Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Korean Fascination?

We had a sisterhood dinner at Seoul Garden last week so when I was making my weekly dining plan, many of the dishes were Korean inspired.

I also found a big jar of Kimchi in my fridge that I was trying to use this week.

Kimchi Pajun (Korean Pancake)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1 egg
3/4-1 cup of Kimchi, roughly chopped
2 thinly chopped scallions (green onions)
1 tablespoon Korean red pepper paste
2 tsp of oil

(1) Dissolve red pepper paste in the water. Mix flour, water mixture and egg together (use whisk if you have to) and get rid of all the lumps.
(2) Heat a frying pan on high heat
(3) Stir in Kimchi and scallions to the pancake mixture
(4) Evenly distribute a layer of oil on the pan (Pam is really effective for this)
(5) Pour in pancake mixture and spread kimchi evenly on the pancake with utensil
(6) After 3 minutes check with a spatula to make sure it slides easily. Slide the pancake (cooked side down onto a plate)
(7) Spread another thin layer of oil on the pan
(8) Flip the hot pan over the pancake and carefully hold the plate on the bottom and flip the pan upright (so the uncook part is on the bottom)
(9) Remove plate from the pan carefully. Cook pancake for 2-3 minutes
(10) Cut into 8 wedges and serve with vinegared soysauce (1 part soysauce: 1 part rice wine vinegar)

Note: Feel free to experiment with different flipping methods

Korean Spicy Chicken and Potatoes (Tak Toritang)
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, sliced into wedges
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 cup of chicken stock
2 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste

(1) Mix uncooked chicken with rice wine while preparing other components
(2) Cube potatoes and immerse in water to prevent browning
(3) Pre-heat a Dutch Oven (or any pot with a lid) on high heat
(4) In a mixing bowl, mix together soy sauce, granulated sugar, red pepper paste and chicken stock
(5) Cook chicken in the pot a few minutes on each side. Add garlic and potatoes
(6) Pour in liquid over the chicken and potatoes. Lower heat to medium high when liquid starts to boil
(7) Simmer for about 30 minutes then stir in onions
(8) Allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender

Tip: I always have boxes of chicken stock in my pantry. Whenever a recipe calls for water, I tend to substitute it with stock to add another depth of flavor to my dishes. Chicken stock is basically a liquid that is extracted from boiling water with vegetables, chicken and bones. You can make homemade stock but I skip this step because I like smaller containers that I can use sparingly.

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
1 lb flank steak, sliced into thin pieces
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon Korean Red Pepper Paste
2 tsp rice wine
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
10 lettuce leaves
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup Kimchi

(1) Mix together sugar, soy sauce, garlic, onions, red pepper paste and wine. Stir in the beef with the marinade for at least 3 hours (overnight if it's easier to allow meat to get tender)
(2) Heat a skillet to high heat. Allow the vegetable oil to heat in the pan
(3) Cook the meat until cooked through. Stir in sesame seeds over the meat
(4) Serve meat and keep the sauce to spoon over rice to give more flavor
(5) Fill a lettuce leaf with a generous spoonful of rice, kimchi and beef. You can pour a little of the meat sauce on the white rice
(6) Serve and eat immediately

Tip: Flank steak is a tougher cut of meat. When slicing the meat, slice against the grain meaning cutting the meat perpindicular to the natural lines of muscle fibers. If you cut parallel to the fibers, the meat will taste more tough and fibrous. Also, marinating meats in acids or wines breaks down the muscle making meat more tender.

Note: You can also add other vegetables in the wrap. I cooked some bean sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the marinade while the beef was cooking in a separate pot. You can also substitute the beef for chicken or other meats.


Anonymous said...

it all looks so good! =9

have you tried using green leaf lettuce for korean lettuce wraps? it's more flexible, so it's easier to wrap. plus, iceberg lettuce has 10 kcal/leaf but green leaf has 1 kcal/leaf!

btw.. it's your neighbor two floors down =]

grace said...

lol i'll try to do that next time. I did use green leaf lettuce when I did Thai Lettuce Wraps for the sisterhood potluck but I happened to have iceberg in my fridge =P