Korean Potato Salad


I may have mentioned before that my love of Korean food is due in large part to the variety of sides that exist to be added to everyday meals. A normal dinner can feel like a feast just with the addition of one or two sides that have been made ahead of time. This potato salad gets better as it sits, so you can make it on the weekend and have a scoop with each meal during the week when you want to make dinner feel a bit more special. Or, if you’ve had a bad day, just eat it for dinner by itself. The flavours go well with pretty much any style of meal, I served it with Teriyaki chicken and the creaminess was a nice contrast.

The original recipe has hardboiled eggs in it but I’m not about that life. Swap ingredients in or out as you please but try to keep some crunchy elements in there for the texture. I’m even thinking of making a version with chopped up pickles in it for extra tang. 

Korean Potato Salad

(Adapted from Korean Potato Salad over at Asian at Home)

500g potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 tbsp cucumber, medium dice

1 tbsp red onion, finely diced

2 tbsp carrot, peeled and finely diced

2 tbsp ham, finely chopped

1/4 cup kewpie mayonnaise

1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tbsp vinegar (your choice)

1/4 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and add 1/2 tsp salt.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 mins or until fully cooked.

While you are waiting for the potatoes to cook, sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over the cucumber and allow it to sit for 5 mins.

Wrap in a paper towel and use it to squeeze out the excess moisture, then set aside.

In a small bowl mix together kewpie, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix until sugar dissolves.

Drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl then add the cucumber, onion, carrot, ham and the dressing.

Mix well and don’t worry about the potato breaking down, this is what we want.

Taste and add more salt and pepper to suit your preference.

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins before serving.

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Yangpa Jangajji (Korean Pickled Onions)

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Moving on from sharehousing to living just with The Boyfriend has been so much nicer than I anticipated. I knew that I would enjoy it but I didn’t know that I would enjoy it this much. When we first moved in I would just walk from room to room to remind myself that, yes, you really do have all of this space! Our furniture has trickled in gradually and using our new dining table for the first time, after 5 years of eating in front of the TV, felt pretty spectacular.

These pickled onions are an attempt the replicate my favourite side dish at my favourite Korean restaurant, Madtongsan 2. Their pickled onions blow my mind and I was determined that they would be mine. Another reason to love pickles (like I need one?) is how long they will hang out in your fridge for, just getting better with age. You can also use the pickling liquid as a spicy dipping sauce for Korean pancakes or any other dippable savouries in your life.

Yangpa Jangajji (Korean Pickled Onions)

Adapted from Korean Pickled Onion: Yangpa Jangajji Recipe over at Asian at Home.

1 3/4 cup water

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup white vinegar

1 lemon

2 1/2 white onions

1 large red chilli

In a medium saucepan over high heat combine the water, soy sauce, sugar and white vinegar.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and squeeze in all the juice from the lemon, set aside.

Peel and cut the onions into bite sized pieces and slice the chillies.

In a large airtight jar (mine is about 1L) alternate layers of onion with the pieces of chilli until used up.

Pour the warm pickling liquid into the jar with the onions until they are covered (if you have left over pickling liquid you can use it as a dipping sauce for Korean pancakes).

Cover tightly with the lid and allow to cool completely on your kitchen counter.

When it’s cool, place in the fridge for 1-2 days before eating (you can eat it straight away but I like them really pickled before I go to town on them).

Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Glazed Potatoes)

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These are THE potatoes at our house and much whinging ensues if they are absent from my Korean dinners. The best thing about Korean food is having a whole bunch of different dishes and sides (banchan) to choose from but trying to make five things at once at the end of the day is enough to make me pull my cranky pants on. Sides like these potatoes keep forever so you can make them ahead of time and whip them out for a mid-week Korean feast. Or, if you like to keep it simple, just eat it with rice and kimchi. This recipe does the four of us for one meal but we are crazy for taters.

You can find gochugaru and corn syrup at most Asian supermarkets and all Korean supermarkets.

Gamja Jorim (Spicy Soy Braised Potatoes)

Adapted from Gamja Jorim (Korean Glazed Potatoes) over at My Korean Eats.

4 tbsp vegetable oil

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

4 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp corn syrup

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Place a wide-based saucepan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and potatoes.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add soy sauce, brown sugar, gochugaru and garlic.

Stir together and turn the heat down to low, cook for 15 minutes or until you can pierce the potato with a fork.

Add the corn syrup and sesame oil, stir gently to coat the potato.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Eat warm or keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

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Get ready for an influx of Korean recipes, I’m working my way through Maangchi’s book. I’ve even bought it for my step-dad, who seems to have fallen in love with Korean food (an interesting dalliance for an Irishman). If you are already a fan of Maangchi’s videos and recipes then this book has some content that isn’t on her website. Hard to believe considering the variety and number that are already available on the web. If you can get a few banchan (side dishes) under your belt then every night will feel like a feast.

These pickles pair well with spicy food, they cool your mouth down and give you a break from the burn. As you may have guessed from the picture, I didn’t cut my radish exactly as small as the recipe says. This wasn’t a problem, I just let the radish pickle for 2 days before I went to town on it. I found the radish at a Korean supermarket but I think Japanese radish would work in a pinch. I used 2 Korean radish (radishes? radishii?) but you proably only need one Japanese radish because they are waaay bigger.

Mu-Pickle (Radish Pickles)

Recipe slightly adapted from Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking.

