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IMG_6021Setting a table and prepping for a simple and real Korean dinner!

I am a Korean. And I love Korean food. I married a Italian man. And he loves Korean food. We made a boy and he loves Korean food. So it’s oh so natural, we all turn to Korean food time to time. It’s my home and it’s my root and it’s just so delicious and I love to cook so here I am! I like to share a few pics of me making very simple typical Korean dishes. Folks, No B.B.Q tonight here!  We actually have simple yet quite complex cuisine that speaks to many senses that travels way beyond wonderful B.B.Q!  Korean food will be an excellent way to carry vegetarian diet or even raw food diet. We eat all sort of vegetables that are from the ocean, the deep in the woods and beautiful wide open field. We know how to prepare them in so many different ways and we have extensive knowledge about what we eat and what they do to us. We grow up on this. It’s part of our culture. And it gets passed to generations after generations. We got ton of colors and textures that juxtapose high and low, ing and yang, land and ocean and warm and cold. We like to chew. We like it hot and we like it real cold. But there’s also a delicate area where rounds and comforts our body and soul without such things as heavy butter or cream. It’s clean, honest and delicious!

I am making simple dishes that myself and all Koreans have grown up on!  Here’s my Friday night whipping up a few humble Korean dishes!

IMG_5991Pan toasted baby anchovies with fresh rosemaries and arugula bits.  So start with dried anchovies. Koreans use and eat all different sizes and kinds of anchovies or family of anchovies. Usually the size of anchovies dictates the end product. Here I have tiny little ones tonight for hot pan toasting with olive oil, crushed garlic, touch of raw sugar ( I only use raw sugar for a long time by now). And here I try adding ” what’s in the fridge for the moment” touch. It’s spontaneous and it always works for me to just explore a bit.  I do believe though this takes bit of skill: knowing how different ingredients would work together not following written recipes. I am a terrible baker as I just do not have a littlest patient to follow something exactly but in contrary, I like to throw a few things in together to whip up quick simple and delicious flavor.

IMG_5992Here  I have a bag of dried anchovies imported from Korea. I bought this at H mart in Queens or you can easily get any kinds at typical Korean super market or Japanese works just fine for me as well.  As you know one single anchovy that is big as length of your palm size is packed with powerful flavor to make big potful of Dashi ( clear anchovy and kelp broth).

How to make this:

1. Heat up an any wider pan you have, drizzle olive oil or vegetable oil.

2. When the pan is hot, add in about 3 cups of dried anchovies, let them sit a minute and stir time to time.

3. When you see anchovies get toasty and brown, add crushed fresh garlic and half teaspoonful of chopped rosemaries and arugula. Keep stiring and toast anchovies. Do this on mid heat.

4. Add a teaspoonful of raw sugar. Stir for another few minutes. Raw sugar balances natural saltiness of anchovies.

IMG_5995Done. Nutty, toasty, salty and sweet that’s grounded by earthiness of Rosemarie. It was my first time trying fresh rosemaries with this dish. They work together Beautifully!  Eat over simple steamed rice! Yum!

IMG_5997OK. Making steamed rice 101. We ran out of brown rice, so I am using white but Jasmine rice. I find Jasmine rice faster and easier to cook, easier to digest than typical Sushi rice ( less gluten). I do not use rice cooker. I am actually quite good at making rice with any kind of pot but it definitely requires low heat, preferably heavier and thicker pot and the cover. Today I am using ALL CLAD.

How to make simple steamed White rice in a regular pot. It takes just 20 minutes.

1. 2 -3 cups of rice ( this gets usually doubled after steamed enough to serve 4-5 people couple times)

2. Rinse and place them in the pot and add water.

3. A simple trick. Add simple cold tap water to the rice to where it reaches bout 1″ above your knuckles when you place your hand open and flat over the rice.

4. On medium heat, let the water come to a boil. Do not cover.

5. Lower the heat, let the water and rice boil and sort of simmer for 7-8 minutes. Do not cover.

6. When you still see water goes up and down of the surface of the rice, cover it and lower the heat all the way. COVER NOW.

