Saturday, September 29, 2007

Banchan: Carrots (also used for BiBimbap)

Banchan are the small side dishes that accompany every Korean meal.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, julienned
1/2 tsp salt

In a skillet, heat oil. Add carrots and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes (until carrots soften, but not lose their color). Add salt, toss.

Set aside for Bibimbap OR eat with steaming rice as banchan.

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee), slightly modified.

Banchan : Fern Bracken (Gosali Nammol) (FOR BIBIMBAP)

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lb fern bracken
1 tsp salt

In a skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and fry for 1-2 mins. Add fern bracken and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt, toss.

Set aside for Bibimbap OR eat with steaming rice as banchan.

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee), slightly modified.

Banchan : Korean Zucchinis (Or use in BiBimbap)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 med. Korean zucchinis julienned (I just use any zucchini I can find).
1/2 tsp salt

In a skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and fry for 1-2 mins. Add zucchinis and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until zucchinis are slightly limp. Remove from heat. Add salt, toss.

Set aside for Bibimbap OR eat with steaming rice as banchan (side dish).

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee), slightly modified.

BanChan : Soybean Sprouts (in BiBimbap)

for 5.

1 lb soybean sprouts, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt

In medium pot, bring 1/2 c of water to a coil.
Add soybean sprouts and cover. (yes, only some of sprouts are in water. they are cooked by steam)
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and fry for 1-2 mins. Add sprouts, remove from heat. Add salt, toss. Set aside for Bibimbap OR eat with steaming rice as banchan.

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee), modified.

Banchan : Mushrooms (for BiBimbap)

for 5.

10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt

1. If using dried mushrooms, soak them in water for 1 hr. before slicing.
2. In skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and mushrooms, stir-fry for 2-3 mins. Add salt.

Eat as a banchan (side dish) with steaming rice OR in BiBimbap.

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee)

Banchan : Spinach (Shigumchi Namool), also used in BiBimbap

Serves 5.

2 bundles of spinach, trimmed and washed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt

1. Blanch spinach by quickly dunking leaves in boiling water. Rinse immediately in cold water to stop cooking
2. In skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and stir fry for 1-2 mins. Add spinach. Remove from heat. Add sal and toss.

Eat with hot rice as banchan. Or add to Bibimbap.

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee)

Bibimbap (Mixed Rice Bowl)

For 5.

This recipe is simple. Chop all vegetables used in the banchan before hand. Stir-fry them in same skillet, setting aside each ingredient as they are done. Rice should be served hot, but toppings can be at room temperature.

Prepare Bulgogi (according to blog posting in September)
Prepare the Banchans (Recipes are found in the blog for September) : Spinach, Mushrooms, Soybean Sprouts, Zucchinis, Fern Bracken, Carrots).
NOTE: You don't have to use all these different banchans. It is also possible to add different stir-fried vegetables

Additional Ingredients:
5 c. short grain rice, cooked
5 eggs, fried sunny side up
Seasoned Chili Paste (See recipe for Yangnyum gochujang in blog for September 2007)
Sesame oil and soy sauce to taste (I personally never put these seasonings in separately)


1. Place 1 c rice in each of 5 separate bowls. Arrange vegetables and meat on top of rice in a circle by color. Make sure there are no similar-colored vegetables next to each other. Place a fried egg in each bowl. Serve immediately with Seasoned chili Paste (Yangnyum Gochujang.

For those who can't eat spicy foods, season with sesame oil and soy sauce.
For vegetarians, use tofu instead of meat in the bulgogi recipe.

From _Eating Korean_ (C.H. Lee), slightly modified.

Radish Kimchi Soup (Dongchimi)

The broth from this kimchi is used for Mool Naengmyun (Recipe coming soon). This kimchi is white and does *not* require rubber gloves in preparation.

Makes 4 quarts.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Pickling time: 30 minutes
Curing time: 2-3 days
2-3 weeks to mature

NECESSARY EQUIPMENT : A large glass jar to store kimchi, cheese cloth or coffee filter

2 Korean radishes (Daikon is ok, about 3 inches in diameter, 6 inches long, about 1.5 lbs)
[Use the entire radish, including the green]
2 c. sea salt
6 green onions
1/2 lb. mustard greens
2 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
2 oz. fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 Korean ("Asian" or "Nashi" pear) unpeeled, cored and quartered
2 hot red Korean peppers (any hot asian pepper is fine)
1 green onion, sliced for garnish

