Korean Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stew (Dak-dori-tang)


When I used to live with my Korean best friend, she would cook this sometimes. It tastes like home, its so warm, spicy and sweet at the same time… this is hands down my most favorite Korean stew. (I also love Jiamppong but I think that’s soup… those are my two favorite.) This recipe is similar to the traditional recipe, but I made it the traditional way and it tasted different from what my friend made. (She never taught me her recipe.) After some trials of different versions, this is the one I liked the most. (For example, traditional one has sesame oil but I didn’t like it with sesame oil. My Korean friends said they don’t put it either.)

*Side Note*:  It takes about 45mins to cook this, and I eat it with rice. so cook some rice on the side if you like rice!!

but I soak chicken in milk for an hour or two prior to cooking, to help it become tender. (Americans soak it in buttermilk, Koreans that with milk, some of my Asian friends (from various countries) soak Chicken in Coke (Cola) and some mentioned canned pineapple juice…)

Ingredients for 2 servings (I don’t eat a lot):

  • Dark Meat Chicken – 4 Chicken legs (with skin because I love skin.)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup of Mirin – Japanese sweet cooking wine


  • 1 table spoon honey (I sometimes use manuka honey instead too)
  • 2 table spoon Korean Red Chili pepper paste (Gochujang)


  • 1 Russet Potato slightly bigger than a fist (for 2 serving)
  • 1 carrot (The regular size, not baby carrots)
  • 1/2 large onion
  • (Garlic and ginger if you want – I skip those.)
  • (Scallions if you’d like.)
  1.  First, soak chicken legs in milk or buttermilk in a medium sized cooking pot for 30mins – 2 hours depending on how soon you want it, how hungry you are or how tender you want the chicken to be.
  2. Get rid of the milk, put water in the pot and toss it to rinse milk off the chicken legs.
  3. Add 1.5 cup of water, 1/4 cup of soy sauce , 1/8 cup of mirin (the cooking wine), 1 table spoon honey and 2 table spoon Gochujang (Chili Pepper Paste) into the pot with Chicken.
  4. Stir it (Step#3 ingredients) without breaking the chicken. (Gentry, stir around Chicken legs)
  5. Cook it on medium heat for 15mins. (Make sure its simmering, not boiling.)
  6. Add potato, carrots and put a lid over the pot, but leaving 1/4 inch gap for the air to escape. Keep an eye on it and make sure its simmering, not boiling.
  7. After another 15mins, add garlic and ginger if you decided to use them.
  8. Keep it simmering till the chicken is tender and breaks apart easily, and potato looks soft.9038C915-BD3C-440F-8C25-DF71C5534546
  9. Add scallions and cook for 1 minute.
  10. Serve it in a bowl, over rice – that’s the best way!!

They use Gochujang, the Chili paste for all kinds of Korean food- you can get smaller size if there’s a korean grocery store nearby. I use it for Korean fried rice too! Mirin is also very useful for many traditional yummy Japanese food 🤗

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗



Best Chicken and Waffle so far? NYC

Hello everyone!!

I finally tried place everyone talks about… Queens Comfort in Astoria.

3618 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103

(Its cash only, btw)


Normally, I’m not a fan of comfort food because it makes me feel so guilty eating it. Lol deep fried a lot of stuff… my Okinawan dad would scream “outrageous!!” 😱😱 (Okinawans are known for our longevity and healthy diet.) 👵🏼👴🏼

So, usually I don’t really order Chicken and Waffle myself … I pick on others’. (Yep I’m evil like that.) But today, I looked at Queens Comfort’s menu… and everything looked good but the server said I should definitely have this over Fried Chicken salad with Brussels Sprouts (I love those!!)

So I did. And oh-my-god!! Chicken is fried with cornflakes but they are smashed to smaller pieces so its texture is almost like Panko but crispier. And I looooove Panko (One of the best Japnese inventions.)


I definitely love Maple Syrup and spicy thing so it was perfect. If you like comfort food, or if you’re in the mood for it – definitely go to Queens Comfort!!


Astoria today is full of good restaurants now. Once it gets warm you can eat here and head to the Bohemian Beer Garden, or even go to Hunter’s Point South Park after. All of that together will definitely  be worth your trip 😉

Thank you for visiting, until next time 😊



My favorite places to eat in NYC

I like to eat out a lot – and when you live in NYC – there are just way many choices.

Now I know there are countless restaurants in this city; and they have so many choices when it comes to them.

I mostly like Asian food – since I’m half Japanese and Thai – I can eat them anytime. I also like French, and American. I loooove Vietnamese food and buffet style Brazilian BBQ places.

There are some places I’ve tried and liked – but there are only handful of places that I keep going back.

*Astoria/Queens area *

One day a person asked me if you were to have the last meal of your life – what would it be? For me, it’s Hanger Steak vermicelli with extra topping of fried egg, at District Saigon. Hands down the best Vietnamese place I’ve been in NYC so far.


37-15 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

*N & W train, near Broadway stop. On Broadway between 37th and 38th st.)


