Friday, March 30, 2012

Seafood and Chives Pancake - Haemul Pajeon

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Easter is almost here! Yay more holiday! My next door neighbor, Rhusheet, and bubs want to go to six flags during Easter but I HATE rollercoasters. If I haven't mentioned that enough in my other post. I guess I can always stay at home and catch up with work like a lame-o :(

Last weekend, bubs, Rhusheet and I went to the tidal basin here in DC to see the ALREADY dying cherry blossoms. Only to find they were really all dead :(. Maybe a few trees here and there. I was so excited for some photo opportunities of the monuments surrounded by a sea of pink. So disappointed. And it was windy. And I was wearing a dress. I would have felt like Marilyn Monroe, if my hair wasn't all over my face and in my mouth haha. Sounds so attractive.... But we did manage to pack a picnic of inari sushi (yubucho bap), 2% Korean drinks and chocolate chip cookies. Everything home made, except for the drinks of course (or I'd be a freaking millionaire). Maybe I'll do a next post about making inari sushi. It's just seasoned rice in some seasoned tofu skins. Yum. And if Rhusheet (our adopted son haha) likes it, you'll like it too. We don't only bring him around to help us take pictures... We make sure we feed him :D

Anyhoo, back to food! We occasionally go to the korean supermarket, which is unfortunately quite far. But when we do, we stock up our fridge with all kinds of Asian produce that would otherwise be $3927538 times more expensive at Safeway or Whole foods. Seriously, we bought a bunch of chives for $2 and I saw it in Safeway in a sad little box for $7! Ridonculous! With our plethora of veggies, we decided to make....

Haemul Pajeon - 해물파전

Ingredients - makes 2 pancakes
1. 5 stalks garlic chives
2. 5 stalks green onions
3. 1/2 pack of enoki mushrooms
4. 1 Korean zucchini - thinly sliced
5. fistful of frozen seafood or around 5 fresh shrimps
6. 1 Serrano chili (optional!)
7. 2 cup Pancake flour (store bought)
8. A little less than 2 cups cold water
9. 1 tsp Korean chili pepper
10. pepper

Dipping sauce
1. 2 tsp sesame oil
2. 2 tbsp soysauce
3. 2 tsp white vinegar
4. 1 tsp chili powder
6. 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
7. chopped Serrano/jalapeno (optional)

Prepare all your ingredients: chop chives, mushrooms and onions into lengths of 2 inches. Finely chop your Serrano chili or just slice it thinly or use something less spicy like jalapeno (weak!). For the seafood, we like to use a frozen bag of assorted seafood that you can get really cheaply at an Asian supermarket. If not, take 5 shrimps and chop them into bite sized bits.

Pancakes are so easy to make when you have the pajeon flour. Also available in many Korean food stores. I've tried making it with flour, eggs etc... but you need extra ingredients like panko crumbs, glutinous rice flour to make the pancake that chewy and crispy texture at the same time! TOO much work. And I'm very lazy. The ready made flour is all seasoned and all you have to do is add water. Works like a charm!

In a large boil, you can start with 1 cup of flour and 4/5 of water to make a pancake. Mix that up real well and you can add more pepper or chili powder if you so wish. Then, add a handful of all the ingredients into the mix. We like lots of vegetables in our pancakes, but you can always adjust it. Just remember that lots of veggies means less doughy, more crispy! The garlic chives are SOO delicious in pancakes, but you can thinly slice 1/2 an onion instead. But chives.... so fragrant!

Heat up a large frying pan, add a generous amount of olive oil. You always want to wait for the oil to heat up or else anything you put into the pan will just soak up all the oil and make it soggy! (tip learned from Hell's Kitchen, I love you Gordon Ramsey!! <3). Add in all your batter to make 1 pancake, or you can make it mini. If I were to make it alone, I'd make it small. But bubs is a pancake flipping mastah!

Do remember to spread your batter out thin and separate your veggies well. Fry on one side until golden brown on medium heat (around 5 mins). Flip and do the same on the other.

For the dipping sauce, just mix those ingredients all together. There's a picture to show you what I used and the pack of pancake flour. Cut up your pancake and enjoy with lots of kimchi!

om nom nom

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Soft Tofu Soup (Soondubu jjigae - 순두부찌개)

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Studying is so hard after coming back from spring break. I feel like a lazy bum. Sleeping for 8 hours a day, catching up with all my TV and just lying around doing nothing. We're in pathophysiology class and I'm obviously not concentrating and updating my blog! Also, I can't understand our professor...she sounds... Polish?? It sounds like she has a thick beard over her mouth :\

Since we have mucho amounts of time, we've been cooking up a storm! We're also planning to make some NY pizza in the near future. So look out for that. Although, we're still arguing about the use of whole wheat flour and low fat cheese. Bubz likes it fat and by that I mean 100% fat. Gross.

