Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cooking, Korean Style

Yes I'm cheating - I copied this from my blog, by request! :)

Every once in a while I get the kick to cook Korean food. I used to do so frequently, before I got married and while I hosted international students. After marrying Minsu, that all changed because honestly Minsu is such a much better Korean cook than I am that I mostly gave it up (he encourages me to cook it more, but I just don't feel I can compare to his outstanding food). Now that he's in med school, he doesn't have time for it either, so occasionally I hope for the best and give it a try!

This is Kimchi Chigae (Stew). It is SUPER easy to make (like most Korean food) but the trick is in the seasoning. Ingredients are kimchi, water, tuna (in oil), onion, and Korean spices (basically a little beef bullion, a dash of sesame oil, and a dash of soy sauce. You can add a half tsp of gochujang (red pepper paste) to make it even better. Finally, at the end, you add slices of tofu and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

In my opinion, when done right, it is absolutely delicious! It has a spicy, sour taste. However, it's not nearly as spicy as raw kimchi - the secret is to cook it to get rid of some of the spiciness. YUM. Of course, it is served with a side of rice.

Next, I made kim-bap (literally: seaweed-rice). It's like Korean sushi, but it's all cooked - no raw stuff! :o) In my opinion, it is much more flavorful than Japanese sushi. It is one of the more challenging recipes because of the time spent slicing, cooking, and rolling.

I started off with slicing and cooking everything in long strips - turkey sausage, crab sticks, egg, and spinach - and I used store-bought pickled daikon (like a radish but not hot). I added a little sesame oil and salt to the rice and mixed it well (as opposed to Japanese style sushi, which adds a sugar / vinegar mix to the rice). In the background is the kim, or dried seaweed for the wrapper. They sell a special kim for kim-bap, but I didn't have it so I used regular kim. The disadvantage is that it splits easily, so I had to be really careful when rolling it.

To get started, I thinly spread rice onto the kim sheet, then put a single strip (more or less - you want to keep a balanced flavor) of each ingredient. I placed everything on top of saran wrap for rolling purposes since I don't have a sushi mat. I dip my finger in water and dab it along the margin to make a "glue" and then put it on the plate seam-side down.

You have to eat it all the same day, you know! I hope you're hungry, Minsu!

This is what it looks like sliced (Minsu got to do the honors)... not a great picture, but you get the idea. :o)
Note: You can make GREAT "Americanized" sushi substituting well-drained tuna mixed with mayo, salt & pepper, then layering strips of cream cheese and avocado and rolling up! YUM, YUM....


Melisa said...

Thanks for putting this on here! It will be nice to have all of the recipes in one place. :o)

Joz1234 said...

I'm really excited to try this one day! Please keep putting Korean recipes on here! What an awesome addition!