Category: Cuisine


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Korean Fried Rice

In celebration of our EP being submitted we decided to cook our 4th from scratch Korean meal. Bokkum Bap is Korean Fried Rice, and although we have been to Korean restaurants several times I don’t think we have ever tried the fried rice. I don’t know if there is a traditional recipe, but our Korean book book had us add some ingredients I wouldn’t normally think would be in fried rice like potatoes and zucchini.

This dish took much less time than the previous meal which we loved, but I don’t know if we’ll be cooking it as often because we weren’t crazy about it. If we make it again I think next time we will definitely add chicken or beef as it would add more flavor and substance to the meal.

Third time is the charm

I cooked our third made from scratch Korean meal a few weeks ago, and it was BY FAR the best one yet. The romanized name for the dish is Sokalbi Chim, or Stewed Beef Ribs.  The dish smelled A.MAZ.ING while cooking, and the taste didn’t disappoint once it was finished. Although I followed the recipe exactly to serve 4, J and I ate the entire thing (and we typically aren’t huge eaters).

The only downside to this dish is the length of preparation time. I made this dish over my Spring Break two weeks ago so I had lots of energy, but I can’t imagine making it while chasing around C or after working all day long. Between chopping the veggies, prepping the meat, and simmering the ingredients together the entire process took almost 2 hours. I can’t wait to cook this dish again, though, because even writing about it making my mouth salivate.

Dak Chim

Our second Korean dish, Dak Chim, was another success. Looking at the recipe I think we both were extremely skeptical. It called for ingredients we like a lot independently but don’t usually serve together: chicken, potatoes, carrot, and squash simmered together with a sweet soy base with red pepper paste.  Once again the sauce smelled extremely strong and had a very distinct smell and we weren’t sure how the tastes would blend together.

Surprisingly, once the dish was served the sauce had formed a glaze over the dish and soaked into the vegetables and chicken. However, the taste was very mild. In fact, it tasted more like a chicken and potato dish you could find at any American restaurant so I’m wondering if it has a more sweet and spicy flavor traditionally. As made, this would be an extremely approachable dish for eaters who might not have ever tried Korean food.  I think we preferred our first dish over this one, but it was different and we would probably make it again.

Let’s Eat!

J and I thought that since C will be very used to the tastes and smell of his FM’s cooking we should probably begin to cook more Korean food at home.  So far we have only made bulgogi from scratch twice, and it was quite a bit of work to prepare. We began to rely on the T*rader Joe’s pre marinated bulgogi as our one Korean staple dishes, but since I received a Korean cook book for Christmas I suggested that we cook a few Korean dishes each month until travel call. This might be a lofty goal for us, but we started off the month strong by picking a dish we thought we could both enjoy. I am not a particularly adventurous eater, so we definitely played it safe with this stir fry dish. The cookbook romanizes the dish’s name as goongjoong tteokbokki.

We stuck pretty closely to the recipe, and it took about 30 minutes to prepare the meat and cut the vegetables.  As we began to heat the sweet soy sauce which the vegetables and meat would cook in our whole house began to smell like a Korean restaurant. The aroma was very strong, and I think we were both a little worried how the final product would taste. Once it was time to actually cook the stir fry it went very quickly. We both sat down to the table and were very happy with the final product. The meat was tender, the vegetables weren’t too soggy and weren’t too hard, and the taste was quite good. Hopefully we can keep this trend going at least a few times a month until we travel to Korea.

Food and Friends

On Saturday night we went with some members of our small group from church to try out some Korean food at a local restaurant.  Everyone was very brave because, for most of us, it was the first time trying Korean food.  After eyeing the large menu for some time (even octopus was on the short list for a bit) we finally decided to go a little safe and a little adventurous.

We ordered some delicious BBQ, including bulgogi, which I think everyone enjoyed the most. It was seasoned very well and tasted great.  Because we ordered at least three BBQ dishes we were able to see it prepared at our table which was definitely a perk.  We also tried a hot pot of pork and potatoes and bi bim bop, a traditional Korean dish.  The consensus was that the pork dish had an *interesting* flavor to it, and I thought since the dish was served bone-in it was difficult to know what you were picking up with your chopsticks until it was already in your mouth.  The bi bim bop was served cold, and judging by the amount we had left over I’d say it wasn’t as much of a hit as the BBQ.

Like a traditional Korean meal we also were served about eight side dishes: two types of kimchi, fish paste, a bean side, a gelatinous white thing, mashed potatoes(!), some caramelized potatoes, and some type of Asian sprout.   Although I was told that one of the kimchi dishes was “more sweet than spicy,” in my humble opinion I thought even the mild one was VERY spicy.  I hope J gets fond of the taste because I have a feeling I’m going to be passing mine over to him when we are in Korea.  These, in addition to the two appetizers and salad, made for a very filling meal!

We are so thankful that we have such great friends that were willing to roll up their sleeves, try something new, and tackle Korean cuisine with us.  The company definitely made the experience all the better!

Korean side dishes

Bulgogi

Yesterday I cooked my first Korean food: bulgogi.  Bulgogi is Korean BBQ, but the kind I made reminded me more of the beef you receive when you order beef and broccoli at a Chinese restaurant both in taste and appearance.

I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never eaten Korean food before, but I had checked out two Korean cooking books from the local library. Most of the dishes had so many foreign ingredients in them which would make this dinner quite costly to prepare since I’d have to go and buy a lot of items I don’t already have. Other dishes (squid kabobbs, octopus soup) I’m not brave enough to try.

I’d ideally like to try and have a few Korean dishes in my bag of tricks to make for our child when he is growing up, so we dove right in.  Although it wasn’t bad and we ate it all, we both agreed we might try a different recipe for next time. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, but it ended up looking a little like the picture here: