Elwood 5566

Transformed by a Weed – Shepherd’s Purse with Kimchi Stew (냉이 김치 찌개)

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on June 26, 2012

Key Features: an excellent side dish or main meal, adaptable and healthy

Kimchi Jjigae is one of the most common dishes on the Korean peninsula and while the main ingredients are basically the same, tuna, saury and pork are often added. And you can just as easily omit them! Koreans eat kimchi jjigae all the year around but for westerners used to dreary, dark, grey winters, this stew would be considered a seasonal companion. As with other foods which stew cabbage kimchi, the older the kimchi the better. You can use fresh kimchi but the taste is far richer and with a greater depth if your kimchi is nice and sour.

Like many similar Korean foods, the recipe is very adaptable and you can easily jiggle it about and experiment. This recipe uses shepherd’s purse which while in Korea is probably classified as a herb, in the UK, is most definitely an irksome weed – especially if you are into lawns. Shepherd’s purse has quite an amazing taste and a small amount can transform kimchi jjigae into another dish. If you were to add the same amount of parsley to jjigae the effect would not be as marked as to warrant including ‘parsley’ in the recipe title.

MY DEFINITIVE RECIPE

1 cup = 180ml. T=tablespoon (15ml), d=dessert spoon (10ml) t=teaspoon (5ml) 

This recipe is ideal for one, or as a side dish – double ingredients for each additional person

SHOPPING LIST

Pork, any cut about the size of a large dice though you can add more. Chop into small pieces. Conversely, you can leave it out altogether.

2T Wine (any will do though I prefer rice wine)

1d Soy Sauce (간장)

1d Sesame oil

1 cube (4 cloves) of crushed garlic.

1d Sugar or corn syrup (물엿)

Half a cup of onion, or leek and straw mushrooms (this could be substituted), all finely chopped

0.5t of dashida (다시다) or a stock cube

1t of sesame powder

1T of red pepper paste (고추장)

1t Red pepper powder (고추가루), depending on taste

Half a cup of Kimchi (sour is preferable), chopped

Tofu, cut to about the size of six small dice cubes

Shepherd’s purse (냉이) about a third of a cup.

Sesame seeds for garnish

3-4 cups of water

See also suggested accompaniments at the bottom of the page.

EQUIPMENT

Ideally as an earthenware pot or ‘ttukbeki’ (뚝배기) or a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

RECIPE

Make a marinade with:

1. 2T wine, 1d soy sauce, 1d sesame oil, 1d sugar or corn syrup, 1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic, (5 items)

2. Put the pork in the marinade and leave from two hours or overnight.

COOKING

In a heavy bottomed pot or Korean earthenware ‘ttukbeki,’ place:

3. The marinade, half a cup of onions and mushroom, 6 cubes of tofu, 0.5t of dashida stock, 1t sesame powder. (6 items)

4. Then add 1d red pepper paste and approx 1t of red pepper powder. (2 items)

5. Finally, add 3 cups of water, a third of a cup of shepherd’s purse and half a cup of kimchi.  (3 items)

6. Bring to boil, allowing it to vigorously boil for five minutes and then simmer on a low heat for 30 mins. Top up with extra water to maintain original amount.

7. Remove from the heat, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

 SERVING SUGGESTIONS        

Serve with an accompanying bowl of rice.

ONGOING NOTES:

Creative Commons License
©Bathhouse Ballads –  努江虎 – 노강호 2012 Creative Commons Licence.

Pork Kimchi Jjim – 돼지 김치찜 – My Recipes

Posted in Food and Drink, Kimchi Gone Fusion, My Recipes, recipes for Kimchi by 노강호 on February 13, 2012

Key Features: Korean fusion / very healthy / adaptable

Pork Kimchi Jjim

I’ve lived for almost five years with one of Daegu’s best pork kimchi jjim restaurants less than 10 seconds walk from my front door. I very quickly developed a taste for this tasty dish and over the years have managed to gleam a few tips to help me reproduce it. This recipe is best with sour, aged kimchi, indeed the older the better. Even kimchi of a year old and which has started to grow a layer of mold on the top, can be washed clean and used for this truly satisfying and healthy meal.

The best cut of meat for this is pork leg and if you have time to cook on a low heat for an hour or more, you can cut the meat in large chunks about 1.5-2 inches square. My local restaurant cooks the pork, in large chunks, for several hours until it melts in your mouth. For quicker versions you can reduce the cooking time by cutting meat into smaller portions. If this is the case avoid more fatty cuts of meat – such as pork leg.

MY DEFINITIVE RECIPE

1 cup = 180ml. T=tablespoon (15ml), d=dessert spoon (10ml) t=teaspoon (5ml)

This recipe is ideal for one large portion – double ingredients for each additional person

SHOPPING LIST

240 grams pork tenderloin (목살) or front leg (앞다리). If you have time, leg is preferable.

2T Wine

1d Soy Sauce (간장)

1T Sesame oil

1d Sugar

1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic

Half an inch of finely chopped ginger

Half a Spanish onion roughly chopped

Mooli – about same amount as onion, diced, but omit if this is a main component in your kimchi. White turnip is a good substitute.

