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)

 

PREPARATION:

  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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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!)!!!

Chicken & Pinot Noir

March 25, 2014 § 2 Comments

Another old draft….

I boiled this chicken in a water, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sugar.  It’s possible I’m omitting some ingredients, though…..

It stunk up the whole house, but was worth it.  I rarely cook chicken and this was a home run.  Served with rice, you don’t even need any side dishes (well, except maybe a little kimchi) and a nice red wine.  I can’t remember what this Poppy Pinot Noir tasted like, but I bought it as an ode to an old pal. 😉

Wild Mushroom Jook (Korean Risotto)

March 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

I made this in November 2012—its a good dish to eat during chilly winter months….

Japchae!

August 6, 2013 § 8 Comments

My housemate makes the BEST japchae (our moms don’t count, though *^^*).  This is a relatively simple dish, but takes a LOT of preparation and timing is crucial.  He washed and prepped everything from start to finish by himself.  I’m usually his sous chef for this dish, but I was out with a friend at the time! :p

Here’s how he makes it:

1.  PREP VEGGIES AND MEAT.

  • All the veggies and fish cake should be sliced to similar sizes. Set these aside.
  • Slice the beef lengthwise to bite-size pieces, so that they are somewhat similar to the veggies.  Add sliced garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Mix well.  Set aside.

2.  PREP NOODLES.

  • Bring a pot of water to a vigorous boil and drop in the sweet potato starch noodles (I’ve heard people call them “glassy” noodles) – follow cooking time on the package.
  • Drain the noodles and place in a large bowl.
  • Add sesame oil right away to coat the noodles.  This not only gives the noodles flavor, but it will also prevent it from sticking.
  • Add soy sauce just before adding to the wok, otherwise, the noodles will soak it all up and will get too plump (imagine overcooking pasta).

3.  ASSEMBLE DISH.

  • Heat a wok or large pan, place a generous amount of high heat oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed, vegetable) to sauté the ingredients.
  • The ingredients should be added in the following order:  carrots, onions, beef, fish cake, green onions, sweet potato starch noodles (add soy sauce to noodles at this time, before adding to the wok), mushrooms, baby kale, spinach.  Each layer should be salted a little and sautéed before adding the next ingredient.
  • Add some sugar at the end for a little sweetness.
  • Mix everything really well.

4.  SERVE HOT OR AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

TIPS:

  • One can omit the fish cake and beef to make this a vegetarian dish.
  • Add any vegetable you want.  We typically use carrots, onions, mushrooms, green onions and spinach.
  • I recommend using wood ear, shitake and/or oyster mushrooms.  Avoid using crimini and button mushrooms—I don’t think the texture and taste would be right, BUT, to each his own, right?
  • We used baby spinach and baby kale for this one, but just remember that it takes longer to cook the baby kale.
  • Toasted sesame seeds are also optional — it can look a little “messy” if you use it, though, so it has been omitted here.
  • To make it spicy, you can add any of the following or any combination thereof:  spicy peppers, red pepper powder, spicy pepper oil.

NOTE:  You probably noticed that I have no specific amounts listed and this was not to be annoying, but I genuinely don’t know how much.  We just “add enough to make it taste good”.  The key is to taste the food at various stages to suit your taste buds and to follow your intuition.  That’s typically the answer one would get from a Korean mother. *^^*

WARNING:  YOUR MOUTH WILL BE WATERING WHEN LOOKING AT THESE PHOTOS!!!

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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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THE B.E.S.T. SASHIMI E.V.E.R!!!

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is the best sashimi I ever had (my earlier experiences while in college with sashimi don’t count since I was a newbie then) was on an island near Busan, Korea (거제도).  This place is only known by word-of-mouth and the menu is dependent on whatever fish is caught that morning (I think the ones we ate were all line-caught).  They also serve other fresh seafood; and by fresh, I mean that some are still MOVING on the plate!

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