Throwback- Kimchi Jigae

I don’t remember when or who introduced me to Korean food, it might’ve been a Korean friend from high school that I don’t talk to anymore but what I do remember is that Kimchi Jigae was the first dish I kind of fell in love with. That meant it was also the first dish that I tried making on my own!

Did you know that Kimchi Jigae, Soondubu, and similar stews use a anchovy soup base? I was in denial about that for the longest time. So initially, when I tried making Kimchi Jigae in college, I used a Miso base soup and it was fine-I liked it but it definitely felt like it was missing something. I call it my faux Kimchi Jigae recipe, which I make when I don’t know what else to make or when i’m too lazy to try to make anything else.

The first time I came to actually acknowledge that anchovies were in these Korean dishes were when I made Soondubu with Unnie (in this post). This time, I didn’t really find a recipe online- I remember the basics of how to make this dish from my past research so I basically came up with my own recipe, no big deal. :3

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Cook some pork belly (or bacon, up to you- I always use bacon when I dont have anything else).
  2. Toss in some kimchi and some kimchi juice (if you can, squeeze that juice outta the kimchi first).
  3. Add in some water
  4. Add in the gochujang and red pepper flakes
  5. Toss in some dried kelp/anchovies (since I had the prepacked dried anchovy and kelp, I used that)
  6. BOIL (toss out the kelp and anchovies after)
  7. EAT

Before anyone says anything- the soup looks different because of the lighting! It was delicious though- added some enoki mushrooms and tofu into it as well.

This was definitely a huge improvement from the very first Jigae I made, it tasted more like the Kimchi Jigae that I would get at a restaurant. I still like my faux jigae though. πŸ™‚

Advertisements

Bulgogi Dupbap aka Soy Garlic Beef over Rice!

It’s a bit past mid-October now which means Halloween is coming! I feel like starting this year I want to be able to get more into the Halloween spirit. Although my costume this year is only one of the onsies that I own (a panda or a dinosaur), I think next year I do want to put more thought into my costume AND maybe try a bit of cosplaying- in case I decide to go to Comic Con.

Last time, not only did I make Galbitang, but I also ended up making Soy Garlic Beef. I referred to my trusty book- Cook Korean! by Robin Ha for the recipe. When I went to the supermarket to buy the beef, I asked the butcher for half a pound of meat but he ended up giving me 2 pounds! Additionally, I bought the wrong type of meat! The recipe asked for thin slices of beef but mine was a huge chunk! What I ended up doing was just cutting the chunks into smaller pieces.

What is super helpful though is that the marinade has ingredients that helps tenderize the meat a lot faster. The marinade included- kiwi (which is super helpful in tenderizing), onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and sesame oil. What I didn’t like about this recipe was that it told me I needed soju (which I didn’t have but used some other cooking wine) but it never told me when to use it! I added it to the marinade instead.

After marinading for 3 hours ( I don’t remember what I did in the time I was waiting for it to marinade), the rest of the cooking was super easy. Stir frying everything else that the recipe called for (ie, scallions, onions, mushrooms and the marinated meat) and then put that on top of a bowl of delicious rice!

img_4419.jpg

This was the only picture that I was able to get. The meat was super tender and I could kind of taste the kiwi. The meat was a bit sweat though- I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I’m not sure how many recipes I tried in her book, but I don’t think this is one I would try again… UNLESS I get the right type of meat, maybe that will change everything and change my opinion on this dish. I think part of the reason why I also didn’t like this recipe was the fact that it didn’t tell me what to do with the Soju! It could be because I got this book before it was published? Maybe? I just know it was for the editors at my old job to review.

Until next time! I’ve been posting so many food posts- hopefully I post some more variety soon. I’ve got a few projects lined up! πŸ™‚

It’s Galbitang Weather!

Helloooo~~ The weather here in New York has been so weird- it’s been super warm and then cool. However, since it’s fall it is definitely soup weather! I basically made Galbitang (Beef Short Rib soup) the last two weekends. This started when I wanted to make Bone Broth and I was getting ready to buy the ingredients. My cousin wanted something Korean and since my dad can’t eat anything spicy- I settled on Galbitang.

This was my first time buying meat at the supermarket. I usually go to the Asian supermarkets and since i’m nervous about speaking in Chinese, I try to avoid it even though I know speaking English is perfectly fine too…But! I got three pounds of beef short ribs and bought some Daikon cause i’ve got everything else I needed at home.