1. Wash radishes in cold water and scrub clean. Leave them drenched in water. Sprinkle 1 cup of Salt evenly in a large shallow bowl, and roll each wet radish in it until it is thoroughly coated with salt. Transfer the radishes with water to a sterilized 8 qt jar and cover. *Cure for 2 to 3 days.*
2. Place green onions and the mustard greens in bowl, sprinkling with 1/2 c. of salt, and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove salted radishes from jar and set them aside. Strain the salt water in jar through sieve into 3- or 4-qt saucepan. Dissolve the remaining 1/2 c. salt into 10 c. of water and add it to saucepan. Gently boil for 10 minutes and *let cool*.
3. Place garlic and ginger in cheesecloth pouch (I used a coffee filtered and tied it shut with a green onion) in bottom of jar. Add salted radishes. Place green onions on top of radishes. Then add mustard greens, then pear, red peppers. Pour salt water into jar. Be sure that radishes are completely immersed in juices. Leave 2 inches of space at top of jar (Fermenting will cause gases to be released, leave room or there will be liquid flowing out of your fridge)
4. Close jar lid tight. Let mature at room temperature for 2- 3 weeks (or just put them in fridge to mature). Kimchi soup will stay fresh for several months. Great with a bowl of hot rice for a light dinner.

To serve, slice desired amount of radishes, place in bowl, and ladle out some juice from jar. Taste, then dilute juice with chilled water (a ratio of about 1 c. of original juice to 3 c. water). Add sugar to taste. Let sit for *30* minutes to allow flavor to blend well. Garnish with green onions.

I personally often skip the 30 minutes of sitting time, since I don't drink the juice unless it's summer. Reserve the juice, however, for some tasty mool naeng myun (cold noodle soup).

I loosely followed Hepinstall's recipe in _Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen_

korean red chili paste 고추장 (gochujang)

I'm including this picture as a reference, so that you may find a container of gochujang in an Asian market. It almost always comes in a red container and the last few words should be : 고추장

To use this paste to season Bibim Bap (Mixed Rice Bowl) or as a condiment to bulgogi, or as a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables like cucumbers, Korean green peppers (spicy), and carrots, make SEASONED CHILI PASTE (Yangnyum Gochujang).

SEASONED CHILI PASTE (Yangnyum Gochujang)
Makes 1/2 c.

Ingredients : 4 tbsp chili paste (gochujang)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar or corn syrup
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 green onion, chopped (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients until well mixed
2. When stored in a covered container, this paste will keep in the fridge for over a week.

From Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee's _Eating Korean_, modified.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Beef bulgogi

[Bulgogi is one of the key ingredents of Bibimbap.]

for 4.

1.5 lbs (750 g) sirloin or rib eye beef, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 green onion, diagnally sliced into thin strips
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded (optional)
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

bulgogi marinade
1.5- 2 tbsp minced garlic
4 - 5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup or sugar syrup (i.e., sugar dissolved in boiling water)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sake or rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 large nashi pear grated (or substitute equivalent amount of sugar) (Nashi pear is sometimes known as "Korean pear" or "Asian pear")
2 spring onions, sliced

1. mix marinade ingredients and combine with beef in large bowl. cover and marinate for 2 hours
2. heat large skillet, add beef, onion, leek and mushrooms, stir-fry over high heat for 4 minutes or until beef is cooked
3. garnish with sesame seeds.
4. serve with lettuce and rice and chili bean paste (gochujang = 고추장)
(i.e. place spoonful of rice into large lettuce leaf, add some bulgogi and add some chili bean paste)

from _Authentic Recipes from Korea_ p. 78, modified.

Boiled, Salted Edamame / maodou (Chinese: 毛豆)

From Terra Brockman's Farming Notes


· 1 pound edamame beans (unshelled)

· 7-8 cups water

· 1 tbsp salt

· *additional salt for sprinkling

Wash the edamame well. Boil salted water in a large pan. Add edamame beans and return to a boil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the edamame and sprinkle salt over them. Cool slightly and eat.

Chinese Winter Melon Soup

From Terra Brockman's farming notes

6 to 8 cups of 1 1/2-inch cubed Winter Melon pieces (about ½ large melon, peeled and seeds scooped out)
4 Chinese dried mushroom, softened in warm water and sliced
4 slices of fresh ginger
1/2 pound of ground pork (if desired, season with light soy sauce, Shao Hsing cooking wine, sesame oil, garlic powder, white pepper, salt and sugar. Mix well and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.)
3-4 Tbsp canola oil
5-6 cups of water

Seasonings, to taste:
Light soy sauce
Sugar, about 1 tsp.
White pepper

1. Add the canola oil to a sauce pan. When hot, add in sliced ginger, stir for a while then add in sliced mushrooms. Stir for a minute, add winter melons and water. Let the water comes to a boil.