7. Do not stir the rice. Let it be for another 5-6 minutes. Add dash of couple spoonful of water and turn the heat off. Cover it and it will keep cooking through.


IMG_5993OK! Now moving onto an Egg roll ( like a Sushi roll!). This is so easy to make and I can definitely say maybe this is the #1 lunch box menu for all our Korean’s school years!   All moms have their way to do this, add sheet of seaweed in the middle, or add bits of onions and any other veggies, canned tuna, mushrooms, you name it. It’s very similar to your sunday morning omelet but rolled in a smaller scale.

How to make this:

1. Break and beat 4-5 whole eggs in a bowl, add sea salt and bit of milk or water.

2. Heat your frying pan up. Drizzle some olive oil. Don’t burn your pan but  the pan should be hot enough not to have egg sticks to it.

3. Pour the beat eggs into the pan. Medium heat.

3. 2 ways to add topping/filling. Either add chopped scallion, onion, zucchini, mushroom whatever into the beat egg or add them on when the egg is half cooked in a pan then gently spread them on the top.

4. Now you will fold and roll the beat eggs by about 1″. Think you are making a Sushi roll or making home made fresh pastas and rolling and folding the dough. The key is roll half cooked beat eggs by 1″ at a time. Give some time to the beat eggs to be cooked through a bit.

5. When it’s done,  get it out of the pan and let it rest for a couple minutes on the cutting board. It helps the rolled egg to stay together.

IMG_5994Rock and Rolling! My filling was just simply chopped white onion.

IMG_6000Not the best job I did. I overcooked it a bit then I like it that way. Typical ones you see especially in Japanese restaurant you would not see any of these brown marks. They will be flawlessly creamy yellow. Then I also hate Japanese eggs has sugar in it. Definitely savory version for me. Not sugary!

IMG_6001See if you had put some carrots or even caviar, you would end up with prettier faces!

IMG_6008Bit of table setting, By the way, Emi’s in the middle of making a new dining table. We are playing with how we like to finish up the top. Thought we have Gael do some drawing..? We are still thinking.

IMG_6004Toasted Seaweed. Koreans love them toasted crispy with sesame oil and sea salt sprinkled. This is also really good with chilled beer! Sort of like potato chips.

IMG_6019Kimchi in a bowl my Aunt baked. I use it all the time and I always think about her every time I use it. Thanks Aunt!!

IMG_5989Chili and Korean miso hot pot with sliced sirloin, potato, carrot, zucchini and tofu.  The big green pieces are dried kelp. We use them a lot to make base stock and clear broth. They are rich in mineral, iron, calcium and magnesium and also high in sulfur and rich vitamin D. They are really good for you!

How to make it:

1 Start with the Kelp broth. A small pot full of plain water and 5-6 squares of dried kelp. Let them boil for a while and add a tablespoonful of Korean chili paste and 2 spoonful of Korean Miso paste.

2. Add chopped chunks of all the veggies you want. We typically put potato, carrots, zucchini and onion. Here you can also add or switch any with mushrooms and bean sprouts. Or again whatever you would like.

3. Add sliced sirloin pieces. Let them boil a bit like 20 minutes on medium high heat.

4. Add  tofu, sea salt, crushed garlic and chopped green scallions at the end for another 5-6 minutes boiling on medium heat.

IMG_6023Little bowls for rice,  plates for anything

IMG_6043Time to eat ! yeah yum yum!

LOvE Korean!


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3 Comments so far

  1. Yoonhee on October 12, 2011 8:10 pm

    Whole walnuts in Myulchi-bokkeum is good as well. Makes it really ggossohae!

  2. jaehee on October 13, 2011 4:22 am

    i knooooww!
    I just ate up the whole bag of walnuts not thinking!!!

  3. Song on January 26, 2012 6:05 pm

    I love the painting behind of him. :)