xiao long bao (小籠包) at home

I spent a lot of my day listening to Ginuwine hits from the early 2000s, doing a little vacation-daydreaming, and getting nostalgic about being in Asia on this dreary Sunday; so, I decided to make some soup dumplings (aka 小籠包).  This is my first time making XLBs, and it won’t be the last…

Gotta be compatibleeeeee

The following is my v1 recipe for XLB; overall I thought the filling was perfect, though I’ll be iterating on the dumpling skins and “meat jelly”  sounds gross, right? but that’s the yum that turns in to soup inside the dumplings when you steam them. If this is too crucial for you, I guess: I DON’T THINK YOU’RE READY FOR THIS JELLY.)


  • In a pot of about 4 cups of boiling water, add a pound of skin-on pork belly for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pork rind, rinse in cool water and cut into small strips.
  • Add back to a clean pot of 4 cups of water, 5 smashed ginger medallions and several green onion ends. Cook for 2 hours on low heat.
  • Using a food processor or emersion blender, pulse the soup for a few seconds and put into a container and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (preferably over night).
  • In another bowl, add about 6 tablespoons of finely minced ginger, 3 tablespoons of minced green onion, 1 pound of ground pork, 2 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce. Mix well.
  • Pulse this mixture with your blender/food processor until it becomes like a paste.  Add in the meat jelly.
  • In another bowl, add 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of cold water into a large bowl and knead well until the dough is smooth and stretchy.  Let it rest in a covered bowl for 25 minutes before rolling it out.
  • Roll out your dough and cut into even pieces
  • Roll dough pieces into little balls about 4cm in diameter
  • Roll out the little dough balls into circles a few millimeters thick
  • be firm but delicate when making your dumplings!
  • Add about 1.5 teaspoons of your filling in the center of a dough circle and pleat and pinch around until the dumpling is closed.
  • I steamed my XLBs on porcelain spoons lined with thinly sliced carrots
  • Steam each batch for about 8 minutes
  • Enjoy with some black vinegar and grated ginger!

And of course because I CAN; I made myself a few pork belly buns too. HA!


Elephant Grey

We were joking calling me a “chic monk” in my flowy greyscale outfit while we were shooting some sunrises ago – what can I say, I like to drift around comfortably. Though while looking through some digi & film selects from M, I started listening to Elephant and realized that in everything I do and with everything I wear, I try to be like baby elephants.  No, not just in lovely greys…

Mostly in a dichotomous way of being at once strong yet gentle; I think I’ll add this to my list for 2015.  Similarly, I’d like to meet a baby elephant someday.

| hat @ rag + bone | silk blouse @ everlane | culottes @ zara (tailored; similar) | platforms @ miu miu (others) |


edgeofthecitybackview  swirls

This is one of my favorite shots of this old Volvo that M captured while I was of course standing in the middle of the street!IMG_0054


hydrantmonk   deetsgoozebumps




and the rap video shot… lol rapvideo

photography: Mitch Blummer

xo, Huckleberry Kim

Easy Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs

There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal after a long day at work; and to be honest, sometimes, nothing will do the trick like a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs with your favorite glass of wine.  I didn’t grow up with an Italian nonna teaching me how to make this meatball-magic happen, so I decided to experiment with my own recipe.  Please note, the following recipe is an attempt to optimize for:

| 1. prep time | 2. cook time | 3. taste satisfaction/time spent |

Spaghetti and Meatballs (Approx. prep to eat time 45 minutes)

| grass fed ground beef | onions | baby crimini mushrooms | breadcrumbs | bay leaves | garlic | crushed tomatoes |


| Combine the ground beef (~ 2 lbs), breadcrumbs (~ 2 cups), about half a bunch of parsley (chopped), shredded parmesan (~ 0.5 cup), some salt and pepper |  Form into balls |


| In a large pot, start cooking your meatballs until they’re browned all around; this will help them keep their shape in your sauce |


| Add your onions, garlic, and mushrooms to the pot with your meatballs and let those aromatics soften up |


| Add ~56 oz. of crushed tomatoes |


| Throw in about 5 – 6 bay leaves and let that simmer (make your pasta in the meantime) |

| Cook some of your favorite pasta, I used a corn & rice based gluten free spaghetti here; top with some chopped parsley and grated parmesan. Eat. |

After having released this spaghetti and meatball iteration to about 4 users (total), it has been deemed a statistically significant success. [i need to go on vacation].

xo, Huckleberry Kim

(New) Tradition: Non-traditional Holiday Dinner, Part 1 – Momofuku Inspired Pork Belly Buns

For as long as I can remember, I have spent December holiday time with my entire (extended) family, which includes 7 aunts/uncles, all of their children, and the grandparents – it’s a lot of people.   The holidays have always been a secular occasion for us – a nice time of year to spend time together, share love, laughter, food, stories, and gifts – though because of this, I had not been as exposed to many of the religious traditions that are the pinnacles of big December holidays (e.g. of Christmas or Hanukkah) around the world. 

