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Monday, July 28, 2008

Crab Meat Jeon


Jeon is a pan fried meat or vegetables with egg batter similar to an omelet. It was commonly eaten in Chosun Dynasty for parties and events. Some of the most popular choice of the inside is pollack, ground beef, zucchini, sweet potato, Korean green pepper, and Leeks. Jeon is the origin of Korean pancakes because if you look at the language, "jeon" is suffix of Pajeon which means green onion Korean pancake. However, usually when people refer to jeon, it means small and flattened omelet typically with a single main ingredient.

This crab meat jeon is my mom's signature dish. It is so delicious and easy to make, I couldn't pass up this opportunity to share with the rest of the world. One day, my mom made tons of this crab meat jeon and invited like 50 people to the house. Below pictures show how much she prepared and I witnessed with my own eyes that they literally dissappeared within 30 minutes so that nothing was available by the time my own friends came by for some grub. I took pictures as she prepared this dish, constantly asking her to stop what she was doing to the point where she got a little annoyed.

Ingredients: finely diced crab meat (1/2 lbs), 1 beat egg, 1 table spoon of corn starch, 1 tsp of clam base, finely diced onions, green onions, carrots, and paprika.

1. You need to mix all the ingredients above together in a bowl like below.




This is a close up shot of the mixture.

2. Oil your pan and take about two spoons of the mixture and flatten out on the pan in a circular shape. Pan fry them for 2 minutes on one side in high heat.
Flip over and heat up another minute on the other side. Flatten it some more with a spatula once you flip them.


Yeah, and you're finished. Enjoy!
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Pan Fried Tofu with Soy Dipping Sauce


Pan fried tofu is commonly found on dinner tables of Korean homes although it is difficult to say that this dish is a Korean dish exclusively because of the popularity of tofu throughout Asia and the simplicity of pan frying tofu. However, together with the dipping sauce below, one can argue that this dish as a whole is a Korean dish. Pan fried tofu is so healthy and delicious, more people should try it at home and replace their heavy and fattening dishes.

1. To make this dipping sauce, use light sodium soy sauce, and water. Use them for 1:1 ratio. Then add thinly minced carrots, green onions, and garlic. Then add vinegar (1 teaspoon for 2 tablespoons of water+soy sauce), sesame oil (same amt as vinegar), and toasted sesame seeds.


2. Ideally, if you can get your hands on hand made tofu at an Asian market, it will be great. These hand made tofu below are really tasty. Slice them into 1/2 inch thick pieces.

3. Oil your pan with olive oil and pan fry them for 2-3 minutes in high before flipping.

Another 1 minute on the other side or until they turn golden.

Now, how easy was that?

Enjoy. Remember, you are what you eat.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Korean Fusion Baby Back Ribs Barbecue


Summer is here and it is probably not an exaggeration to say everybody's favorite summer dish is barbecue. Barbecue, although originated from Europe initially, has been uniquely developed to be American's signature dish over centuries. In 19th century in Southern United States, barbecue was predominantly for pork as pork was low maintenance meat there was available. Many southern states had developed their own unique ways of barbecuing since then, using local ingredients such as oak, hickory woods, chili powder, and tomato base. Although condiments may vary among states such as Kansas or Texas, one thing the early barbecuers knew was that there had to be natural burning energy sources such as wood, which can add smoky flavor to the meat and enhance their overall barbecue experience. The Americans using certain woods in their barbecue is very similar to how early Koreans used certain blacked wood chips for Korean barbecue.

This Korean fusion baby back ribs barbecue is a fusion dish that I created with a different barbecue sauce recipe combined with a Korean and American flavor together and a unique method of preparation. Baby back ribs are prepared using similar ways as to Korean steamed ribs called Galbijjim in the beginning to soften the texture of the ribs before grilling. Then later the sweet, spicy, and overall flavorful sauce is added to the barbecue with a kick of smoky burning hickory wood chips. Follow the steps below and you will have a great barbecuing experience.

1. First, prepare the barbecue sauce. 1Tsp Korean red chili paste, 2Tsp red chili powders, 3Tsp Teriyaki sauce, 2Tsp soy sauce, 2Tsp honey, 2Tsp barbecue sauce, 2tsp vinegar, 1Tsp minced garlic, 3Tsp minced onion, and sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds


2. Steam pork baby back ribs in a pressure cooker by adding chopped onions, and fresh ginger on the bottom, and a pinch of salt over water for 5 minutes.


3. Prepare hickory wooden chips by putting them on a aluminum foil plate.

Put water to the wooden chips and leave it for 20 minutes to make them wet.
Then drain the water out and poke holes on the foil for a good circulation of smoke below the grill.

