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Friday, June 13, 2008

Bibimbap


Bibimbap is the most famous Korean dish. In literal translation, it means mixed rice. You're basically mixing the rice with variety of vegetables (stir fried but sometimes with fresh vegetables) with sauce and sesame oil. It is quite healthy and delicious and I believe that's the reason why it became so popular in America especially among health conscious and trendy eaters. Few weeks ago, chef Mario from Iron Chef Show cooked Bibimbap in a stone bowl and amazed many people.

1. First, you need a carrot, zucchini, Shitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, beef, and spinach.

Sesame oil will be used for cooking these vegetables.

2. For carrots, you can either use them fresh or cooked. I heard it's better to eat them fresh because cooking destroys their vitamins. However, I decided to cook them for the taste. Personally I do not really like the taste of raw carrots but it's just me.


3. Then cook zucchinis. Use sesame oil also and just cook them for 1-2 minute until they're cooked.


4. For spinach, you want to boil them for 30 minutes to soften them up and pan fry them for another 30 seconds. You can skip the pan frying part if you want to.



5. You want to boil the bean sprouts for 30 seconds as well. Even though you could've skipped pan frying part for spinach, I recommend that you pan fry the bean sprouts with sesame oil for at least 30 seconds.


6. Ideally, you want to use Shitake mushrooms below. But because of the cost, you can substitute with other mushrooms. That's probably what I should do next time too since I spent a fortune on these mushrooms at a market. Slice them and cook with sesame oil.



7. For beef, you can use rib eye, loins, ribs, ground beef or steaks. Just make sure you slice them very thinly while it's still semi frozen. When fully defrosted, it will be hard to slice them thinly as it loses any strength of the tissues.

Use sesame oil to cook.
Then add 2 table spoons of soy sauce.
It will become similar to Bulgogi like the picture below although Bulgogi recipe is more complicated than just sesame oil and soy sauce.

8. Finally, you need to fry an egg. You can also use just the yolk for Bibimbap but I do like eating the white part as well. I cooked sunny side up in medium heat because later the yolk will be an important part of the mixing.

9. Now serving. Put rice into a bowl.

Place the fried egg over the rice.
Then pick out those vegetables that you stir fried earlier and throw them over the rice as well.

Yeah I organized them nicely for photography purpose. You can do that too if you have a guest to impress.

Now you need to make a spicy dressing which you will use to mix the rice and the vegetables. It's spicy and sour dressing called "Yangyum Jang" in Korean.

Use the red pepper paste, tea spoon of minced garlic, 2 table spoons of apple juice, tea spoon of sesame oil, Chinese hot mustard, and sesame seeds.


Put the dressing on Bibimbap and sprinkle sesame seeds over as a garnish. Enjoy!


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Pecking Style Chinese Spicy Chicken Wings



This Pecking style Chinese spicy wings dish is called "Kan Pung Gi", "Kan Pung Ki", "Gan Pung Gi"or "Gan Pong Ki." It is a Chinese dish sold at some Chinese restaurants. It is especially common in Chinese-Korean restaurants. In Korea, there are a lot of Chinese restaurants that use recipes from mainly Pecking or Manchurian region, which also serves the taste of spice loving Koreans. I don't know if the dishes became extra spicier as these Chinese food became culturally assimilated in Korea but some of the dishes are spicy using the dried chili peppers. This dish is definitely an example of that.

First you need to fry some chickens.

1. Pour milk into chicken wings. Milk will get rid of any bloody flavor of chicken and make it taste smooth.

2. Add 2tbsp of minced garlic and sprinkle some black pepper.

3. You let the wings get marinated into milk for 20 minutes.

4. Then drain out the milk, preserving the garlic pieces.

5. Pour 3tbsp of sake (rice wine) into the wings.
6. Sprinkle some smoked paprika powder and ginger powder.

7. Mix it around and you need to put this in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
8. Now it's time to start making some batter. It won't be much of liquid batter. Instead, add 4:1 ratio of flour and corn starch to the wings and mix them around.

9. Now prepare a container with corn starch.

10. Throw chicken wings into corn starch and let the powder get onto the meat thoroughly. Make sure you do this quickly and throw it into the hot oil for frying while the corn starch is still dry on the outside. Once the chicken soaks up the powder, you will not get a crispy clothing after you deep fry them.


11. Deep fry the wings for the first time. Do not make the oil extremely hot for the first time. You can leave the oil in medium high heat for about 10-15 minutes before deep frying. This way, you get to slowly cook the chickens thoroughly all the way inside for the first time. Take about 10 minutes to cook. It's always a good idea to take a sample to see if it's been fully cooked, though.

Once you take the chickens out, you will have nice and crispy wings. You can still eat the wings at this stage, however, normally chickens are fried for the second time to make sure it gets very crispy. If the chickens are crispy enough for your taste at this stage, and the chickens are fully cooked, you might as well skip second frying.
This is what it looks like after deep frying for the second time.

Have a closer look.

Now let's make the sauce in which you will be stir frying your fried chickens.

12. Finely chop onions, and slice Serrano peppers.

13. Cut off the tip of dried red chili and empty out the seeds. If you cook with seeds, you are assuming the risk of having a hell fire in your mouth.


14. Pour about 2 cups of sake (rice wine).

Heat up for 2 minutes.

15. Add minced garlic and 2 table spoons of chili oil.

16. Add the vegetables you prepared in step 10 and 11.

17. Add about 3 table spoons of soy sauce and 1 table spoon of vinegar.

Sauce is ready.

18. Add the fried chickens into the sauce and soak the chickens in.

19. Add corn starch to thicken up the sauce. Dissolve it in a cold cup of water first.

20. Add green onions and heat for another 1 minute.

Finished!

As for garnish, you can use crushed peanuts of cashews to sprinkle over the chickens. Enjoy!


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