Tag Archives: Culture

Whole Fish and Banku, Ghanaian Style

They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. As I dug into the whole tilapia’s succulent flesh, I couldn’t have agreed more.


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Delicious as it is, Ghanaian food is little known in the United States. Even in the New York City area, a Google search reveals just a couple of options.

“Ghanaian food is a whole process.”

Anonymous pal

Fortunately, I had a connection. A Ghanaian friend of mine buys homecooked meals from a woman who runs a restaurant out of her house.

Turns out Travis Kalanick didn’t invent ghost kitchens!

We popped open the warm clamshell containers to reveal a massive, whole fish. The tilapia was marinated and served with two spicy sauces.

The flesh was moist and succulent. I always thought I hated tilapia, but cooked whole like this, it’s wonderful!

Alongside our plates: a massive and scrumptious-looking dumpling. These are called banku.

Banku are a staple of Ghanaian food. They’re made of fermented corn.

Banku’s mild flavor is a perfect match for spicy sauces. It’s kind of like chips and salsa.

The only downside: they’re sticky! My friend dug in with her hand, but I soon switched to a fork.

I guess I can only become so Ghanaian in one day. 🙂

Cooking fish whole as they do in Ghana yields a more tender and flavorful flesh. And never forget to eat the meat from the head — it’s the best part!

I saved the fish bones for a stock I’ll be making soon. Never let anything go to waste!

If you haven’t tried Ghanaian food, I strongly recommend it! It’s flavorful and relatively healthy — mostly protein and vegetables with a modest amount of starch.

What were your most interesting meals this year? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on food:

Korean Noodle Heaven at Food Gallery 32

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

NYC’s King of Sugar: Posh Pop Bakeshop

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Korean Noodle Heaven at Food Gallery 32

I stepped off the ice cold street into a place I’d never been. This was going to be an amazing meal.


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Food Gallery 32 sits in the heart of Manhattan’s Koreatown. As you wind through the stalls serving everything from taiyaki to bulgogi, you’d swear you were in a market in Asia.

My friend and I were pulled toward a noodle stand in the back as if by gravity. The plastic model of a spicy seafood noodle stew looked so good I almost took a bite.

We both ordered it, and I took a black hockey puck that promised to light up when our noodles were ready. I looked at it expectantly, willing it to erupt in vibration and flashing lights.

Food Gallery seems small, but seating is actually plentiful if you head upstairs. We found a cozy spot on the second floor and settled in, tense with anticipation.

Buzz…buzz! The noodles were ready!

I slowly navigated the stairs with our trays, careful not to spill our noodles. Friendships have ended over less.

As I began to slurp down the steaming noodles, a grin spread across my face. The piping hot, spicy broth warmed me from the inside.

I picked shrimp, mussels, and octopus from the bowl as if it were a treasure hunt. The shellfish was fresh, supple, delicious.

No matter how much I ate, there always seemed to be more! And all for just $13 plus tax.

Take that, inflation!

Stuffed, we sat for hours in Food Gallery’s toasty cocoon, chatting and laughing. You can’t help but be merry in a place like this.

Food Gallery has something for everyone, from pork buns to bubble tea, even karaoke! Stop in for a taste of what’s best about New York.

What’s your favorite spot for Korean food? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on food:

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

New Jersey’s Jelly Donut Heaven

Move Over, Cake Boss: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

The Kings of Cuban Coffee

Last summer, as the lockdowns were lifting, my wife and I sat at a little table on bustling Bergenline Avenue. I lifted a tiny cup to my lips and tasted some of the boldest, most flavorful coffee of my life.

The place was Sweets and Cortaditos in North Bergen, NJ. It sits near the top of the lively shopping street near leafy Braddock Park.

This small shop serves the most outstanding cortaditos and cafes con leche I’ve ever had. The signature cortadito has a deep, rich flavor complemented by the smoothness of steamed milk.

It goes beautifully with a slice of creamy cheese cake or a delectable cupcake.

Originally from Belleville, Sweets and Cortaditos opened its North Bergen location in 2016. From what I can tell, it’s been an incredible success. A steady hum of customers pass in and out, dainty coffees and satisfying treats in hand.

Sitting at the outdoor tables, painted after the Cuban flag, and listening to a street festival play Cuban music made us feel like we were in Havana. At a difficult time for our neighbor Cuba, it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy a bit of their culture close to home.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

More on food and Cuba:

How to Get Internet to Cuba

The Best Mexican Food Is In…New Jersey?

New Jersey’s Jelly Donut Heaven

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Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

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The Awesome Video Series That’s Sweeping Japan Now

This weekend, my wife introduced me to an adorable little video series ]that’s become all the rage lately in her home country of Japan. The stop-motion animations feature little guinea pig cars that have adventures, and the sounds are recorded from actual guinea pigs! We’ve enjoyed relaxing in the evenings with these cute videos. Each takes countless hours to make and a new one is uploaded to this YouTube channel every week.

Pui pui is a onomatopoeia for the sound guinea pigs make. You needn’t speak Japanese or be familiar with Japan to enjoy the series, but those who do/are will notice a few funny tidbits. The restaurant in this video is based on Jonathan’s, a popular (and excellent) family restaurant chain in Japan. But the video renders it Molsan’s, based on “morumotto”, the Japanese word for guinea pig, and “san,” which is like Mr.

Have fun! 🙂