shoppers, noisy and active. It’s not very well organized, so you get to walk around a lot looking for stuff. It’s really clean though, and it’s an odd contrast, with the exotic selection presented like a typical American Megamart.

A great selection of Ramune

Of course, like any good Asian market, the seafood section is a treat. The back wall is full of tanks with every sea creature you can imagine. What isn’t swimming around is lined up on rows of aisles of ice. I wandered around looking at the stuff, watching some woman probing a case of blue crabs, watching them jump around, trying to decide if they were active enough.

Are your Abalone fresh?

Fan mail from some flounder?

Saigon Market in my neighborhood specializes in Vietnamese Fare, of course. Super H Mart specializes in Korean Food. I have never seen so much Kimchi in my life. Glass jars, plastic tubs, and big bags of a bewildering array of different kinds of fermented goodness – whole head cabbage, napa cabbage, radish, and many more that I didn’t really understand.

Jars of Kimchi, half and full gallons.

I like to buy my kimchi by the bag.

So I picked up a basket and filled it with a six pack of Ramune, some Udon, a big bag of Tobagi Kimchee, a bag of nectarines, and some Jufran hot banana sauce. Just another day at the grocery store.

There is a large section of teas and herbal remedies. Including this one, "Super Colon Sweeper." You have to admire a product with a drawing of the human lower digestive system on the label.

Kimchi Udon

On Sundays I try to make up some lunches to pack up so I can take them to work the next week, something I can nuke, and save a smidgen of money over eating lunch out. Inspired by the Kimchee Fries I had from the SsahmBBQ Food Truck I decided to do something with Kimchi. Instead of fries, I thought I’d have them with Tofu and Udon noodles (I love the big, pfat udon).

Low on raw materials, I headed out to Saigon Mall, the Asian grocery store (and more) near our house. I go there a lot – though not as often as I’d like. It’s like taking a little exotic vacation for the cost of a meal, smoothie, or a bag of groceries.

Saigon Mall

Saigon Mall, about a half-mile from my house. This used to be the neighborhood Target store.

I was low on Udon, so I bought a package. Saigon Mall has two entire aisles plus a refrigerated section dedicated to noodles in all their varied glory. I’ve tried several brands, and decided that I like the Hoshi Maru Udon the best.

When you buy noodles from Saigon Mall the receipt always says “Alimentary Paste” on it. I thought that was some sort of mistranslation until I did a tiny bit of research where I discovered that this was something our government, in all its wisdom, required.

From the Cook’s Thesaurus at

Asian noodles Notes: Until recently, the U.S. government required a noodle to contain flour, water, and eggs to be rightly called a noodle. Since most Asian noodles aren’t made with eggs, this left them without much of an identity. The FDA permitted names like “alimentary paste” and “imitation noodles,” but Asian noodle producers–from the birthplace of the noodle no less–could not use the n-word. The government finally relented, and we can now use the name “Asian noodles.”

The Hosi Maru Udon package has the words “Elementary Pasta” written on it. I’m not sure if that is a derivative of “alimentary paste” or not. Luckily I’ve never seen it transposed as “Elementary Paste” – that sounds like what we all ate in third grade.

They had ready-made Kimchi in refrigerated glass bottles. The small quart size said “Kimchi” on it… the big gallons said “MocKimchi.” I don’t know if there is a difference, but as far as I could see the stuff in the jar looked identical. I’m not quite up to buying the gallon size jar of fermented cabbage yet, so I stuck with the quart.


The Kimchi is in the refrigerated case, right next to the jellyfish section.

The store has a mind-boggling selection of sauces. I chose an inexpensive soy sauce pretty much at random and bought a big bottle of Sriracha brand Rooster sauce. A package of firm tofu… and I had my raw ingredients.

Raw Materials

Udon Noodles, Sriracha Sauce, quart jar of Kimchi, Soy Sauce, and Tofu

I sautéed slices of the tofu in a pan until they were a little brown, then cooked some soy sauce with them until it reduced. Meanwhile, I boiled up a mess of udon.

I opened the jar of Kimchi and watched the spicy, fermented cabbage bubble and burp (I guess this is how you know it’s good kimchi) before I dumped it out.

When all this was done, I divided it all up into four meals, then squirted Sriracha over the noodles for flavor and kick.


Kimchi, Noodles with Sriracha, and Tofu

They are packaged apart, but I’ll eat it all together, mixed in a bowl. A pretty good lunch, actually.

Now, there is one problem. All you purists will look at this and say, “You’ve got Japanese Udon, Korean Kimchi, hot sauce that’s a mixture of Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese flavors though it’s made in America and manipulated for Western Tastes. You don’t know what the hell you are doing… mixing all these foods together like that. That is not how these ingredients are supposed to be prepared and served. You are showing your ignorance and disrespect for the culinary cultures of a billion people and look like an idiot for doing so.”

And that is all true. I don’t know what I’m doing and I am an idiot. Thinking about this for a while, I realized there is only one possible riposte to this criticism, “I like it, if you have a problem, you can go fuck yourself.”

Kimchee Fries!

On Friday I decided to take the DART train downtown after work. There were all sorts of festivities planned for the Arts District and beyond and I couldn’t think of anything better to waste my time with. I arrived pretty early and had time to walk around watching roadies unload and put together stages, rows of seats, and banks of elaborate lighting effects. There’s nothing better on a late Friday afternoon than hanging around, being useless, and watching other people work.

Looking at all that effort made me hungry after a while so I set out in quest of some gourmet food trucks. One of the festivities going on was to construct a number of mini-parks in parking spaces all over downtown. Between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Symphony Hall they filled in some spaces with portable turf and set up some dainty chairs and tables – better to chow down on the fare from four trucks set up in the parking lot.

The four trucks were:

Food Trucks

Food Trucks and tables in the Dallas Arts District.

Food Trucks

Four food trucks lined up in a downtown Dallas parking lot.


They all looked great, but I was standing closest to Ssahm BBQ so that’s the way I went. I took a quick glance at their menu and ordered a couple of tacos – one chicken, one tofu.

It was great. Really good, spicy food. I sat at the little table in the parking space and ate my tacos.

A nice little meal.

ssahmBBQ Truck

ssahmBBQ Truck


ssahmBBQ Tacos. Really good. I liked the little battery-powered candles on each table. Pretty upscale for a parking lot.

There was only one problem. While I was waiting for my tacos, someone else walked up to the food truck and asked what to get. The guy said, “Well, the Kimchee Fries are pretty much a must, of course.”

Kimchee Fries! Why didn’t I think of that. I looked at the menu.

  • Fresh Hand Cut Potatoes
  • Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheese
  • Cilantro & Onion
  • Caramelized Kimchee
  • Spicy Mayo

Oh get the hell out! I sat for a minute enjoying the evening, then trooped back to the food truck to place my order of Kimchee fries.

Was it good. You betcha! Now I need to follow that truck around. Or if it’s on the other side of town… make my own.

Kimchee Fries

Kimchee Fries

Food Trucks
Food Trucks in the Dallas Arts District.