Since I spent two weeks making the same thing- I used two different methods for it. The first week, I made it over the stove top with this recipe:
http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2015/12/galbitang-beef-short-rib-soup.html

The second week, I used the pressure cooker since I wasn’t going to be at home for an extended period of time. I used these two recipes just to get an understanding of what I should be doing:
https://kimchimari.com/easy-instant-pot-galbitang-short-rib-soup/
https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/pressure-cooked-galbi-tang/

Like all the recipes I pick out- this was pretty simple, just time consuming. The recipe mentioned something about soup soy sauce… and I thought that was just watery soy sauce but apparently it’s an actual thing. However, I learned that I could just substitute fish sauce.

Here’s the run down of what you need to do:

  1. Soak that meat for an hour, get the blood out of it- change the water when you can.
  2. Blanch (?)/ cook the meat for like ten minutes in boiling water before taking it out.
  3. Stick everything in a huge pot of water (except for noodles, you cook that separately).
  4. Wait.
  5. Eat.

That’s essentially it. I definitely liked the one I made on the stove top more than the one in the pressure cooker. There are a few reasons for that- mainly I forgot to add in the fish sauce and the garlic BUT I tried it again with the pressure cooker and I’m not sure- I just feel like I had more control with the one on the stove top and will definitely be willing to wait the 4-5 hours to make this in the future.

img_4394.jpg

The final dish after the stove cooked Galbitang was done was delicious and the eggs were an added step I took from a Maangchi recipe. I used rice noodles cause it was the only thing I really had at home. I tried to bring some to work but it’s a pain in the ass to bring soup to work for lunch…. 😦

I’ve got to say though- I was super proud of this dish cause of all the time spent making it. I spent a lot time with the cream puffs but I didn’t feel as proud as I did with this. I think I will try to make more complicated dish going forward (well not too complicated, i’m not that fancy). πŸ˜‰

When Work Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

Happy October!!! Fall is here and it’s one of my favorite seasons- it’s not super hot or super cold and it’s my birthday season! Whooot whoot!!

So what do I have in store for you today?? Lemon bars!!!! So basically, my work place provides a fully stock kitchen- snacks for daysss. They also provide fruit but recently, they’ve been giving us a lot more lemons and limes than fruit that you would actually eat like bananas or apples. Since some of the lemons were going bad, I decided to take some of the good lemons home and make lemon bars to bring back to work for everyone to eat.

My friend actually made lemon bars first and since she said it came out delicious, I decided to use the recipe she followed. Tada~

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/10294/the-best-lemon-bars/

They weren’t difficult to make but it was a journey… Let me tell you…
First off, I had to go to the supermarket 3 times because I was missing ingredients that I thought I already had at home or there wasn’t enough for me to use. That was pretty annoying but it was probably my fault for not double checking.

Secondly, I am using my toaster oven to bake this and I didn’t have a baking pan they used so I had to make my own pan using aluminum foil.

Hm.. I guess those were the only struggles I actually had. I was a bit worried about the crust because when I was getting mixed, it felt too soft to actually harden after baking but it turned out fine.

To be honest, I didn’t try my lemon bars really- I ate the pieces around the edge but am not sure how the ones in the middle tasted.

My coworkers loved it though (well, at least from what they told me…lolol), they ate them all before lunch- I was surprised they went so fast! Even with four lemons though one of my coworkers thought they were too sweet. I’m going to try to bake more for them cause I love them all. ❀

Like I mentioned in my previous posts, it gets a bit annoying to take pictures while cooking because i’m so focused on trying to make things correct that it slips my mind but this is a pretty nice shot of the finished piece. I was pretty proud of how well it turned out considering how hectic I felt making these… lololIMG_4378

Black Bean Noodles-Delish!

Heyyyyy!!!

Recently, whenever i’ve been craving food, I just decide that i’ll make that dish that weekend. That was the case for Black Bean Noodles or Black Bean Sauce Noodles, however you want to call them. I was deciding between the Korean version (Jajangmyeon) or the Chinese version (Zha Jiang Mian). I still don’t really know the difference between the two but I will eventually because although I made one version, I will make the other version later on!

I ended up just making the Chinese version because from what I read, I seemed to have been craving the Chinese one more (although I forgot exactly what made them different…haha).

I found this nice recipe:
https://omnivorescookbook.com/homemade-zha-jiang-mian-fried-sauce-noodles/

Super simple! I realize that many of the recipes i’ve found were all easy because i’m not a professional chef, who has the time or the equipment to do all the complicated cooking? Besides, simple foods are also super delicious!