2. When it is boiling, scoop the ground pork with a small cookie or ice-cream scoop and drop into the soup. Add in the seasonings, and turn the heat to low. Simmer until the pork balls are cooked, about 20 minutes.

Stir-Fried Winter Melon

Recipe by Martin Yan, A Wok for All Seasons Cookbook

1 pound Winter Melon

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ginger root - minced

1 small carrot - cut into 1/2 cubes

1/4 cup Vegetable Broth

1 can Straw Mushrooms (15 oz.) drained

1/4 lbs.Mushrooms cut into quarters

1 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

2 organic green onions including tops, cut into 1/2 pieces

2 teaspoons cornstarch - mixed with 4 tsp. water

Remove skin and seeds from Winter Melon. Cut flesh into 1/2 cubes.

Place a wok or wide frying pan over high heat until hot. Add vegetable oil, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 5 seconds. Add Winter Melon and carrot and cook for 30 seconds. Add broth. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add straw mushrooms and fresh mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes or until carrot is crisp-tender. Add soy sauces, sesame oil, and green onions, and cook for 30 seconds. Add cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fermented Black Beans ("Dow See")

I'm actually not sure what kind of beans these are exactly, but they are used to steam fish, pork ribs, make sauces for stir-fried stuff, and probably many more dishes I'm not aware of. They are kind of moist and come in a plastic packet.


Frog's Legs in Black Bean Sauce

Crab in Black Bean Sauce

Salty Duck Eggs

This is probably one of my favorite foods in the entire world (yes, it beats even yak jerky). They traditionally come in a thick coating of salt and ash that serves as its preservative, but in the grocery store they are usually found, individually vacuum wrapped, in a box of about 6.


Salty Duck Eggs with Pork

Golden Cabbage

jja jang myun (noodles with black bean sauce): 짜장면

for two people.

noodles (preferably egg-noodles, but fairly large and thick noodles)
1 medium onion, diced
canola, corn, or sunflower oil
1/4 lb. ground beef OR 1/4 lb. pork belly
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
(optional vegetables: frozen peas, turnip, carrots, potatoes)
one small cucumber, grated (for garnish)
pickled radish (it's yellow and sweet, for condiment)

In large pot, boil water to cook noodles. In large sauce pan, sautee garlic and onion in 1 tbsp neutral flavored vegetable oil with the meat, until it is fully cooked. Then add rest of vegetables into pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup water and 3 tbsp. oil to the pan with 4 tbsp. black bean paste (jja jang = 짜장). Dissolve paste well. Once dissolved, serve over cooked noodles in a large bowl. Add cucumbers on top for garnish.

Friday, September 14, 2007

doen jang jjigae (fermented soybean soup)

for two people.

1/4 lb. or less of pork belly (not smoked)
1/2 c. fermented korean soybean paste (can substitute with any kind of japanese miso)
3 c. water
1 sm. onion
1 handful diced zucchini
1 small potato, diced
2-4 white mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove (pressed through garlic press)
1/2 box of firm tofu (drained and diced)
1/2 Korean green hot pepper or any hot pepper (but *not* jalapeno)
1 scallion, chopped

In medium sized pot, sautee 1 tsp. sesame oil with pork belly and onions. Add water once pork is cooked. Add potato, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic. Pot should now be on high heat. Boil. When vegetables are cooked (~4 mins), add soybean paste. Stir to break apart paste. Boil the soup again and remove any foam. Add pepper, scallion and tofu and bring to boil a third time (1 more minute). Serve with a bowl of rice. Soup tastes better the next day-- so you may want to double recipe.

For vegetarians, in place of pork belly, use dried shiitake mushrooms. Take a handful, soak in warm water for 30 mins. Pour through sieve, reserving the water for the soup base. (omit 3 c. water). Dice mushrooms to place into the soup.

For more complex flavor: Add a small bottle of clam juice or 1/2 oz. whole baby clams

For pesco-vegetarians: Use small dried anchovies for broth. Soak for atleast 30 minutes. Reserve water, but discard resuscitated anchovies.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Apricot Samosas

From the Indian fashion magazine "Femina", by way of Sophia ...


For the samosa dough:
400 grams flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
60 grams cornflour
30 grams ghee (super fatty indian butter)
water, as required
15 grams sugar
100 ml honey
100 ml maple syrup

For the apricot filling:
500 grams dried apricots
1 litre orange juice
150 grams sugar
50 grams butter
50 grams chopped almonds

To prepare the samosa dough:
1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into dough.
2. Divide the dough into 20 balls.
3. Roll the bolls into triangular sheets with a rolling pin.

To Prepare the apricot filling:
1. Mix dried apricots, orange juice, and sugar in a pan.
2. Cook for about 10-12 minutes.
Finally, add the butter and chopped almonds to it and cool the mixture.