I'm glad I have cooking power over everything. Yea, I wear the pants like that :D

Soondubu Jjigae - 순두부찌개
- Loosely adapted from Aeris Kitchen

Dashi broth
1. Big piece of kelp (dried seaweed)
2. 8 Anchovies
3. 2-3 cups of water

Starting to fry
1. 1 tbsp of oil (mix of sesame oil + olive)
2. 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic
3. 1/2 onion sliced
4. 1/2 tbsp korean chili powder (or more!)
5. Small palmful of meat (if you want/ or you can make it vegetarian)
6. 1/2 zucchini
7. 1 tbsp Yoondu (soysauce)

Soup stuff to boil
1. 1/4 cup kimchi + 1/2 cup juice
2. 1 pack soft tofu
3. handful of frozen seafood (or fresh, or optional)
4. 1/2 pack of enoki mushroom
5. 1/2 chili (optional for extra kick)
6. 1 stalk of green onion, salt (optional), pepper
7. EGG

Get out two pots! In one pot start the dashi broth by boiling the kelp, anchovies and water for 15-20 mins. Or if you're lazy like us and you don't want to wash another pot, you can do this stage when you start to add the kimchi, tofu to the soup. (I'll let you know).

In the other pot, heat up the oil, fry up the garlic and onion until fragrant. You can choose to add meat or not. We used a few slices of samgyupsaal (pork belly) but you can just omit that and keep it veg. Fry up your zucchini for 3 mins, add in your chili powder, and soysauce or yoondu.

Add your dashi broth that you've prepared or add in the ingredients for the dashi broth if you don't mind having fishes floating around. I use this sieve thing that I can just put in the pot and lift up. I'll post a picture of this later!

Anyway, after you add your broth, add in the kimchi and juice and boil for 3 mins. Add the frozen seafood (optional). Boil another 3min. Add in the tofu and chili. Again wait 3. Finally add in your mushroom and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste!

And then.... crack in your egg. We like to do it while it's still boiling because we can't stand raw eggs.

But popping the yolk into the soup is sooo delicious. Enjoy with rice and ban chan!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ultimate Lamb Burger

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It's the last day of spring break and its bittersweet. Bittersweet because I'm going to be saying goodbye to 8 hrs of sleep everyday and just being lazy. But I also can't stand not doing anything either. I'm kinda of a jumpy stressed out person all the time. I must be doing something every second and if I'm not, I get  a little stressed out... (I know, CRAZY) :D. Even as I'm typing this, I'm watching Big Bang Theory. But then again, who DOESN'T watch that show? (ahem bubz).

We're also extremely addicted to a Korean reality TV show called K-pop Star. It's kinda like American Idol and the judges represent the 3 biggest Korean entertainment companies,  JYP, SM and YG. It's our Sunday ritual to watch the show... even if we have to study for an exam during the week. I admit it, terrible addiction. But better than being addicted to Jersey Shore! (That show is just trash, but then again, I've watched Tila Tequila and Tool academy. Ugh don't even ask me about that)

Back to food! Bubz and I decided to one-up my neighbors and make a better, no wait, the ULTIMATE lamb burger. We didn't quite follow a recipe, but we just added whatever we had at home and thought would go well with the burger. The result was legen... wait for it... DARY. HAHAHA (this is only funny if you watch How I met Your Mother). Ok, I watch too much TV. But I need to do something while I'm eating. What else am I supposed to do? Make normal conversation??! :\

Ultimate Lamb Burger
1. Olive oil
2. 1/2 Red Onion finely diced
3. 0.6 lbs Ground lamb
4. 3 tbsp dried parsley
5. 2 tbsp minced garlic
6. 3 tbsp or more Red chili flakes
7. 2 tbsp dried garlic salt, herb seasoning
8. Juice of a 1/2 lemon
9. 1 tsp salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
10. Vegetable of choice (we used Brocco sprouts)
11. Pepper jack cheese (Or any biting/cutting cheese)
12. Buns
13. Stoneground mustard

First, you want to fry up your red onions in a bit of olive oil until translucent and leave it to cool. And turn on that oven to 375 F.
It's all about flavoring the meat! In a large bowl, add the parsley, garlic, chili flakes, pepper and salt to the ground lamb and massage it in. Lamb is quite fatty so the lemon juice is a must to add acidity and cut the greasy taste in your mouth.

