Hacked By Imam with Love

SF Underground Market (daytime)

Hey y’all!  Thanks to everyone who came out to the last SF Underground Market on the 21st and tried our food.  We had such an amazing time there… we definitely felt the love.

On another note, I’m very excited to announce that I’m planning my first solo pop-up, this Thursday at the Kala Art Institute’s “Systems of Collecting” – Artists’ Reception in Berkeley.  I’ll be there making your favorite kimchi quesadillas with soy-pickled shiitake mushrooms.  So if you’re planning to go to this and arrive hungry, I’ve gotcha covered!  Look for my pop-up kitchen by the bar…

Kala Art Institute
“Systems of Collecting” Artists’ Reception
2990 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Cost of food: Free (donations gladly accepted)

Mo-Fo kimchi at New Taste Marketplace

Thank goodness for the amazing pop-up scene here in the Bay Area.  I am taking full advantage and riding the wave/trend/movement as long as I can.  Why?  Well, for one, they’re a lot of fun.  The whole concept is really grassroots, so there’s a growing community of foodies, hipsters and activists that are keeping it alive.  But my primary interest in the pop-up food world is mainly because of all the challenges I’ve encountered in dealing with starting up a legit food business.  Even for the tiniest, least complicated food business possible (ie. serving from a pop-up tent at events), it could be months before I get my business off the ground.  Of course, I’ve already dealt with getting all my permits, licensing, insurance, equipment, commercial kitchen, etc., and am now simply playing the waiting game.  Oy vey!  Is it all worth it?  I sure hope so.

In the meantime, the glorious pop-ups that are rocking the food scene in San Francisco are seriously saving me and my business.  They are giving me the opportunity to create a presence in the foodie community and establish a following.  The pop-up markets also give me the freedom to experiment and test new ideas, which sounds easy enough, but often isn’t in the real world.  There is an undeniably adventurous spirit at these events that makes it exciting for both attendees and vendors, and therefore fosters creativity and growth.

Haven’t experienced a Bay Area pop-up market for yourself?  Well then mosey on over to Public Works this Saturday for Forage SF’s monthly Underground Market.  I’ll be there from 11am-4pm during the day market portion, flipping fully loaded kimchi quesadillas (with braised short ribs and soy pickled shiitakes) and selling jars of my kimchi.  Or stop by for the night market from 6pm-11pm, which will have more of a club vibe and mainly hot food vendors (take-home products like jam, pickles, pastries and confections are only available at the day market).  There will be a full bar at both the day and night markets, so the event is 21+ over.  The only other kicker is that you need to be a member to attend SF Underground Market events, but it’s free and easy to do so… just click on the link below.

Stay tuned for more updates on future pop-ups (catch me at the next New Taste Marketplace in June) and my status with Off the Grid: Fort Mason. Hope to see you at the SF Underground Market!

SF Underground Market
Saturday, May 21st, 11am-4pm (day market) / 6pm-11pm (night market) / 11pm-2am (dance party!)
Public Works, 161 Erie Street, San Francisco
Admission: $5 day market / $5 night market / $8 both
21+ over
Membership required, click here



Cheese is one of those things that’s always on my mind.  It’s one of my favorite foods and I’m constantly looking for new tasty ways to eat it.  So I’m happy to report that I discovered a new favorite combination – cheese and kimchi!  Lately I’ve been making kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches and kimchi quesadillas like they’re going out of style!  What’s not to love about gooey melty cheese with crisp, spicy and tangy kimchi?  It’s a seriously addictive pairing.

Drooling?  Intrigued?  This Saturday, you can try it for yourself.  Stop by the upcoming New Taste Marketplace on Saturday May 14th, where I’ll be serving up my kimchi quesadillas with optional addition of soy pickled shiitakes or braised beef short ribs.

Jars of Monchi Foods kimchi will also be available for purchase, if you should be inspired to make your own kimchi creations at home.

Hope to see you there!

New Taste Marketplace
Saturday, May 14th, noon to 5pm
500 De Haro Street @ Mariposa, San Francisco

So, it seems my debut at Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center is now postponed a week or two due to a delay with the National Parks Service application processing.  I’ll let you know as soon as I find out when I can start selling my hot food there.  In the meantime, I am taking orders via email for my kimchi tamales (frozen, cryovac-sealed, and delicious reheated) and my fresh fermented kimchi by the jar (1/2 pint $6, 1 pint $10, 1 quart $18).  My kimchi can brighten many a meal, and it’s full of pro-biotic nutrients to boot!  It’s particularly tasty when added to rice, stir fry, soups, hot dogs, tacos, burgers, tamales, quesadillas, and nachos.  If interested in making a purchase, please email me at mona – at – monchifoods.com.  Thanks!

Fresh fermented kimchi

Thanks to everyone who has come out recently!  By now, we’ve had our “warm-up” events and are feeling confident about our menu, particularly the kimchi tamales.  We’ve gotten so much great feedback from folks who stopped by our booth and tried our goodies at the last New Taste Marketplace and Homegrown Marin Market.  We’ve had loads of fun experimenting with new ideas too – everything from miniature tamales to ginger-spiced horchata.  Now it’s time to play with the big boys.

That’s right… next Friday, April 22nd, we will have our first of many appearances at the weekly mega-street-food-fest, Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center in the city.  It’s going to be awesome (and perhaps a little scary too).  Yes, this will be our biggest gig yet, but we’re ready to rock it!  If you have a chance to stop by Off the Grid, I highly recommend it.  It’s a great opportunity to sample the some of the best street food San Francisco has to offer.

There’ll be about 30 different vendors selling food from trucks and tents, and you can even buy artisanal beer and cocktails provided by Magnolia Pub & Brewery and Alembic Bar.  I went this past Friday and tried an amazing cocktail with bourbon and dill-infused maple syrup… so good!

Stop in and see us!

Monchi Foods @OtG: Fort Mason
Friday April 22nd

We hope to see you there!


Kimchi tamale
The kimchi tamale… all sauced up

We had our “soft opening” last Sunday in San Rafael at Homegrown Marin Market.   Though the rain affected the market attendance a bit, we had a great time chatting with customers and making friends with other vendors.  More importantly, we got rave customer reviews of our signature dish – the kimchi tamale.  We think we have a winning combo of flavors and textures, and people seem to agree.  Hooray!   Customers loved the moist tamales, unique and flavor-packed sauces, and the fresh side of kimchi.  Another vendor thought our kimchi was so good, we should start selling it by the jar!  We even made a meat-eating customer a fan of our tofu tamale!  Now that says a lot.

I’m looking forward to starting up with Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center in the coming weeks, as well as joining other street food markets in SF.  I will keep you posted as more gigs roll in!  Stay tuned.

Join us this Sunday, March 13th from 11am – 5pm at Homegrown Marin Market, 827 4th Street in San Rafael.  Free parking in back!  We’ll be selling our specialty kimchi tamales with choice of pork or tofu.   All of our tamales happen to be gluten free, and the tofu tamales are also vegan (these are my personal faves)!

Monchi Foods will also be joining the all star team of vendors at Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center in the coming weeks.  Check back soon for updates on our Off the Grid schedule.