Sunday, March 30, 2008

Zucchini Oyster Pancake

Oyster is one of my favorite things to eat in my life.  I’ve eaten probably hundred dozens of oysters in my life raw, deep fried, baked and you name it.  One day when I was in college, my mom told me she was working on this new recipe she learned from this other Korean lady she was hanging out with.  It turned out to be this delicious oyster Korean pancake with zucchini. Now, I’ve had shrimp and squid on my Korean pancakes before but oyster was a new thing and was quite excited about it.  When I tried it, it was the best Korean pancake I’ve tried.  I mean why didn’t anyone think of putting oysters on that thing before?  So now here I am many years later, I am trying to make this myself in my school apartment.

Ingredients (for one pancake): 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 water, 1 egg, sliced zucchini, carrot, green onions (or chives), jalapeño, onion (recommended option) and oysters
1. Mix flour with water and make sure there are no big chunks of flour left. When you mix, add more flour if you need to if the mix isn’t very thick. The mix must be thick enough so that it doesn’t break when you flip it but the 50/50 water to flour ratio is good.

2. Prepare vegetables by slicing them thinly and short. For jalapeno peppers, you want to mince them.

3. Add an egg before adding the vegetables. Once the egg is well mixed, add the vegetables to the mix.

4. Cut the oysters into small sizes and add to the mix.

So this is what the final mix looks like and this does not yet look so appetizing but be patient. :)

5. Oil your pan and pour the mix on the pan.

After cooking 2 minutes in high heat, turn to med heat for additional 2 minutes. When it's ready for flipping, it should look like below. Before flipping, make sure the pancake is not stuck to the pan. Use a thin spatula and separate it before flipping.

6. Have a great deal of fun flipping the sucker. It’s really not difficult. But I understand if you wanna take no chance.  You can use a wide spatula.

So after flipping, the bottom side now up should look nice and brown. Cook additional 2-3 minutes on the uncooked side. If you want more brown for crispier texture, cook a little longer.  You can check by slowly lifting the pancake on one side with a spatula to see how brown it is.

7. When it’s ready, put a dish on top of your pan and lift the pan so that the pancake will be on your dish with the good looking side up without any trouble. No more flipping.

All you gotta do now is grub. The first two pictures are when it's normally cooked with 2 minutes of cooking after flipping.

Or you can make it slightly more burned. Personally I like it little burned because it's crispier.

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Weekend BBQ Chicken

So I cooked some Korean chicken barbecue again tonight. I just thought I would put up these pictures up here because they look pretty nice. This is a picture of chickens and mushrooms being marinated of course. Basically, the marinade is same as my previous post. Find Korean chicken barbecue for more. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Seafood Kimchi Pancake

Korean seafood pancakes are amazing.  I used to just sit around the kitchen when my mom cooks them to make sure every time she cooks a new batch, it disappears quick.  The only food that is better than Korean seafood pancake is the one added with kimchi on top of everything else.  With kimchi pancakes, squid plays a big role.  Shrimp and squid are two seafood types I would use with seafood kimchi pancake.
Ingredients (1 pancake): 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of flour, sliced squid, 1/4 sliced onion, thinly sliced Kimchi, Kimchi juice, 1 eggs, sliced chives (not too small, about 1 inch long)
1. Put 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of water, 2 eggs, small pieces of kimchi and kimchi juice (juice on the bottom of your kimchi jar) into a container and mix it well using an eggbeater. Then add sliced squid, kimchi, chives, and onion into the mixture. The mixture must be a lot thicker than water. If too thin, it will break as you try to flip it over later.

2. Oil your pan and pour the mixture on it. Try not to make it too thick. Cook one side on med-high heat for about 5 minutes.

2. Using a spatula, see if the bottom side is cooked enough. It will turn brownish and feel hard. Unless you have a large and flat spatula to use it to flip over, the best way to flip this is to just tossing it in the air to flip it. It’s easier than you think. Fear not.
Cook for additional 2-3 minutes on the other side and it’s done.

3. The original top side before flipping is the good looking side that you want on top of your plate. To transfer it onto a dish, you can simply put your plate upside down on top of the pancake while still on the frying pan and flip the entire pan over with your hand on the plate. Just make sure the bottom is not stuck on the frying pan before performing the transfer.  At any point, you can destroy this pancake so be careful.

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Tuna Meat Jeon

Jeon is basically a pan fried meat patty that can be prepared with many different ingredients including the meat.  Jeons can be made with beef, crab meat, or purely vegetables.  It is a very traditional Korean side dish often cooked in events and parties.  It’s also pretty easy to make.  My apology for not having the time to take pictures of the process for this one but I’ll include the recipe below.
2 eggs, meat (1 can of tuna or other type of meat such as 1/4 lb of ground beef), chopped 1/4 onions, chopped 1/4 carrot, chopped chives.
1. First you chop the vegetables very very small and mix them into the meat.  It’s easy if you use a slicing board and then chop them afterwards so you can get small and fine pieces.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl and mix it into the meat + vegetable mixture from #1.
3. Oil your frying pan and turn the heat to high. Take small portions of the mixture and place it on the pan.  Then flatten them out with a spatula or something. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until it browns.

