I chose to make a Korean meal seeing as it's a cuisine I've never cooked before and the last ICSA entry I've seen about it involved unthinkable quantities of Spam. I also did it mainly to motivate myself to drive out to the Korean market to get ingredients, so I'll be a bit less verbose the history/culture elements of the challenge.
Dish 1: Kimchi
I figure a dish so important it's got its own forum smiley shouldn't need an explanation that it's kind of a big thing. For my recipe, I consulted the foremost expert in all things un-American.
Mixed with salt (it's gone from two bowls to just one)
Veggies and spices (for convenience, I used dried ginger instead of fresh and brown sugar instead of turbinado)
Sealed up and ready to go into the fridge
One week later
Postmortem: It ended up way too salty. The other veggies tasted fine, but I probably didn't rinse the cabbage thoroughly enough after salting it in the fridge. I'd also substitute a bit of red pepper paste for some of the fresh peppers, as while they've got a great taste they didn't do a great job of ensuring consistent spicyness.
Dish 2: Kongnamul
Most of what I'm making are banchan, smaller dishes like kimchi, rice, or seasoned vegetables that while not the main course, take up the bulk of the table and plate space. This recipe was adapted from http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2012/0...ed-soybean.html
First, we take a 12 ounce bag of soybean sprouts
After steaming for seven minutes, we add the garlic, black and red pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce
And finally the chopped scallions
Postmortem: Pretty good, albeit a little on the bland side. I'll probably add a bit more hot pepper next time and see how it changes.
Dish 3: Okogbap
Most meals are just served with rice, but that'd be a bit undercomplicated for an ICSA entry. Instead I went with five-grain rice, a hearty dish traditionally served in late winter. While it normally includes at least one type of rice and one type of beans, even in the traditional sense its less defined by the specific grains and more by the fact that there's five of them (you can't be too picky when trying to avoid malnutrition in the winter). I went with the recipe described here, which uses non-glutenous rice, sweet rice, black beans, azuki beans, millet, and sorghum.
Soak the black beans for 24 hours beforehand
Set the red beans to boil for ten minutes
Drain the first pot of water and fill it with fresh water before boiling for another ten minutes. Collect this water and mix it with an equal part of fresh water
Mix together the other grains
Then boil on high for 15 minutes, simmer on low for 15 minutes, and let sit covered for 15 minutes.
(The only photo of the finished dish is with the next one. I don't know what's up with my photography for this meal)
Postmortem: The sweetness of the glutenous rice and azuki beans makes everything really blend together. It's kind of tasteless, but not in a bad way (it's a great counterpoint to dish 4). It reminds me of oatmeal, in that you can eat just a small amount and feel full for a while. I've been having the leftovers for breakfast, and it works really well.
Dish 4: Nakji Bokkeum
This is a stir-fry dish with a lot of good stuff in it. It's got an octopus, red pepper paste, and garlic, so it's already got three of my favorite things. I based my recipe on this one.
Cut the octopus into bite-sized pieces, then clean and dry them. I used pre-cut octopus. The store had whole octopus, but as much as I wanted to cook intact octopus parts I had decided on the recipe beforehand and pre-cut was cheaper.
(I don't know why I don't have a picture of this. Raw octopus seems like the kind of thing I'd want to take a picture of)
Mix one pound of octopus with half a pound of mung bean sprouts, a bunch of scallions, 2 tbs sesame oil, 1 tbs soy sauce, 4 tbs red pepper paste, 1 tbs chili powder, and six cloves of garlic.
Dump into a hot pan and stir until cooked (~2-3 minutes)
Postmortem: It's everything you'd expect it to be, and it makes you glad you've got okogbap on your plate. The only thing I'd change is that I think I overcooked it by about a minute or two. It wasn't enough to damage the dish overall, but octopus and squid tends to have a very small window for perfect texture.
Dish 5: Galbi
We finally reach the main dish. While using the full rib cut is more traditional, most home use uses the LA cut, where the ribs are cut into strips through the bone, which is easier to handle and cook.
1 tsp pepper
1 tbs brown sugar
2 lb beef ribs, LA cut
2 tsp ginger
6 cloves garlic
1 tbs red pepper paste
1 tbs sesame oil
.5 c soy sauce
Mix the dry ingredients and rub them on the beef
Add the rest of the marinade and spread it evenly
After refrigerating it overnight, throw it on the grill for five minutes before tearing it into bite-sized pieces
Postmortem: It was good, although I didn't have time to prepare the ssamjang and lettuce. Normally the meat is wrapped in lettuce and dipped in ssamjang. I also though the the final product was a bit tough and fatty. Next time I'll probably use the same technique I use for pork ribs by cooking it in the oven at something low like 250 before finishing on the grill.
|# ? Mar 4, 2013 08:01|
|# ? May 23, 2013 03:13|
The second dish and the last two dishes look fantastic (Kimchi is not my thing, dish 3 I kind of skimmed over.)
|# ? Mar 4, 2013 12:55|
I'm glad you did Korean! That was one possibility I considered, but I changed my mind because, among other things, I've barely even eaten Korean food so I wouldn't know if I was cooking it wrong or if I just don't like some Korean food. At some point I definitely want to make some kimchi, though.
|# ? Mar 4, 2013 15:57|
I've eaten a considerable amount of Korean food and I have had everything you have prepared. I think you did an amazing job considering your experience with the dishes. You definitely cannot substitute fresh peppers for red pepper paste in traditional kimchi. In my opinion it's what makes kimchi kimchi. However, I have seen "summer" or "raw" kimchi that looks very much like your entry and that stuff is awesome because the smell doesn't stick with you all day, and is somewhat refreshing. I've never seen galbi prepared with anything other then the LA cut(never knew it was called that, thanks!), which I think cuts down on the chewiness significantly. Besides those few pedantic things your entry brought back memories of a lot of great meals.
f0rce fucked around with this message at Mar 5, 2013 around 03:12
|# ? Mar 5, 2013 03:09|
Homemade kimchee is the best! I have half a (non-napa but whatever) cabbage left in my fridge and this entry has inspired me to chili and pickle that fucker up. Kimchee fried rice is such a great simple side dish. Your beany rice looks good too! I'll have to give that a shot.
|# ? Mar 5, 2013 04:11|
This looks pretty good! I love nakji bokkum, I'll have to give it a shot at making it myself soon.
I'm a big fan of kong namul as well, and it's actually supposed to be kind of bland. Dishes revolving around bean sprouts (or kong) in Korea are usually meant to be more delicately flavoured*. Maybe next time you could add a little more sesame oil as I find that is the flavour that works best with the beans, but YMMV.
* source: living in Korea for two years.
|# ? Mar 5, 2013 13:06|
|# ? May 23, 2013 03:13|
Hey Microcline, get thee to the voting thread and pick a prize. Congratulations!
|# ? Mar 19, 2013 05:48|