I believe they only opened up few years ago – and their catfish is also super juicy. (My friend said the most moist catfish she’s ever tried.)


*Midtown West/Manhattan area*

Another place I keep going back to is called District Social. (Haha they are both District S_____.)

I usually go there for a couple of drinks and the steak. The other day though, my friend tried Cod with Lobster sauce and ohhhh my gahhhhhh its to die for. (I mean I almost wanted to push her off the seat and take her food. Jk.) But yes if we had known the sauce was good we would have told the server to never stop and pour that thing all over us. Seriously it’s that good!!


And I also tried their dessert for the first time. I had Creme Brûlée with fig. I love love love both of them so when they combine those two – heaven in my mouth. I’m pretty picky when it comes to dessert – even more so than food – and this one was perfect. Perfectly thin hard caramel and creamy & rich yet not heavy custard.


252 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

Its on 37th street by 8th Avenue, close to both Times Square and Penn Station.

Thank you for visiting, until next time 😊



Celebrate Women with Us


Women: our beauty shines through our eyes and souls; not from how our bodies are shaped or look, because they change overtime…

Our strength comes from our intelligence, love and care for others. That would never change.

When we love, we love unconditionally and will always be there by your side. Celebrate us with us; and see us through our eyes and souls – not by how we are shaped outside.

Inspired by this beautiful mural I found on #frenchmenstreet in #neworleans

Thank you for visiting!! Until next time🤗





#nola #thinkingoutloud #internationalwomensday #eyes #beautifuleyes #love #streetart #streetartphotography #streetphotography #graffiti #mural #moonlight #soulthatshines #women #innerbeauty #girlpower #prettyeyes #旅するうちなんちゅ #うちなんちゅ #travel #okinawantravels #okinawan #girlwhotravels #travelphotography #インスタ映え #旅行 #旅行女子

Everyone plays Music in New Orleans


Living in NYC for 7+ years, and studying acting, I was always surrounded by music.  There are always people playing music on subway platforms; and I sometimes go to Jazz bars…

But, New Orleans? It’s on completely another level. Literally everyone – I mean anyone – plays music and jazz… even some people who you wouldn’t expect to play by looking at them. (Ummm hmm don’t judge a book by its cover…)

First night:

I had fun drinking Old Fashioned on Bourbon Street, (Bourbon on Bourbon. Yes, that makes me happy. I’m simple like that. 😂 )

The musicians at the bar I went – Bourbon Street Drinkery – they were so energetic and upbeat like a marching band. It made me feel so excited and sing all out with them (yep I did not care.)

Second night:

New friends I made from the Ultimate Swamp Adventure – a couple from Toronto who play music – asked me if I wanna join them in the evening to go listen to Jazz on Frenchmen Street.

And that’s the place to be for jazz – so I said heck yeah!!

The show they wanted to see at Snug Harbor was sold out; so we just found a restaurant down the street that had plenty of room and jazz that sounded pretty good. 🙂

They also had Warriors game on the TV screen – what more can I ask for? What a perfect night!! Lol had some steak and totally pampered myself…


We step outside, and see a group of people playing jazz in front of a cafe that’s closed for the day. They had this gipsy-like feeling (not in the racial context but more like nomad, wanderer sense). Suddenly my mind was transported to Berlin… it was so magical.

We keep on walking and we see a group of guys and a couple is dancing to their music.

And we walk further down, and we see another group of people playing music. One of them was playing only 3-4 notes whole time… he gave me a feeling like I could pick up an instrument and play music instantly!! 😂 yay!!  They look like punk rockers but then they play jazz… interesting, eh?

New Orleans is truly a unique, culturally rich and fun city that became my most favorite tourist destination in the U.S. ☺️

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗



About Me:

E3BA61B9-33FF-4D31-A4C4-AEC28D50BF1EHello everyone, my name is Erina. I’m from Okinawa, Japan – a tropical island with clear water, white sand, unique melting pot culture that has one of the nicest people on earth… ☀️🤗

I’ve lived in the United States for 12 years: – a year in Collegeville Minnesota when I was an exchange student in high school,

– half a year in San Francisco for a semester in college,

– 3.5 years in Santa Monica (Los Angeles,CA)

and 7+ years in a Big Apple!!

I studied Acting in Santa Monica and then graduated with BFA Acting from a college that has one of the most competitive acting programs in New York… (some of the most notable alumni are Laverne Cox (OITNB) Melissa Benoist (Glee, Supergirl), etc.

While I was doing a Shakespeare summer intensive program by BADA and Yale Drama, which took place in Oxford, England, I have awaken my inner traveller inside me – because we have limited time on this beautiful planet, so why not explore it as much as we can??

During that summer I took trains and travelled London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Istanbul. (The trip between Prague to Istanbul was 48hrs 😳)

95E8ACBE-B7DB-457B-B67E-1081323BD8CBI’ve visited  55 cities in 16 countries so far that I can think of on top of my head… and many more to come!!

Thank you for visiting, until next time… 🤗