 But we add the lemon juice and the red onions after we've massaged all the herbs and stuff into the meat because the juice might enzymatically break down the meat a little. After you've added the onions and juice, form 3 fat patties. We like it kinda thick because it keeps it really moist inside. Add some olive oil to your hot pan and sear both sides of the patty for about 3 mins each or until browned. Then you stick it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Finishing it in the oven means you can get the slightly pink and perfect finish to your burger. And the texture will be less chewy, but oh-so-soft and moist.

While, you let that burger rest after taking it out of the oven, toast your buns and melt your cheese! We're huge fans of pepper jack because it gives it an extra heat kick. But I think mild cheddar, havarti or swiss could probably work.

Assembly time! Put your burger onto toasted buns and lather some mustard and brocco sprouts. I think bubz only eats brocco sprouts because it was developed by a Johns Hopkins scientist and he has all that school pride. But really it tastes exactly like alfafa sprouts or a milder wheat grass ;).

OK, I don't want to keep distracting you from actually eating your burger.  Lean forward and take a HUGE bite out of it. I think we nearly died and went to heaven. Can you see those red onions poking out of the burger??

IT IS SO DELICIOUS. If you do try anything on this blog, I'd make this burger.
We both inhaled it in 15 mins, although he inhaled two while I was finishing one. HAHA what a pig.

Happy nomming folks!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Odeng Guk 오댕국

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Woo! We just came back from spring break in Orlando and I did everything I wanted to do. Drink butter beer, touch a dolphin, SWIM with a dolphin. Omg it was amazing. And now I'm just pooped and so very tired. I had to also ride all the roller coasters in the various themeparks. AND I HATE roller coasters. I don't know why people enjoy the feeling of having their guts in their throats. Although, nothing can be quite as bad as the X ride in six flags in California. That is a BAD ride. and I'll never go on that again. But the rides weren't so bad at Universal. Plus I had to ride all the Harry Potter ones just because I'm a true hp fan like that :P

I tried to take pictures of our ride photos but they're extremely stingy about that. Got caught a couple of times... very embarrassing. But then I always turn out like I have an extra Y chromosome in those pictures. very unflattering...

Anyhoo, back to food! This is a meal we made during our last exam because it's extremely easy to make. You can get all the ingredients from your local asian market and store it in your freezer for months and make it whenever you like!

Odeng Guk 

1. 1 tbsp minced garlic
2. 1/2 sliced onion
3. 2 tbsp sesame oil
4. small piece of kelp
5. 6 dried anchovies
6. 2 inch block of korean radish or japanese daikon (so essential)
7. 1/2 pack of oden (japanese or korean)
8. 1 tbsp yoon du or soy sauce
9. 2 tsp korean chili powder (or more if you like spicy)
10. handful of chopped green onions, sesame seeds (if you like)

Here's what kelp looks like and what yoondo is. It's like an organic soysauce that's been sweetened a little bit with sugar cane. Adds a lot of umami to your dish!

Usually, if you're not mooshikae (brash in korean) like me. You'd make the dashi in a different pot. But I don't like having to wash two pots so I leave the anchovies and kelp in it. Plus, I don't mind eating it. Extra calcium for me!

Okay, so first heat up some sesame oil (maybe also a drop of olive oil so things don't start burning). Fry the minced garlic and sliced onion. You can also do this to the anchovies to get rid of the freezer/ fishy smell. Once the onions are slightly translucent, add around 3-4 cups of water. Put in the kelp in there too. Let it boil for around 3 minutes.

For the daikon/radish, cut it into mini cubes or half moons. However you feel like eating it. But the mini cubes cook and get softer faster. The radish is soo critical to the refreshing taste of the soup. So drop those in. Let it boil for another 3-4 minutes or until the radish is partially soft. Then add in the odeng. This stuff is also called fish cake and a lot of asian cuisines have some sort of version of it. In Korea, you can get ones with bits of carrot, onions and veggies embedded in it. Or ones with dang myung (potato noodles) or just simple plain ones. They are my all time favorite street food. SO delicious. I'll always remember begging my aunt to get me some after swimming lessons :)

Anyway, I digress. Let it boil for another 3 minutes and add the yoondu or soysauce, chili powder, some pepper, green onions. Adjust the saltiness with salt or more soysauce to your liking.

After the last boil, add some sesame seeds to garnish and enjoy with some bap! nom nom nom

Although he likes plain white rice, I've made him eat purple rice. It's rice mixed with all sorts of beans, brown rice and some other grains. It's a lot healthier and it tastes better too (in my opinion)!