0.5t of dashida or a stock cube

1t of sesame powder

1T Mild bean paste

1t Red pepper powder

1 cup of Kimchi, sour is preferable

Sesame powder

Sesame seeds and or pine nuts for garnish

3-4 cups of water

See also suggested accompaniments at the bottom of the page.

EQUIPMENT

Ideally as an earthenware pot or ‘ttukbeki’ (뚝배기) or a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

RECIPE

1. MARINADE

Cut the meat into cubes about an inch square. Then, make a marinade with:

2T wine, soy sauce (간장), 1T sesame oil, 1d sugar,1 cube or 4 cloves of crushed garlic, half an inch of finely chopped ginger (7 items)

Put the pork in the marinade and leave from two hours or overnight.

2.  COOKING

In a heavy bottomed pot or Korean earthenware ‘ttukbeki,’ place:

Half a Spanish onion roughly chopped and the same amount of mooli (or white turnip) omitting this if it features in the kimchi. (2 items)

0.5t of dashida or a stock cube and 1t of sesame powder. (2 items)

1T Mild bean paste

1t Red pepper powder

1 cup of Kimchi

Then add the marinade and bring back to the boil, boiling for five minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer for 25 minutes. You will need to add around 1 cup of extra water during simmering. If my meat is cut larger than inch cubes, and if I’m using the more fatty leg meat, I will cook on a low heat for up to an hour – until the meat is at a stage where easily falls apart. Stir occasionally and add extra water to maintain the original level.

Before serving and an extra teaspoon of sesame oil, some sesame seeds and/or pine nuts.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS        

Serve with an accompanying bowl of rice and a selection of side dishes (반찬) and laver bread (김).

ONGOING NOTES:

Creative Commons License
©努江虎 – 노강호 2012  Creative Commons Licence.

More on Cabbage Kimchi – Some Guidelines

‘decanted’ after over two months and deliciously sour

This post was originally published in February 2011 and is now updated.

I am now quite proud of my cabbage kimchi, a skill which has taken me about ten years to get right. One reason why it takes a long time to make decent kimchi is that you have to develop a sense of what constitutes a good kimchi and an awareness of kimchi at different stages of fermentation. Unless you have a cultivated appreciation of what Kimchi is, and by that I mean an awareness of kimchi that a Korean would enjoy and not what you personally think it should taste like, your kimchi will never be authentic. The subtleties of kimchi are as intricate and extensive as wine or Indian curry  and an appreciation is important if you are to use a recipe to guide you.

There exist many recipes for cabbage kimchi, regional, personal and for accompanying certain meals; bo-ssam (boiled, sliced pork, 보쌈) for example, uses a special type of kimchi. I am concerned here with the standard type of kimchi that accompanies the majority of Korean foods and which can be divided into two categories, fresh and sour.  There is of course, a range of flavours in between these extremes. Many Koreans have a preference for one or the other and foods which use kimchi as a major constituent, as for example with kimchi stew (김치 찌개 or 김치찜), suit one or the other.

scary yes, but tasty

I’m told by Korean friends that big cabbages are not the best to use and that medium sized ones, which compared to Britain are enormous, are the most suitable. The outer leaves are trimmed and unless damaged these shouldn’t  be thrown away as they can be used in other recipes.

One of the most persistent problems I faced was the most crucial; namely getting the salting process right. Even cook books sometimes overlook what is a seemingly simple procedure. When the prepared cabbages are ready to paste with your kimchi paste mix, they should resemble a dishcloth by which I mean they should be floppy and it should be possible to wring them without them tearing. If you get your kimchi paste wrong you can always adjust it. Even if you subsequently discover your kimchi is too salty it will mellow as it ferments but should the kimchi fail to wilt properly it will not be easily rescued.

Many recipes gloss over the salting process and only this week I read Jennifer Barclay’s book, Meeting Mr Kim (Summersdale, 1988). The book is an interesting account of life in Korea and not a cookbook, but her kimchi recipe, and she is not alone, simply directed you to soak the cabbages in salted water. If as recipe does not explain the salting process in some detail, tread with caution!  I once used an entire big bag of table salt in which I soaked the cabbages for several days and they still failed to wilt effectively. The salting process is actually simple if you use a coarse type of salt  (such as sea salt or if in Korea  굵은 소금)) and sprinkled between the leaves is all that is required to wilt the leaves in several hours, depending on room temperature. When I make kimchi in the UK, I am forced to use cabbages which are almost white in colour, very stemmy, and which are too small to quarter but even these wilt if treated properly. After salting the washed and wet cabbages they can be placed in a bowl or sink, sprinkled with extra salt and a few cups of extra water and left. Immersing them in water isn’t necessary. In hot weather the wilting process is much quicker. You should notice the cabbages almost half in volume and soon become limp, floppy and wringable.

Bo-ssam (보쌈) uses a different type of kimchi

Like rice, traditionally, Koreans rinse the cabbage three times. I have learnt it is much better to rinse them thoroughly, perhaps removing too much salt but this can always be remedied later. However, if you use the correct ammount of salt and don’t sprinkle excess on, three rinses are adequate. You can feel where salt residue remains as the stems are slimy and you can remove these by simply rubbing your fingers over them.