The only “tradition” my family has kept in the last years has been: hilarious.  Each of the grandchildren (which ranges from me and my older brother – both in our mid-twenties- down through just under 20 cousins total, ranging from age 1 to 17) – having to display some sort of talent/entertaining performance for our grandparents (all aunts/uncles watching, naturally) before gifts are opened.  Will share more on this later… I digress.

Anyhow, this year, having the holidays with just our nuclear family – my parents, my brother and me – I wanted to start a new tradition.  And as my epically contrarian self, I determined that our holiday dinner “tradition” should be to always have a super non-traditional holiday dinner! Ha! Eat that, Santa.  So having spent most of my 2014 eating super dank food between the east and west coasts, I was feeling confident, and I decided to take on the task of preparing our first non-traditional holiday dinner tradition.  

The first course was inspired by David Chang @ Momofuku - I’m so predictable, right?  Between eating way too much ramen and too many pork buns at Momofuku and having my passion for cooking reignited by watching The Mind of a Chef on PBS, it was inevitable, and I was determined to make David Chang’s infamous pork buns for my family.  

I think they turned out okay: 

Roasted Pork Belly on Steamed Buns  (Inspired by Momofuku)

> Prep the pork belly!

>> Take about 3 pounds of pork belly (remove the skin), mix a bowl of about half of a cup of kosher salt and sugar and coat your pork belly

> Cover it and let that hang out for 6 – 10 hours

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> Meanwhile…start your steamed bun dough!

>> Mix a packet of active dry yeast, 1.5 cups of water, 4.25 cups of bread flour (my mom suggests that next time I should try self-rising flour as that’s what she usually uses to make traditional Vietnamese steamed “bánh bao”), 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/3 cup of bacon/pork fat (i made some scrumptious bacon for breakfast and reserved the fat to use in my dough!) 

>> Mix that until it’s all combined for about 10 minutes then gather into a ball.

> Let that sit and rise in an oiled bowl for 1-2 hours!

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> After about 6-10 hours, there should be some liquid that has accumulated in your roasting pan with your pork belly – pour all of that out.  Preheat your oven to about 450F and cook for about 45 minutes; flipping it over once in between.  Then turn your oven down to about 250F and cook until the pork belly is well browned and tender.

> Finish up your bread!  Cut up your dough ball into about 20 even pieces and roll them into balls.

>> Roll each mini ball out into small ovals (I usually just use a wine bottle to roll out my dough – works well if you can’t find your rolling pin!)

>> Place your rolled dough on small pieces of cut parchment paper

>> Brush each piece of rolled dough with a bit of vegetable oil, lay a chopstick across the center and fold the dough over onto itself making a wee little bun!

>> Steam your buns for about 10 minutes per batch.

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> Start your flash pickled cucumbers!

>> Take 5 persian cucumbers and run them over a mandolin or slice super thin (if you’re good at that).

>> Add about 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, and some coarse ground pepper.

>> Toss well and let that sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble your buns!

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> When everything’s ready to go – assemble your buns!

>> Cut your pork belly into 1/4 inch thick slices, open a bun, spread about 1.5 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, about 1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce, throw on some of your flash pickled cucumbers and some curled scallions and ENJOY!!

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Happy Holidays!

xo, Huckleberry Kim

mercurial inspiration

a real look inside the tk sweatshop below.  thread scraps on leather scraps.  it all comes together eventually.

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Since being back and forth between New York and San Francisco over the last 9 months, each coast of my friends, old and new, has heard a parallel storyline consisting of my passionate touting of New York and contempt for San Francisco.

The story goes something like:

“Ugh, this would never happen in New York.”

“Sure I’ll concede that there are likely more interesting and intelligent men here, but they’re all so passive and don’t make eye contact so I won’t meet them anyway.”

“The only thing I’ve missed about SF is that Napa is only an hour away.”

“It’s low-carb if I get the bagel scooped out.”

At least I’ve been consistent across coasts right? Same line of argument: NY > SF


Sorry y’all (to both friends on the best and west coasts). Let me take a moment to formally apologize for being such a curmudgeon about the golden coast.  San Francisco is lovely (ish) – and believe me, I cannot believe I’m saying this. 