So this is the barbecue grill my parents have. This is a gas grill and of course the flavor is by itself, not as great as charcoal grills. However, adding hickory wooden chips for indirect wood barbecuing flavor to the meat will even trump the flavor of charcoal grilled meat by itself.

Turn on all the heat.

4. Place the wooden chips on one side of the grill and shut the cover and let it burn for 10-15 minutes.
This is when it started to burn and produce the smoky flavor typical of hickory wood.

5. Now it's time for some barbecuing. Bring out your steamed pork baby back ribs and put them on the other side of the grill.


6. Right after, you need to apply the barbecue sauce and brush them thoroughly.


7. Shut the cover and cook for 2 minutes. You won't need to cook for so long since the inside is already cooked.

8. As the fully cooked and already hot ribs will require shorter time to cook, it also requires a shorter time to have grill marks on it. After the grill marks, you need to flip them over to the other side and apply some serious barbecue sauce this time.
Brush the sauce thoroughly to make sure all the sides are touched upon.

9. Continue to heat for additional 2 minutes and you're ready to eat!

As you need, you can apply more fresh barbecue sauce prepared in step #1 for enhancing the barbecue flavor. Enjoy!


Ok so I'm submitting this recipe to this barbeque contest at ibuybarbecues.com. We'll see if I get the prize.
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Spicy Cold Buckwheat Vermicelli


This spicy cold noodle dish is called Nengmyun also spelled as Naengmyeon, naeng-myeon, naengmyun, or naeng-myun. This is THE dish for summer season in Korea as one of the most popular dishes in summer. Not just in summer, this dish is commonly eaten along with Korean barbecue dishes. There are other variety of Nengmyun dishes such as Mool Nengmyun (cold noodle with icy beef broth), and Hwe Nengmyun (cold noodle with spicy pickled raw Skate fish). The noodle also has many different types including buckwheat Vermicelli, kudzu vermicelli (darkest in color), or green tea vermicelli. The use of this type of vermicelli is the key distinguishable point of this spicy cold noodle Nengmyun from the other one called Bibim Gooksu. Bibim Gooksu uses all wheat noodles and the sauce is also a little bit different. However, although Bibim Gooksu is still very popular during summer season in Korea, Nengmyun is still what represents the cold noodle as the name itself stands for “chilled noodle.” Unlike the Gooksu noodle, Nengmyun noodles give you a colder feeling to it as you put them in your mouth. In addition, the sauce is runnier with different natural ingredients such as grated pear, little bit of cold beef broth and tiny amount of sake. The flavor of every ingredient in harmony gives you a nice kick of spice, vinegar, and natural sweetness in a cold temperature.

1. First, slice cucumbers and daikon radish.

2. Put them in a container and pickle with vinegar, water, and sugar. The ratio between vinegar and water should be around 3:1 unless your vinegar is more acidic than usual. Leave the container in your refrigerator overnight.

3. Now, this is a spicy puree that goes onto the noodle later. For this puree, you will be using a mixer blending 5Tsp red chili powder, 2Tsp soy sauce, 1Tsp red chili paste, 1Tsp sesame oil, 1/2 Asian pear, 2tsp sake, 2 red fresh Serrano peppers, 2tsp brown sugar, 2Tsp corn syrup, 1/6 onion, 1Tsp minced garlic and Sprite or Seven Up.


4. Having finished the preparation, now cooking will start by first boiling eggs. Later this is to be cut in half. When boil eggs, put in a pinch of salt, which will later help you remove the shells more easily. Put the eggs in water from the beginning with cold water and cook for about 12 minutes altogether to have this nice and golden yolk that is not completely hard nor too runny.


Chilling the eggs in cold icy water before removing shells helps not only to chill the eggs but to easily remove the shells.


5. Now you will be boiling this buckwheat cold noodles called Nengmyun in Korean. When you go to a Korean super market, you will easily find noodles that look like this below.
In boiling water, cook only for 30 seconds and stir around to make sure the noodles do not stick to each other. Cooking over 1-2 minute will make the noodle too soft and mushy.

6. After your 30 seconds of cooking, quickly dump the noodles into a net and chill it icy cold. Make sure you leave no warm spots.

7. After draining the noodles, put them on a bowl for adding condiments.

Add the pickled daikon radish and cucumbers from step #1.

Add puree from step #3. In addition, you can add additional vinegar, and mustard. Sprinkle brown and black toasted sesame seeds for a final touch.

Enjoy!


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