hunger games

July 8, 2013

i promise this is not turning into a korean cooking blog,
but my last minute decision to make this dinner paid off so well
that i took a picture.
in my bathroom.
because it has the best lighting.

so if you’re not interested in hearing me nerd out on korean food,
come back tomorrow when i’ll have a sock to show you.

everyone else, lookie here.
IMG_9061even after fidgeting with it in iphoto (something i never do!) i cant get the color quite right, (which is why i always photograph my knitting in diffused natural light)

starting on the left working clockwise:
1. spicy stir-fried pork – dwaejigogibokkeum – 돼지불고기볶음
notes: i accidentally used pork belly so thinly sliced it was like bacon, just unsalted; thank you korean grocer for stocking this product that will now be a permanent fixture in my fridge. i also only had white sugar and used less hot pepper flakes because my green chili was so big.
(that’s what she said)

2. kimchi fried rice – kimchi bokkeumbap – 김치볶음밥
notes: i used brown rice because that’s what i had. i thought i was using up the last of my super fermented kim chi (3+ months) but i found one final jar in the back of my fridge, a happy thing since i need to make this again. i skipped the sea weed and sesame seeds because i didn’t have it and i forgot, respectively.

3. maangchi’s easy kim chi – mak kim chi – 막김치
notes: this is my go-to kim chi recipe, and i always make changes. i never add squid since a) i don’t have access to fresh squid to pickle and b) i’m not yet ready to move past my western food brain to eat pickled squid. i always skip the leak and sub in shallot, mostly because i don’t want to clean the leek. frequently, i skip the carrot. the important thing is the proportion of the kim chi paste itself which is . . . it’s just a perfect flavor. best ghetto winter lunch is warmed up chicken stock from a box and a big ol’ scoop of kim chi, but i’ll eat it with pizza or straight up from the jar, over the kitchen sink, shirtless, the epitome of ‘bachelor’.

4. cubed radish kimchi – kkakdugi – 깍두기
notes: i think i may love kkakdugi even more than i love kim chi. but it all depends on the radish. this time, i got a great quality korean radish, but in my experience, it’s easier to get good quality daikon. they’re the root vegetable equivalent of kissing cousins anyway, and as far as i can tell, there’s no difference in flavor. the major difference with this batch is that, instead of following the recipe, i just used left over kim chi paste from my last batch. it turned out amazingly nonetheless. i’ve never tried it with the radishes i grew up hating (the little red ones the fraggles were always eating), but maybe it’s worth a try?

for any of you not familiar with korean food,
or for any of you who are not adventurous eaters,
the easiest/safest thing to make here is the pork.
the flavors are totally addictive (sweet/salty/spicy)
and the spice level is easily moderated for those with a delicate palate. (i would skip the pepper flakes and/or the green chili pepper, but you absolutely cannot skip the hot pepper paste a.k.a. gochujang a.k.a.
고추장
a.k.a. crack that needs to go on everything)

does anyone else out there like korean food?

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