Salty kimchi will mellow with fermentation, it is probably better for it to be not salty enough than too salty, especially given the concerns over salt and blood pressure. One hint Mangchi suggests is adding some thin slices of mooli (무) if it is overly salty.

A good kimchi paste will cling to the leaves like a sauce so it is prudent to drain the segments and even wring  water out and this will prevent your kimchi becoming watery as the cabbages ferment.

Pork kimchi stew (김치씸) – works just as well with mackerel

Plenty of recipes, online and in books, will guide you through making the paste but my all time favourite is Maangchi. Her website is enormous and her videos on Korean cooking are well presented. Here you will also find other ways to use kimchi as well as many other types of kimchi, cabbage and otherwise.

British friends who have since become lovers of kimchi often ask me how long it will keep. I tend to keep kimchi in the refrigerator in hot weather and somewhere cold, but not freezing, in winter. If you like kimchi fresh (newly made,) keeping it cool or cold will delay fermentation. If you like it sour then you can use a warm  place to speed up the process. I tend to juggle things in order to better control fermentation. I made my last batch of kimchi in November and the tub in which it is stored has stood on my balcony almost 6 months. I have now moved it to the bottom of my fridge to mellow indefinitely. I have used kimchi that was over 6 months old and which had white mold on the top but this washed off and the underlying cabbage was excellent as the basis for a stew.

Creative Commons License

© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.

A Man of Habit – Onigiri

Posted in Uncategorized by 노강호 on February 3, 2011

the onigiri logo

I’m a man of total habit! I eat the same evening meal for up to six months at a time  and can map out the last few years  and corresponding seasons in Daegu by the restaurants I’ve frequented and the meals ingested therein.  For the first six months I ate boiled pork (보쌈) before I started using a pork kimchi stew (김치찜) restaurant which is right next to my one room. I ate there for almost nine months. Next, it was the turn of pork cutlet (돈까스) but I didn’t stick to the same menu and flitted as my mood took me between pork cutlet filled with cheese or the curried version. In the area I live there are far too many restaurants that serve pork cutlet and an absence of Chinese style restaurants so during this period I ate the same meal in various locations including a very nice Japanese style restaurant that served the cutlet chopped on plain rice and topped with a raw egg.

pork cutlet (돈까스)

Next, I discovered ‘Mr Big;’ not really the place to experience Korean cooking and they have some very naughty additions which I usually avoid: almost English style chips served in the German manner, with mayonnaise, sausages that are almost like bratwurst and the most enormous battered onion rings made with real onion. I spent a good six months dining on their nasigoreng before moving onto carbonara.

carbonara

When I arrived back in Korea after my 2010-2011 winter vacation, I ate carbonara in Mr Big and felt sick. Six months of eating it every evening had killed the passion and so I moved down the menu onto their pork cutlet which is very nice as it isn’t reconstituted and is made from a whole slab of real pork.

I generally read books during my dinner and if a recall one, I also recall the dinner that generally accompanied it: Robert Heinlein’s, Farnham’s Freehold, Rocketship Galeleo and Farmer in the Sky were all accompanied by nasigoreng while Dickens’ Hard Times was definitely carbonara. Their cabonara isn’t a totally Italian creation as I ask for it lazed with chili and the little burn it creates on my palate convinces me I’m not squandering my Korean experience. My current reading is Ben Bova’s, Venus and it quite suits a fat pork cutlet.

an array of sam-kak-bap (삼각밥)

Lunch times aren’t so restricted, often I cook a simple Korean meal or I eat kimbap (rice-roll) but recently I’ve been rather hooked on the new Onigiri (오니기리) store that has opened near my school. Onigiri is a Japanese ‘snack’ rather similar to sam-kak-bap (triangular rice) which is wrapped in toasted laver-bread and has a small filling. You can buy plastic moulds in supermarkets to make them at home and you can even buy even pre-cut laver-bread which wraps the rice in both a layer of laver and an outer layer of plastic to keep it fresh.  However, I’ve never mastered the procedure and can’t be bothered to follow the comic like instructions on the packet. These sam-kak-bap however, like the standard shop bought snack, are really snack size.

sam-kak-bap moulds

my local onigiri’s menu – eat in or take-away

The onigiri variety are more substantial and two definitely comprise lunch. Made to order, there is a choice of about 12 fillings including tuna and mayonnaise,  kimchi,  cheese, flying fish eggs and and tuna, and myeolchi (small dried fish) with walnuts and sesame oil. Onigiri are definitely worth trying and would probably be a hit back in the UK making a change from a boring lunchtime sandwich.

onigiri

two of my favourites: tuna-mayo and cheese, flying fish eggs and tuna

dried anchovy, walnut and sesame oil…mmm…and relatively healthy

And if you’re the least interested in breakfast, I make tofu bean-paste stew most mornings but sometimes I could kill for an unhealthy English breakfast of fried bacon, bread and egg.

Creative Commons License

© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.