But the thing is, I met someone last night……………….. (I’m rolling my eyes at half of you right now.)

who changed my mind about things a little bit……………………….. (Seriously though?)

*take all of this with a grain of salt because I’ve been juicing and listening to Serial for the last few days.

She could’ve been a fashion girl I’d have met at a party on either coast.  A little chic, a little standoffish, cordial.  But she said something and it made me feel weird feelings.  All at once, what she said:

  • made me want to soul-sister-high-five her,
  • made me want to walk away from her,
  • sparked the ambivalent contrarian in me,
  • and invoked this rush of happy-sadness for where my mind has been for the majority of this year.

She said:

“There’s no inspiration in San Francisco.”

and I think my face made one of those wiggly-eyebrowed, super-tk-emotive, looks of confusion.

“Like there’s no art,” “there’s nothing inspiring,” she continued, asserting that design and creativity could only flourish in a city like New York where inspiration exists.

So my brain goes:




I’m no SF-patriot, but I couldn’t cannot get behind that.  Because I believe that no one should be a shell of one’s optimal self outside of ideal coordinates.

F*cking adaptable user experience.

So, I went home early, pulled out my chalk, shears, and a wool from Mood (that a dear friend got me years ago and I’d been saving for one of these moments), closed my eyes, and found some intercoastal inspiration.

[Exhibit A] :

| racer front | dropcrotch | wool | romper | boom |

(oh, and clearly unfinished, but yes, that is black leather detailing)

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Don’t get the wrong idea, San Francisco; I’m still madly in love with Brooklyn (and I have a feeling that Long Island City, Queens is trying to make a move).

I just want to believe that if you’re lucky enough to truly find your good place (of inspiration, of love, of ambition, of excitement, of whatever..) that it won’t be so fleeting if you decide to spend a few months somewhere completely different doing something completely different.  Because if it’s real it will stay and adapt and grow with you.

 I’m definitely getting an epic bagel this weekend. xx.

Fall for Everything: Transitional Layering

I love the summertime.  It’s so fun, carefree, romantic, and warm (clearly); after all, people get so into it that they write songs about summertime emotions that they feel.  But we’re moving on, year; aren’t we?  Don’t get stuck.  Don’t get left behind.

There are merits to autumn as well – one of my favorites is transitional layering…and hats. See below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA | Goorin Bros. hat Everlane silk & shortsleeve sweat shirt | Zadig & Voltaire sequin shorts (similar) | Céline Phantom tote |

Photography: Samuel


sweet potato crust pizza with squash blossoms, figs & goat cheese

Lately, I’ve been all about the chia seeds.  Perhaps it’s all in my head, but they keep me full and pumped with energy – rather than my 2 usual consumption cases of 1) not having time to eat at all or 2) eating all of the pizza.  It was Monday night, I did not have any #weekendtk plans, so I got some sweet potatoes and wanted to make a guilt-free pizza!  Here’s how it went:

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  1. Peel and chop up 3 small – medium sized sweet potatoes and add them to a pot of boiling water with:
    • half a teaspoon of coarse sea salt,
    • half a teaspoon of cayenne (if you’re a spicy chef comme moi),
    • half a teaspoon of ginger (I used ginger powder, next time I might try freshly ground).
  2. In a separate pan, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and throw in 4-ish cloves of coarsely chopped garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in your prepared squash blossoms (2-3 cups; they cook down a lot) and cook for an additional 3 minutes
    • How to prepare squash blossoms, you ask?:
      • Cut off the ends
      • Strip stalks of epidermis (OMG, I’m such a nerd, but honestly, what else do you call it?)
      • Wash thoroughly
      • Dry
  4. Set aside your squash blossoms
  5. Once your sweet potatoes are soft enough to easily pierce with a knife or fork, drain the water and add in about one third of your cooked squash blossoms
  6. Mash that mixture up really well (I actually used my hand blender – thanks MKB!)
  7. Add:
    • three quarters of a cup of almond flour,
    • one quarter of a cup of chia seeds,
    • one teaspoon of baking soda,
    • and half a teaspoon of coarse sea salt to your mash.
  8. Knead that. Knead it like you mean it.
  9. Press the dough into your lightly olive-oiled baking pan in whatever shape you want to make your pizza (it should be about 1/3 to 1/2 and inch thick)
  10. Bake that at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until the edges look slightly browned and happy.
  11. Take that out of the oven and add your remaining squash blossoms to the top – bake for an additional 7ish minutes.
  12. Top with figs and chèvre and broil for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  13. Eat.

Bon appétit!

Huckleberry Kim