Happy eating!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kimchi Fried Rice (bokkeumbap)

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I can't wait until spring break! We're off to the Wizarding world of Harry Potter. I am a HUGE HUGE fan of HP. I've probably read the entire set more than 20 times. I lined up for the books when it first came out. And and... I just love JK Rowling for making my childhood so complete. On the other hand, bubs hasn't even read the book. OMG :O incompatibility right there (haha). But we've watched the last 2 movies together and he's more of a movie person than a book person. I am the ultimate bookworm. I just love the smell of new books and the feel of well worn books from many nights of reading.
Also, we're going to go dolphin swimming in Discovery Cove and visit sea world. The tickets to all these places were pretty pricey but our hotels and flights were all booked with miles. Well, in my case, I used my mum's credit card to book my flight :D (that's almost free). As big foodies, we've already done research on where we're going to eat too! Hopefully yelp is just as trusty in Orlando.

Anyhoo, planning our trip took us the whole day last week during the time when we had a big paper coming up. That was ridiculous. We can find so many ways to procrastinate on our studying. Izz baddd :/
Since we have no time for elaborate meals...(exam is next friday OMFFFG), we're eating a lot of kimchi and rice and leftover stuff. Soo I present you Kimchi fried rice. Probably the most simplest thing to make ever.

Kimchi Fried rice - 김치볶음밥
A runny egg is a MUST
1. 2 cups Leftover rice (or make new rice that's kind of dry)
2. 1 tbsp sesame oil
3. 1/2 onion diced
4. 2 cloves garlic
5. Meat - any kind really - Sometimes I use tuna if I feel like eating healthy, but here we used pork belly (sam gyup ssal)! Sounds like myocardial infarction :(
6. 1/2 zucchini
7. 1/2 cup kimchi and 6 tbsp of the juice (OLD kimchi)
8. Pepper and korean chili powder
9. stalk of green onions
10. 1 egg

In a frying pan, heat up some olive oil and sesame oil and fry up your onions, garlic for a few seconds and then add in your meat (or no meat). If you're using tuna, add it with your rice at the end.

Toss in the zucchini (or any vegetable like diced carrots), and a minute later add in the kimchi and juice. You can add in 1 tbsp of korean chili paste for an extra spicy kick or add 1 jalapeno.
Add a few turns of that pepper mill and 2 tsps of korean chili powder.
After everything is pretty cooked/fried, add in your rice and break it down

Once the rice turns a lovely red color you're done! or you can add the green onions if you like them cooked into the rice.
Place some in a bowl and top with an overeasy egg.

We ate it with some seaweed and even more kimchi. Can't have enough of that stuff!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Baked Wings two ways - Korean style, American style

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Even though we have exams looming over our heads, we almost never fail to make an epic meal. It's a great stress reliever and a good break from studying. Although we're both Korean, well I'm half, and we love eating Korean food most of the time, sometimes we want something American. So we kind of met in the middle and made korean style wings too!

The other kind was an experiment. I wasn't sure where I had read it, but it said something about marinating your chicken in left over pickle juice. AND we had just finished a jar of pickles and bam - WINGS. The wings didn't taste like pickle juice, but it lent it a sweet tangy flavor, which was unbelievable.

I think bubs and I are like fat people trapped in small bodies. We inhaled the wings and shared a head of celery. I don't know how we managed that... :/ BUT our eyes nearly popped out when we tried the pickled ones. Like it was THAT GOOD.
Of course, I was trying to digest that food all night. ack~

I give you...
Korean style wings and Garlic pickled wings


A. Korean chili style ~10 wings
1. 3 tbsp Korean chili paste
2. 1tbsp honey
3. 1 tbsp minced garlic
4. 2 tsp soysauce
5. 1 tbsp (or spicier) Korean chili powder
6. 1 tbsp vinegar
7. drizzle of sesame oil

B. Garlic pickled ~10 wings
1. About 1.5 cups - Jar of left over pickled juice (we used Cornicons baby sour gherkins)
2. 5 cloves of garlic minced
3. 2 tbsp Olive oil
4. 1 Jalapeno
5. Lots of freshly ground pepper and 2 pinches of salt
6. Scant chili flakes, assortment of dried herbs

Ready for baking!
Marinating the wings

The korean style wings is easy peasy. Just mix up all the ingredients and plunk your chicken wings into it and massage. nice

For the Garlic one...
Mix the minced garlic and olive oil. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes, herbs. Massage that into the chicken. I like to get every crack and crevice. Then pour over the pickle juice and chopped jalapenos
We love spicy so we keep the seeds and everything. If it's too spicy for you, remember to seed AND don't touch your eyes. Oh god, I've been there.

We left the chicken to marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hrs. Then before baking, we left it to get to room temperature for 30 mins. I don't know what the benefit of doing this is but I was following Eating and living blog and preheat the oven to 400F. Bake for 30-40 mins on each side.
Take it out and garnish with sesame seeds.

