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Monday, July 20, 2009

Regional Recipes #9 (Korea)

My introduction to Korean food started with buffets in college. I know, everyone turns up their noses at buffets. But honestly, that's where I first ate a lot of Korean food without really knowing what I was eating. Later, I graduated to dining at non-buffet restaurants and began to pay attention to what each dish was called. Luckily, the participants in the Korean round-up of Regional Recipes are much better educated than I was about Korean food. The recipes included meat, stew, noodles, and vegetarian dishes.

The first dish is...


Chap Jae (Korean Stir-Fried Noodles) by Christine of Kits Chow in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The package of sweet potato vermicelli noodles was purchased by accident. I'll gladly take such accidents if they result in this happy melange of colorful vegetables and beef.


Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork) with Muu Namul (Korean Radish) by TS and JS of Eating Club Vancouver. Faced with seven pounds of pork, the ladies decided to make spicy bulgogi, which they wrapped with the grated radish with rice inside a lettuce leaf. Luckily, they've scaled the recipe down to two to three pounds, a more manageable portion for the rest of us.


Dubu Chorim (Korean Seasoned Tofu) by Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok in Portland, Oregon. Tofu absorbs flavors like a sponge and seasoning it with Korean chili flakes, soy sauce, and sesame oil means it'll be very flavorful indeed.


No Korean meal could be complete without fermented pickled cabbage and luckily we have a recipe for basic Kimchi by Gaga in the Kitchen of California. She's been eating kimchi since she was 3 years old and has loved it from the get-go, but hadn't made her own until now.


And now that we've got a basic kimchi recipe, you can chop it up and make it into Kimchi Pajeon (Korean Kimchi Pancake) by Burp and Slurp. Her recipe, which includes the addition of cornmeal for different texture, includes a delightful anecdote about her cultural influences of American/Singaporean/Korean.


She Geum Chi Namul (Korean Seasoned Spinach) by Joanne of Eats Well With Others of New York City decided to take the usual Korean side dish of sauteed spinach and replaced it with kale.

She served it with a second dish of Tak Toritang (Korean Spicy Braised Chicken with Potatoes). The dish was ethnic enough to explore another cuisine while still pleasing her meat and potatoes-loving family.


Vegetarian Soon Dubu Jjigae (Korean Tofu Stew)
by Wandering Chopsticks in Southern California. My basic go-to stew when I'm feeling lazy and want something comforting in cold or hot weather.


And last, but certainly not least, we have Yukkae Jang Kuk (Korean Beef Stew) by Ning of Heart and Hearth in Manila, the Philippines. This mildly spicy and slightly sweet stew is simple to make by dumping everything into a pot and letting it simmer.


Thank you everyone for being so patient with my round-up.

The cuisine to explore for next month is...


Will it be Chinese-Chinese cuisine? What about Chinese-American favorites such as chop suey? Or other overseas Chinese influences on the cuisine?

If you'd like to participate, please read the Regional Recipes Rules. Send entries to blazinghotwok (at) gmail (dot) com by midnight August 15. Darlene is also looking for hosts for other months so do let her know if you're interested.

1 year ago today, Helsinki - Finland: A Two-Night Cruise and One Day.
2 years ago today, but is it edible? Feedable BBQ Buffet - Rowland Heights.


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