King Dumplings

March 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today’s a very rainy day here, so I thought this might be an appropriate meal to post: beef and pork dumplings in King-sized wrappers (made last year). These are way too big, but I didn’t have the option of getting the smaller-sized ones because I didn’t like the ingredients of the ones available. Wrappers should be made with rice flour or they won’t taste very good.

I made these too salty–OOPS!  But we tried to off-set that by making them into a soup (one of my comfort foods)….we had to keep it boiling a long time to pull out the salt! I’ve been discouraged to make them again, but I have two packages of wrappers in my freezer right now! I suppose I could make vegetarian taco cups with them…hhhmmm…

Speaking of…these can be vegetarian—just use whatever veggies you like, but also keep in mind that the water content of each will vary.  So you want to use something that will soak up some of the liquid while it’s in the wrapper. I used flour in mine. You’ll also want to keep in mind the different textures of the veggies when choosing the right combination.

My mom would make hundreds of them for New Year’s Day (she had a few helpers) and freeze them a little first on sheet pans or large plates and then throw them in a bag together. That way, they won’t stick to each other. If you live in a cold place, you can just place them outside in the garage during the winter months and they’ll freeze very quickly.

A pet peeve of mine: when I see dumplings being made on TV and on food blogs, people don’t make them with their hands…they always place a bunch on the cutting board and make a bunch at a time. Then they proceed to awkwardly fold them…still on the cutting board! These are to be made by hand, one-by-one and not factory style, taking care into folding and sealing them. I can’t say that I make mine pretty (as shown by the very chubby dumplings I made!), but my mom is my reference point. There’s a lot of TLC that goes into one dumpling—it’s the single most important ingredient to making home-cooked meals delicious (even if there’s too much salt!)!!!

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Kimchi Fried Rice

September 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is what I make when I have very old kimchi and I am short on time (mentioned here).  This time I made it with beef hot links for added protein and bulk, but these can be left out and be just as tasty.  In general, when I make fried rice, I found the best way to make it is to fry the rice separately from the kimchi and then combine it at the end.

  1. Fry rice.
    • Using a large pan or wok, fry old slightly dried rice over high heat in sesame oil (can use a mix of vegetable or canola oil with sesame oil to cut calories).
    • Add freshly grated black pepper and roasted sesame seeds.  Do not add salt—kimchi liquid will be used for this later.
    • Transfer the rice to a large plate.
  2. Fry kimchi.
    • Squeeze the kimchi until most of the liquid has been collected.  Set the liquid aside for later.
    • Using the same wok, fry the kimchi in a liberal amount of high heat oil (e.g.  vegetable, canola, safflower, grapeseed).
    • Add kimchi liquid and let most of the liquid evaporate.  Keep some on reserve for later.
  3. Add the hot links to the kimchi and cook until hot.
  4. Add the fried rice to the wok and mix well.  Add more kimchi liquid to help combine all the flavors together (this is like adding pasta water to the sauce and pasta to combine all the flavors).

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A birthday fit for a KING!

March 2, 2012 § 4 Comments

This ENTIRE meal was homemade, except for the seaweed sheets—I made the {*DELICIOUS*} seaweed soup and my mom made ALL the side dishes, in which at least SIX of them are from her garden! 😛

I should say that we also had kalbi (Korean short ribs) that my mom made, but there was so many side dishes that we served it for dinner (short ribs for breakfast just doesn’t seem appealing).

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불고기 = Bulgogi

August 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

If you like beef, then you will LOVE this dish!  I received a request to make this at the same time that I have been thinking about it.  I made this once before about 5 years ago and it was pretty awful.  Since then, we purchased pre-marinated beef at the Korean market.

I don’t have exact measurements yet (will post next time) since I fell into that vicious cycle of adding more ingredients, tasting, adding more, tasting more, etc.  However, the husband and I were so pleased with this batch that I couldn’t wait to post it and brag! 🙂  In my opinion, being able to make delicious bulgogi is sort of a “rite of passage” to Korean home cooking.

The ingredients are simple and requires very little preparation.  For the photos below, I used the following:  LOTS of garlic, onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, honey, honey powder, green onions and sesame seeds.

  1. To a blender, I added about 8 cloves of garlic, a tiny splash of water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey powder, honey and sugar.  Aside from the garlic, I basically had to keep adding some more of each of the ingredients and tasting it.
  2. Into a large ziplock bag, I added sliced yellow onion, about a little over one pound of very thinly-sliced ribeye beef and poured the marinade into the bag.  I used my hands to make sure the marinade covered each slice and also added the sesame seeds.
  3. Then placed it in the fridge overnight.
  4. While cooking it on medium to high heat, I added sliced green onions towards the end (to keep the color green).

We had this for dinner tonight with the usual side dishes—kimchi of any kind is a must with this (I know I say this about a lot of Korean meals, but this is really a must with bulgogi).  We both thought that it should be a little sweeter, so I’ve already added some more sugar to the remaining batch.

A few notes to keep in mind:

  1. The key point here, is to remember that the marinade should be sweet.  The sweetness can come from any one of the three I used, but I decided to use all of them since I had them available.
  2. Korean pear can be added to the marinade.  This should be blended—no chunks of pear.  This is to tenderize the meat.  One can also add some Sprite or 7-Up or any lemon/lime cane soda.  By the way, one should not substitute a lemon for the Korean pear.  It should be either the Korean pear or the carbonated drink.
  3. Another ingredient to add while cooking:  bulky mushrooms of any kind, like button or shitake (I would avoid enoki-type ones).
  4. Sesame seeds are optional—I like them in there, but the spouse insists that it is not normally added.
  5. Remember not to over-cook the beef.  Otherwise, it will get too tough.

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