1. Fill the mixture in each triangular sheet and seal.
2. Deep-fry the samosas on low heat until golden brown.
3. Serve with honey and maple syrup.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Frog's Legs in Black Bean Sauce


4 pairs of frog's legs

**Black Bean Sauce: (this is for freshly made sauce; there's a ready-to-use version by Lee Kum Kee that's sold in a jar, though I've never tried that one)
2 TBS preserved black beans (kinda sticky and comes in a sealed plastic bag)
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of ground white pepper
1 cup water

1. Heat wok with 2 TBS oil, fry onion, ginger, garlic and scallion until it smells.
2. Add frog's legs, stir fry for about 10 minutes.
3. Add black bean sauce (made by mixing the ingredients above).
4. Cover, and cook on medium fire for about 8 minutes. Serve.

Chili Bean Sauce ("Do Ban Djan")

Aliases include Chili Bean Paste with Garlic and "Toban Djan". This is a basic sauce in a lot of Szechuan cooking, which for some reason (even though I'm not from there) I really love.


Ma Po Tofu

Chili Oil

I believe this may be from Szechuan, but in any case, this is made of dried chili in oil. My preferred brand has this serial killer on its label. Not to be confused with chili paste with garlic ("Lat Tsiu Cheung") or chili bean paste with garlic ("Do Ban Djan")!

Fermented Bean Curd ("Foo Yue")

Maybe I should have taken a picture of the inside, but you would have seen small rectangular chunks of clay-like substance that smelled quite pungently, to use a genteel turn of phrase. The infamous "brown sauce" from Markus' culinary adventures, this may or may not be called "Fermented Bean Curd" on the label. I prefer to use this spicy "Chili" variety.


Chicken Baked in Preserved Bean Curd

Szechuan Spicy Noodle Sauce ("Dan Dan Mein")

Lee Kum Kee, Hong Kong's king of condiments (I can't believe I just typed that), is a pretty dependable packager of the basic sauces as well as these ready-to-use ones for specific dishes. They usually include some sort of instructions on the label. This one was very tasty.

Random fact: I used to take piano lessons from Mrs. Lee Kum Kee ...

Shrimp, dried

These come in many different sizes. For the Chinese cooking I am used to, the shrimp should be around 1-1.5 cm long. They always have to be soaked in hot water for a while before use.


Napa Cabbage with Vermicelli

Anchovies, dried

They come in a multitude of different sizes (pity the poor worker who has to sort them!) and are usually found in the refrigerated part of the grocery story.


Anchovies on Fresh Tofu

Tofu Broth Seasoning (Korean)

This is a spicy soup base that comes in beef or seafood flavors. You add a tube of extra soft tofu to it, plus whatever else suits your fancy (including a handful of seafood). Serve with rice on the side or in the soup itself.

Thousand Year Old Eggs

They look beautiful to the eye of the owner of an appreciative tongue. Not only am I sure they are not really 1000 years old, but they taste really really good. For all those curious about that which pertains to everything but their taste, I refer you to the Wikipedia article I'm sure exists out there.

Miso (Korean)

This is Korean miso, which Ena tells me is used for soups. I think it's similar to Chinese bean paste, also known as fermented bean paste or yellow bean paste.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kalbi a.k.a. Korean Barbecue Beef Short Ribs, a little modified

I invented this sauce to approximate the Korean barbecue sauce that I could not locate at the local Midwestern big-ass grocery store today. A thumbs up from Markus for this one.


1.5 lb beef short ribs

1 TBS hoisin sauce
2 tsp soya sauce
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS dark miso (I used the Korean variety; I'm sure this can be substituted with Chinese fermented bean paste)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a splash of apple juice

1. Mix the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add apple juice, enough so that the mixture is not too thick yet not runny.
2. Add the ribs and marinade for about 30 minutes.
3. Fry! Or barbecue!

Golden Cabbage a.k.a. Cabbage Stir-fried with Salty Duck Egg

I just invented this tonight: it's based on an awesome dish called "gold and silver shrimp" that I was introduced to when Jason Lo took me to dinner at North Point Market in Hong Kong. Bloody delicious.


2 salty duck eggs
1/2 cabbage
white pepper

1. Cut the cabbage into 1/2 inch thick shreds.
2. Peel the salty duck eggs. Keep the whites on.
3. Heat oil in wok, and add a dash of white pepper and the salty duck eggs. Mash the eggs with the spatula, and stir around. The oil should get frothy.
4. Add the cabbage; if too dry, add some more oil. Stir fry until the cabbage is cooked, i.e. just about see-through. Serve immediately!