Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spicy Octopus Over Rice (Nakji Dup Bap)

Sorry for the lack of posts last month! Lots of traveling and procrastinating. But we're back. When we made this dish we were going through a heat wave in LA, but now with the freezing temperatures it's the perfect cozy dish guaranteed to warm you up. Remember our trip to Nakzi Village? It was our inspiration but we made it to go over rice. Instead of rice you can also cook some 'somyun' noodles to go on the side. Either way it's so good.

Ingredients for 3 servings:
- 3-4 octopi(nakji) preferably fresh. Can be found in Korean or other Asian markets.
- 1/2 bag of been sprouts
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 carrot
- 1 small zucchini
- Green onions
- 1/2 green chili
- 3 bowls of cooked rice
- Crushed seasoned seaweed and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

For the sauce:
- 4 T red chili paste
- 4 T red chili powder (adjust this if you don't like it too spicy)
- 1 1/2 T soy sauce
- 2 1/2 T rice wine
- 2 1/2 T Korean cooking syrup (you can substitute with agave)
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1/2 T plum extract
- 1 T sugar
- 1 1/2 T sesame oil
- 1 T toasted sesame seeds

Part 1. Prepping the octopus
1. Cut the heads off of the octopi. Make sure you don't cut through the head as the ink will go everywhere.

2. Put the legs in a strainer with a spoon of flour and a spoon of course salt. Rub it in well with your hands.

3. Rinse well in running water.

3. Dip the octopus into boiling water for 3 seconds each.

4. Slice into bite size pieces.

5. Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Add to the octopus.

6. Mix well and set aside while you prep the other stuff.

7. Blanche the bean sprouts in boiling water for about 1- 2 minutes.

8. Rinse and drain. Season with a little bit of sesame oil and salt.

9. Slice the rest of the veggies. You can use any kind of vegetable you like. Cabbage and bell peppers are also good options.

10. Put some oil in a heavy bottomed pan heated to medium. Add onions, carrots and zucchini. cook until softened.

11. Then add the green onions and green pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

12. Add the sauce and octopus.
13. Stir around and cook for another couple minutes until the octopus is just cooked through. You don't want to over cook the octopus as it will get rubbery.

14. Put the rice into bowls and top it with some bean sprouts and octopus. Garnish with seaweed and sesame seeds.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Curry Fried Potatoes (Gamja Bokkeum)

We were looking through this Korean cookbook called 'How To Make Side Dishes for Under 50 Cents' when we stumbled upon this recipe.(I bought it just for the title but it's actually pretty good.)

Anyway, we remember this as a common side dish in our lunchboxes growing up because it's so easy to make and we as kids loved it. Usually it's made with just salt and pepper but the curry adds a nice touch.

- 4 small yellow potatoes
- 2-3 stalks of green onions
- 1/2 T yellow curry powder
- 1/2 t salt
- Pepper
- Vegetable oil

1. Slice the potatoes into matchsticks and slice the green onions into 1/2" pieces. You can slice the potatoes thinner than we did if you want.

2. Put some oil on a hot pan.

3. Add the potatoes and cook on medium heat for 5 or so minutes.

4. When the potatoes are tender, add salt and pepper.

5. Add the curry powder and cook for another few minutes until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook as they will start to crumble.

6. Add the green onions. Turn off heat. Taste it and add more salt if needed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seaweed Salad (Miyuk Muchim)

This seaweed salad is a great little appetizer or side dish for when you want to eat light. We looked at the ingredients and it looks like there are no calories! Anyway, it was such a warm and beautiful Saturday afternoon we pretended we were camping and made this dish outside. 

- 2 small handfuls of dried seaweed (can be bought in most Asian markets)
- 1 small cucumber or 1/2 a large one
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 1 T sugar
- 1/2 T red chili powder
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/3 T minced garlic
- Sesame seeds and lemon slice for garnish

1. Put the dried seaweed in water and let soak for 10-15 minutes or according to the package instructions.

2. Slice the cucumbers into matchsticks.

3. Drain the seaweed and squeeze lightly.

4. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl to make the sauce.

5. Pour the sauce into a mixing bowl with the seaweed and cucmber.

6. Mix it around with your hand, Korean mom style.

7. Put on a serving dish and garnish with some sesame seeds and a slice of lemon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fish Cake Soup (Odeng Tang)

Now that the weather is cooling down and we have been getting a few chilly nights, we thought it was time to introduce one of our favorite comfort soups. We remember ducking into cozy bars on cold winter nights and ordering this soup to go with little glasses of rice wine. If you have the ingredients it won't take you more than 15 minutes to make this.

- 5 dried anchovies
- 2" slice of daikon
- 2" square of dried seaweed
- 150g fish cake
- 1 T dark soy sauce (soy sauce used for soups, can be found in Korean supermarkets)
- 2 T sliced green onion
- Soy sauce and wasabi for dipping sauce

1. Put the seaweed and daikon into 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add anchovies and boil for another 1-2 minutes. Lower heat and take out the anchovies.

2. Slice the fish cake into 2" pieces.

3. Put them into the broth and let it come back to a boil. Then let it simmer for a couple minutes.

4. Add the dark soy sauce and stir it in for another minute. Taste the soup and add a little more soy sauce if it is bland.

5.  Turn off the heat and put in the green onions.

6. Serve with a little bit of soy sauce and wasabi for dipping the fish cake.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Korean Style Omelet (Gaeran Mari)

'Gaeran Mari', which literally means egg roll in Korean is another easy side dish you can make with ingredients you already have in your fridge. It's so comforting and nostalgic, I love having this with any kind of kimchi dish. The rolling part might be tricky at first but you will get used to it with practice.

- 3 eggs
- 2 T minced carrot
- 2 T minced onion
- 2 T thinly sliced green onion
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 T water

1. Beat the eggs in a bowl then mix in the remaining ingredients.

2. Heat some oil in a pan on medium heat. Here we are using a square omelet pan. If you don't have a square one, just use a small round pan.

3. When the oil is hot pour in the egg mixture.

4. When the egg is halfway done start the roll by folding over a small section on one side.

5. Using a spatula pull the folded part back to the edge.

6. Repeat this until all the egg is rolled up. You may need to use 2 spatulas.

7. Pat the finished roll with the spatula to get it into a nice shape and let it cool down for a minute.

8. Use a sharp knife to slice.

9. Put on a plate and serve. We especially like it with kimchi jjigae.