Anyway, I had everything I needed at home- I already had some pork belly and even the sweet bean sauce that they mentioned! I ended up using the rest of the jar but totally worth. Following the recipe was pretty straightforward. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it didn’t tell me anything about what the consistency of the sauce should be. It looked a bit too watery, so on my own accord, I added some cornstarch. It didn’t really help with making it thicker but I think maybe it is supposed to be quite watery… Not sure…

I was also afraid it would end up being super salty-but surprisingly, it wasn’t. It wasn’t bland or overly salty- just perfect. Even my dad who likes his food blander and is a bit sensitive to salty foods, said it was good! πŸ™‚

The next time, will definitely try out the Korean version. Unfortunately, I did take a few pictures but they were all snap chats so they disappeared… Sorry!! I said I was really bad at taking pictures for these things D:

Pork Katsu-Done!

Heyy! I just had the best day I’ve had in the longest time. I’m feeling super happy and full of high school girl giggles. However, this blog is not the place for all those feelings as much as I want to just talk about everything that happened today! It’s nothing major, just a great day.

Anyway! I had so much ramen this weekend- went to a Ramen Festival that was part of Japan Fest! It was delicious. I LOVE YUME WO KATARE. They made a lobster ramen just for this festival and it was my favorite one. I didn’t try all of them but I def wanted to go back for more of the ramen one. It was a pretty welcome change from what I’ve been having for lunch every single day of this week (except for Thursday).

Which brings us to this post- I’ve had pork katsudon practically all week and by Thursday I was sick and tired of it. Not that it wasn’t any good- it was pretty good. I just wanted and craved something different. I was craving pork katsudon last weekend and decided to just make a bunch for the week cause ya know, saving money and what not. I found this recipe:

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/katsudon-crumbed-pork-egg-rice-bowl/7bd7e26a-fccf-4dec-ab26-00902105fd99

It was super easy that I was sooo surprised how well it turned out! The only thing I bought for this was the pork and some panko. I had everything else but to be perfectly honest, I just forgot to buy the chicken broth… and I was too lazy to go back to buy it.

This was the first time I breaded anything or fried anything! It was funn!! I think when I was frying the cutlets, I did burn a few pieces. But! They only looked burnt, it didn’t taste burnt what so ever.

I fried all pieces and cooked them with eggs and onions the night before for lunch. So as you all know- I was lazy and didn’t get chicken broth and I thought maybe hey, what about a miso base?? The first time I made this, in went the onions then the miso, soy sauce and sugar sauce. Then goes the sliced pork katsu and then topped with some eggs. I should’ve known that this would come out super salty because duh- miso and soy sauce are both kinda salty tasting.

The next time I changed it up. Instead of Miso, I had the chicken bouillon powder. I mixed that with some water, added the soy sauce, and sugar. It turned out perfect! It somehow felt like I added some cooking wine to the dish because it had that smell but I didn’t which was surprising as well.Β IMG_4352

Here’s the finish picture above! I can’t take a great picture with my damn phone and the lighting sucks but it’s the best I’ve got. It goes great with Sapporo πŸ™‚

I think I’ve satisfied my katsudon craving for a while now though…

Suje-what? Sujebi!

Living at home definitely has it’s ups and downs. The positives are that the rent is super cheap, I don’t usually have to do my own laundry, and I get to eat delicious home cooked meals. I do cook for myself sometimes but usually no one in my family really wants to try my food. So, it was pretty annoying when my mother asked me why I never cook for my dad (she’s almost never home cause of working late nights). However, I did cook a meal for him this past Labor Day weekend since I was planning on cooking anyway. There!

Thank you again to Ms. Robin Ha and her cookbook, Cook Korean! I picked another recipe from her book to try out and I picked one that wasn’t spicy because my dad doesn’t like to eat spicy foods. The reason I picked this dish is because there is this Hot Pot buffet place in Flushing called Spring Shabu Shabu and I love their Sujebi there and it inspired me to make my own.

Sujebi is basically hand torn noodles, they aren’t uniform and each little nugget have it’s own shape and size that gives the dish some personality. My cousin helped me with this dish again and she was also my photographer as per usual. Β It was also my very first time kneading dough! It was super fun and I thought my little dough ball came out adorable and awesome. πŸ™‚

The recipe was super easy to make and very easy to customize to your own preferences. Oh! Before I get into what we decided to put into our Sujebi broth, the base of the soup requires Anchovies- which I still haven’t handled. So I went to H-Mart to try and find myself some dried Anchovies but found something even better!!!! They had… prepackaged dried Anchovies+dried kelp in those tea bags JUST FOR MAKING BROTH!!!!