Pull back sleeves, open an episode of Modern Family and devour!

Eating wings like a BOSS

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jjol Myun - 쫄면

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The weather is so strangely hot in DC. We seriously get all 4 seasons in one month. By next week, it'll probably be snowing (NOoo). I'm originally from Hong Kong and only moved to the US to go to college, which was in Houston, Texas. Yeah, talk about culture shock. But now I love it here and hopefully I'll be staying for a while!
Ahora FOOD!

I thought about doing a cold dish today because it's so hot! I can't wait until I can eat ice cream. haha who am I kidding. I eat ice cream throughout the year.

Jjol Myun - 쫄면
 Bubs took this picture. Orgasmic~

1/2 cup julienned cucumber
1/2 cup julienned perilla leaves (gives a minty flavor)
1 fistful beansprouts
1 stalk green onions
1/2 cup kimchi
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 portions of noodles (soba, jjol myun is a korean type which is more elastic, but soba works great too)
sesame seeds
1 egg

Mixing sauce (bibim sauce)
4 tbsp korean chili paste
3/4 tbsp korean chili powder (I like it spicy so I lay it on!)
1 tbsp sugar/honey
1.5 tbsp rice wine/ distilled white vinegar
1/2 tbsp minced garlic

Chop up all your vegetables. The most time consuming thing. so you get your significant other to do it!
Boil the beansprouts for about 15 mins until soft but still snappy.
Chop up green onions real small and boil your egg

In the mean time, put everything for the mixing sauce in a small dish and set aside.
Boil your noodles as instructed in the back. I used soba noodles here, which works fine too. Just dunk it in ice cold water so you get your noodles extremely cold and it snaps in your mouth.

Lay a portion of your noodles in the bowl and arrange your vegetables all pretty. Pour on the sauce and garnish with your egg and sesame seeds.

I also added chopped up kimchi to the dish. And that's fried in some sesame oil. Adds a great depth of flavor.

Makes 2 servings. If you have sauce left over, just store it and that can be used again for noodles or bibimbap or dipping sauce for vegetables too!

See you next time~

- meebs -

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Beansprout soup 콩나물국

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Trying out blogging for the gazillionth time. Always wanted to start a blog but I'm far too lazy to type about my life or what I cook. Plus, who wants to read that stuff anyway??

A little bit about me...
I'm currently a graduate student in Georgetown University in a MS program in physiology. Basically, I need to get into med school and so I'm dropping $40K to try to get into med school on top of the $2097503853 that I will probably rack up. 

I whine. but if you stick around, you'll probably hear a lot of whining and bi#$hing about this program and I guess.

Anyhoo, I'm a huge huge foodie and I love being domestic (minus the dishwashing part). I love eating, which is why I have to work out extra hard so I don't end up getting diabetes or looking like an oompa loompa. 

My first recipe!
Korean Beansprout soup 콩나물국 - kong namul guk

1. 1/2 onion
2. 2 cloves garlic (I love extra garlic, although that makes me extra gassy haha)
3. sesame oil
4. Dried anchovies/ dashi
5. 2 inch block of korean radish/ daikon
6. 2 fistfuls of beansprout
7. Soysauce, salt, pepper
8. Korean chili powder
9. Green onions
Extra: Cubed firm tofu

Making the dashi
1. Fry up the anchovies (without oil) just to get that funky frozen fridge smell out
Add in the huge dashi seaweed thing (size of 2 fingers) and add 2 cups of water
2. Let it boil for 15 mins before you fish it out (set aside for later use)

In a huge pot fry up the onion in a mix of sesame oil and olive oil (the sesame oil is so fragrant. don't skimp!). Add in the garlic and after a minute pour in the made dashi

Cut the daikon into 1/4 inch cubes and add that in too (the radish gives it a very crisp and refreshing taste). Let it boil for 10 mins or until daikon is soft

Drop in the beansprouts, add in around 2 tsp salt and a tsp of soysauce. You can always alter to taste. But I'm like an old lady inside and kind of like neutral tasting food :P (not bland!). Put in a pinch of pepper and korean chili powder for that extra oomph!

After 5 minutes add in tofu if you like (wait until it boils again) and add a ton of green onions.
And then you're done after it boils!

Serve with your favorite banchan
We had zucchini lightly fried in sesame oil, some salt and pepper and chili powder. I tend to eat lots of spicy (the korean in me).

So when I mean we... I mean my friend who I met in this program. 
But I'm glad he's here to eat my food. um and also make me study ha!

Until next bite!
- meebs -