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Parade of Fried Rice

Above is 2-3 different kinds of fried rice wrapped and ready to be frozen for packing quick lunches. You just take each one to school and simply microwave it for lunch or late night studying at a library.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Carne Asada Tacos

I love tacos with fresh onions and cilantro.  Everyone I knew in the small town I lived in for law school thought Taco Bell was the ultimate Mexican fiesta.  Objection!  That is not Mexican by all means.  When I lived in LA, there were so many authentic Mexican restaurants and taquerias like El Cholo or King Tacos.  The lack of good Mexican food started to really make me feel depried and out of a desperation, I made an attempt to make some good tacos with fresh ingredients.
Beef (steak meat or tri-tip), tortillas, 1/2 onion, cilantros, a pinch of salt, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, 1 tbsp minced garlic, lemon or lime.
1. Chop cilantros and onions into thin pieces.

2. Then chop the beef into thin slices. This takes quite a bit of time and energy. I didn’t have a big grill with two butcher knives to chop them while cooking.  It’s still better than using ground beef.

3. Marinate the beef with salt, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, minced garlic and a little bit of water (water helps the ingredients to penetrate into the meat better).

Mix around the ingredients.

4. Cook the meat. I pan fried the meat and it still turned out very delicious.

5. Depending on how you like your tortillas, you can heat it up on a pan until you have some brown spots on it. Heating will make it nice and crispy.  You have to heat up tortillas one way or another.

6. Throw on the ingredients and maybe a piece of lime or lemon on the side. I like fresh squeezed lemon and a lot of hot sauce on my tacos.  This recipe was pretty good. If you like some kick, Tapatio is definitely one of the best hot sauces for Mexican food.

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Friday Night Chicken Thigh Barbecue

So my friends always come over on Friday nights for some beer and food. I prepared some meat overnight the same way I marinated Korean chicken barbecue using fish sauce, Teriyaki sauce, water, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, red pepper powder.

Click for the Recipe

This time I used chicken thighs and the only difference from using drum sticks was that more juice and oil came out while cooking. It turned out really nice and all my friends ate well and got drunk. It was a good Friday.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spicy Beef Rice Cake Dish (Ddeokbokki)

Spicy rice cake dish called ddeokbokki has been the love of my life since I was a little boy old enough to handle spicy food. Thinking about it, I got used to eating spicy food at age 5.  Instead of blaming, I thank my mother for it so now I can enjoy a whole variety of foods including this one.
So this concept of rice cake is pretty weird and foreign to people outside of Korea and Japan.  It’s not really a cake.  Sure, some rice cakes are actually sweet after injecting sugar or flavors into it.  It’s made of rice.  Uncooked rice grains become finely ground and mixed with water.  Then it’s steamed in high heat when it comes molded into certain shapes.  Normally rice cake is a dessert menu but there are several non-entree rice cake dishes including ddeokbokki.
Ddeokbokki is a big street food in Korea.  There are street foods in traditional market places and on the side of streets.  You will always find ddeokbokki vendors.  A lot of them exist near schools because the cart owners know little kids love this.

Ingredients: rice cakes (below picture), half onion, fish cake, beef, green onion, sticky noodles (optional), Korean red pepper paste (2 spoons), thinly ground red pepper flakes, ketchup (2 spoons), minced garlic (1 spoon), corn syrup (2 spoons), salt, sugar, soy sauce (1 spoon), and black pepper
1. The type of rice cake you will need will look like either the flat ones on top or long around ones like in the bottom picture. You will find them from a Korean supermarket.

2. Put the rice cake in cold water if they are dried or frozen as that’s how usually they are sold.  Leave them in water for 20-30 minutes will be quite enough.  Sometimes, you can luck out by finding fresh ones daily delivered from a rice cake factory near cash registers and when you do, you don’t need to put them in water.

3. Then you will need some fishcakes. (Any Asian store should have them.)

4. Noodle is totally optional and you can use different kinds of noodle such as ramen or jolmyun.  I used jolmyun (chewy and thick) as it is a popular choice of noodle addition for this dish.

5. Chop half an onion.

6. Cut some beef. (any type is fine - ribeye, sirloin, tri-tip)
7. So in the beginning, you will need minced garlic, ketchup and Korean red pepper paste.

8. Add the meat and cook the mixture in medium to high heat for a minute and add 1/4 cup of water since it could burn.

9. Add a spoon of soy sauce and sprinkle black pepper into the mixture while heating the mixture.

And some salt
And corn syrup.
Add red pepper power
10. Your sauce will look something like this. Very red!

11. Now you need to add about 2-3 cups of water into the sauce.

12. When the water heats up, add the onion and fishcake.

13. When the mixture starts to boil, add the rice cake and noodle.

14. Make sure you soak them into the mixture and cook in high heat for 3-4 minutes and in medium heat for additional 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring because the rice cake can get stuck to the pan.

15. So this is what it should look like in the end.

For your personal taste, you can add sesame seeds and chopped green onions. Enjoy!

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