Okay, okay- back to the broth. We added some napa cabbage, bacon (the recipe was all veggies), onions, scallions, and some potatoes.Β IMG_4329

The funnest part would be adding the noodles to the broth. I split the dough ball in half so that my cousin and I could add them into the pot. We basically tore small pieces of the dough and tossed them in. They don’t look like the ones I ate at Spring Shabu Shabu but it does look more authentic. Since my cousin and I like spicy foods, we served my dad first before adding some gochugang (red chilli paste- I believe) and some red chilli flakes into the wok.

My dad enjoyed it and i’m super happy about that! He did think the noodles were a bit tough-which I agree with since the noodle pieces were a bit thick. I’m not entirely sure if I did that noodle tearing thing correctly though but maybe next time i’ll try to make the flakes a bit thinner. πŸ™‚

Macaron/Macaroons?

Happy Labor Day! I’ve still got a few hours til today ends πŸ˜›

Since it’s a three day weekend, I decided to put my time into good use and get off my butt like I said I would. My plans was to make Macarons or Macaroons- i’m not sure which word I should be using but i’m referring to the cute little french ones and not the coconut ones. I also made Sujebi but that’s for another post!! πŸ™‚

Let me start off by saying that initially I was going to spread out the items I wanted to make throughout the entire weekend but it ended up being that I made Maracons and Sujebi in the same day-which was not a great idea since I got so tired but I realized that I think it caused me to be a faster cook. So, there also not many pictures but the ones I do have are the ones my cousin took and thank god she did because if she wasn’t there, there would be absolutely no pictures. It’s so hard to cook and take good pictures at the same time!!

This was the recipe I used:Β http://pennyforherthoughts.com/roasted-black-sesame-macaron/

Everything was very simple and the only thing I really had to buy was confectioner sugar and almond flour. Side note- Caster sugar is just regular granulated sugar. The thing that took the most time for us was sifting the sugar and the black sesame powder- probably because my strainer/sifter thing is so bad. Another thing was that there was a lot of waiting- we basically followed everything she wrote to the letter. Including waiting 2 hours for the macaron shell to dry before baking.

This wasn’t the only sheet we baked and although they seem to be sized uniformly, let me tell you- the first try was not… AT ALL. It could also be why these macarons look more like cookies than anything. My Macarons also didn’t grow the little feeties that they are supposed to have. Somewhere online, it said that it could be because we left it to dry for too long but I won’t know until I try to make more in the future, which I definitely plan to do.

The filling is also pretty simple, just honey, sugar, and black sesame powder. I feel like the filling is a bit too sweet for me but it might be because there is too much honey in it. I think overall, I feel fairly happy with how well they all turned out. Putting them in the fridge for a bit is also super helpful to make it seem more Macaron like. It kept everything in place since normally, the outer shells would still move around despite the filling.

For the next time, I think I have to read up on how long to wait for the shell to dry, and how to ensure that they grow little feeties next time. Will also probably adjust the sweetness in the filling. Wish me luck!

Ribs with the Brother

Hey! So I didn’t write anything last week. I was super excited for my new laptop and wanted to use that instead so I pushed it off. However, the laptop I bought isn’t the best or the fastest it seems but hopefully it lasts me long enough until I build my own desktop! Well, that’s the plan anyway.

I didn’t plan on making ribs but since my brother was home from school, he wanted to do something and we ended up deciding to make ribs. He found a recipe that lets us cook ribs in about an hour because I’ve only made them in a slow cooker. This is a pretty short post too since the recipe was super easy to follow.

Here are the ingredients that we used and the final results:

I would include a link but my brother didn’t send it to me like Β I asked! Basically, we preheated our toaster oven (i’m loving the toaster oven but do wish it was bigger) stuck the ribs on and pour about half the sauce we made with the ingredients above and cooked for a bit. Halfway through, we flipped the meat and pour the rest of the sauce in to let it cook thoroughly. I was a bit skeptical at first because I was afraid it wouldn’t cook completely through but it did and in about an hour! If I had known that, I probably would have cooked it that way to begin with- not to say I didn’t enjoy cooking with a slow cooker.

Labor day weekend is coming up, so I think i’ll get off my lazy ass and actually make a more complicated dish. I haven’t been doing that and a few of my projects have stalled because of Running Man and Infinity Challenge. Ugh, binge watching TV shows will be the end of me….

I Hate Matcha Pt. 1

Yes, I hate Matcha but I love Green Tea!! I just really dislike that bitter matcha powder taste so any desserts or sweets with Matcha in it, I stay far away from. However, I had a bag of Matcha powder at home and my mom wanted me to finish the bag. The reason I have this bag of powder because my boyfriend at the time LOVES Matcha and I made him some Matcha cheesecake for his birthday. A year later, I’m left with a bag of matcha powder.Read More »