Crab Leg Stew 게장찌게

June 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Oh my, oh my, oh my….THIS WAS AAA-MMAA-Z-I-N-G!!!!  Not surprisingly, my partner made it—he’s such a great home cook!  It is times like these that I’m so happy that he’s my roomie!  I wish you could climb into the photos and smell it and eat it—it was THAT delicious!  It was the perfect stew to match the cooling weather here.  The first day of summer has ended a little chilly, so the comforting stew tasted that much better.

INGREDIENTS (in order of when you’ll need them):

  • anchovies for stock
  • Korean fermented bean paste
  • Korean hot pepper paste
  • crab legs
  • garlic
  • onions
  • Thai chili peppers
  • scallops
  • green onions (we didn’t have them on hand, so this was omitted)



  1. First, prepare fish stock to use as a base for the stew.  Fill a pot with filtered water and let it boil.  Add anchovies and let it boil for at least 15 minutes. Then take out and toss the anchovies.
  2. In this step, a 5:1 ratio of bean paste to pepper paste is used. To the boiling stock, first add some bean paste and mix it well.  Allow it to come back up to a boil and then add the pepper paste.  Allow it to come back up to a boil again.
  3. Add the sliced garlic and crab legs.  Boil.
  4. Finally, add sliced onions and Thai chilies.  Boil.
  5. Boil for at least 30 minutes more so all the flavors combine.  At this point, the stew is done and can be served later.
  6. Before serving, add scallops (and green onions if you have them) to the boiling stew and cook just until the scallops are done.
  7. Serve and ENJOY!!!


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March 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

What do you do with some trumpet mushrooms and zucchini?  Well, considering that I almost ALWAYS have tofu, garlic and onions on hand, I made a stew with it.  Remember that fermented bean paste (another staple in my fridge) in one of my earlier posts?  These ingredients were really not even leftovers considering the stew I was able to make out of it (see first photo). 🙂

…..On another day…..

We had a couple of slices of thinly sliced pork that was leftover on a night of grilling meat (called Korean BBQ to Westerners). Essentially, these are like the Korean version of bacon, only it isn’t cured or anything–just thinly sliced.  So what do you do with 6 pieces?  Pan fry it with kimchi, of course (see 2nd photo)! 😛  Kimchi is one of those things that you can use a gazillion different ways. It’s sacrilege to throw out “old” kimchi.  As a rule of thumb, the “older” it is, the tastier it is as a stew or pan fried.

Tofu tip:   To make this vegetarian, omit the pork and you can serve fried kimchi with a side of super-soft tofu that is boiled in water or with sliced firm tofu that is pan-fried.  I’ll show this another time since we eat a lot of tofu.

배추국 = cabbage soup

March 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

Cabbage soup sounds very unappetizing, but this really is delicious!  If you like the fermented bean paste, then you will really like this soup.

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a staple in my home: spicy Korean fermented bean stew

March 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

I usually make this when I want dinner on the table really fast.  This is such an easy stew to make and so very tasty if you’re really into Korean cuisine.  However, the taste completely hinges on one fact:  the fermented beans MUST be top quality or no matter what you do to the stew, it will taste sub par.  Any vegetables can be added, but garlic and onions are THE BARE MINIMUM.  I added garlic, yellow onions, zucchini, enoki mushrooms, Korean peppers (and/or serrano peppers) and soft tofu.

After years of making this same stew without a written recipe, I finally realized to make this consistently good every time, one needs to know a few things……

First, the water to fermented bean ratio is very important.  I’ve made it so many different ways and variations (one variation includes adding the spicy red pepper paste).  These were also all made with different sources of the fermented bean paste, which is why it has taken me so long to finally GET IT!

Second, timing is everything so that all the veggies are cooked just right and the green veggies retain its bright color.  So, I added the ingredients in the following order:  garlic & onions; tofu; zucchini & peppers; enoki mushrooms.  After adding each ingredient(s), let it come back to a boil each time before adding in the next ingredient(s).  This goes really fast, so prepping beforehand is essential.  I like to add the “green” veggies close to the end so that they stay bright green as much as possible when it is finally served.  And, YES, I do add THAT MUCH garlic!  I found that adding a ton of garlic makes it tastier than adding less… this case, less is NOT more! 🙂

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