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/3 cup white vinegar

4 tbsp coarse sea salt

3 cups water

900g Korean radish, cut into 7mm cubes

Mix the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in a small bowl until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Place the radish in a glass jar and pour over the prepared liquid (make sure that the liquid covers the radish completely).

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to one month.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

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My obsession with Korean food is reaching new heights, it’s basically soaring on the wings of eagles. My gang is getting at least two Korean dinners a week complete with pancakes and side dishes. The side dishes (called banchan) were the most mind blowing part of the cuisine for me when I first ate at a Korean restaurant. You mean they’re complimentary?! As in free?! And you can get them RE-FILLED?! There will always be kimchi but apart from that there is no restriction on the variety of side dishes that can appear on your table. At Madtongsan 2 (where I drag every unsuspecting person I can get my hands on) they serve kimchi, tuna pasta salad, pickled onion and candied sweet potatoes. Technically these beans are mitbanchan, meaning that they are prepared in advance and are ready to be used with different meals throughout the week. They get chewy after a few hours in the fridge and the sauce thickens nicely.

I couldn’t find black soybeans so I used yellow soybeans that I found at a Chinese supermarket. Korean corn syrup is stocked at most Korean Supermarkets but replace it with honey if you can’t get your hands on it.

Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans)

Adapted from Kongjang (Soy Braised Soybeans) over at Korean Bapsang.

1 cup dried soybeans (black, if you can find them)

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Rinse the beans then soak for 3-4 hours in cold water (make sure there is at least twice the amount of water as beans).

Drain the beans, then place in a medium pot with 2 cups of cold water and bring to a boil.

Continue to cook without a lid for 5 minutes, stir a couples of times and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar.

Simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until most of the sauce has evaporated (stir frequently towards the end to avoid the beans sticking).

Add the corn syrup right at the end of cooking, stirring well to coat the beans.

Refrigerate the beans until cold, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving.

Dolsot Bibimbap (Korean Fried Rice in a Stone Bowl)

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Buying stone bowls was definitely a tipping point in my obsession with Korean food. Nothing else would do but that authentic stone flay-va. As well as getting delicious crispy bits of rice through your meal the stone bowls have the extra advantage of keeping your food hotter for longer. You don’t need stone bowls to cook this dish but you would never find me trying to talk someone out of buying them. They need a little love and attention (don’t we all?) but just like a well kept wok they will last you for the rest of your life.

This dish is more then a bit of work but it’s all assembly after the ingredients are prepped. I usually double the recipe and freeze all the ingredients in little meal packs that are ready to go for a quick dinner. The vegetables listed below are favourites in my household but you can give anything the sesame-oil-garlic-treatment and it will fit in great. Use the freshest egg yolks that you can if you are concerned about lightly cooked egg but I have to warn you, they add a creaminess to the rice that is hard to replicate or do without.

Dolsot Bibimbap (Korean Fried Rice in a Stone Bowl)

Adapted from Dolsot Bibimbap over at SBS Food.

6 cloves garlic, minced and divided into thirds

3 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for final cook

2 carrots, julienned

1 large zucchini, julienned

1 1/2 cups of bean sprouts

1 cup dried shitaake mushrooms

4 cups cooked rice (2 cups of raw rice)

one lot of Korean Pork

4 tsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

4 egg yolks

Prep:

Preheat a large saucepan on high heat, drizzle in 1 tbsp of sesame oil and add the carrot and a third of the garlic.

Stir constantly until the carrot is lightly cooked but still crunchy, transfer to a small bowl.

Repeat with the zucchini and bean sprouts separately.

In a small, heat proof bowl cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water, allow to sit for 15 minutes then drain.

Cook the Korean Pork as per the instructions in the post.

Final Cook:

If you have 4 Korean stone bowls, rub the inside of each with a little bit of sesame oil.

Place 1 cup of rice in each bowl then 1/4 each of the carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts and mushrooms.

Add desired amount of meat to each bowl as well as 1 tsp each of gochujang (you can add more later as desired).

One at a time, place each stone bowl on a gas stove and set to the lowest possible heat.

Drizzle a tiny amount of sesame oil around the ingredients in the bowl.

Cook until you can hear the rice beginning to crackle then cook for a further 10 minutes.

Take the stone bowl off the heat (heavy duty oven gloves are great for safety) and place on a heat-proof silicone mat.

Place an egg yolk on top and quickly mix everything together, making sure to reach all of the rice at the bottom.

Repeat with the 3 remaining stone bowls.

IF you don’t have Korean stone bowls, follow the instructions exactly the same but do it in a small, non-stick saucepan.

OR do it all at once in a large non-stick saucepan.

Korean Burritos (Koritos!)

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In an effort to find different ways to cram Korean food to into my mouth I’ve taken the meat and coleslaw from my Korean Burgers and Slaw recipe, slapped on some Guacamole and wrapped it all in a tortilla. I had a feeling that the spicy pork would go really well with the cool guacamole and not to toot my own horn but I was pretty spot on. What’s the best bit? Apart from the sugar in the pork marinade it’s all pretty darn good for you (just take it easy with the mayo). I cook a lot of Korean food at home because our favourite restaurant (Madtongsan 2) is nestled right in the middle of the CBD and although the food there is cheap the parking is not, meaning we have to decide if we want Korean enough to pay an extra $15.

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The Korean pickled radishes are tangy and spicy, you can find them at most Asian supermarkets but if you can’t get them try using pickled jalapenos. If you don’t like pork then just whip it up with chicken instead, just allow more cooking time.

Korean Burritos

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

one lot of cooked Marinated Pork and Coleslaw from my Korean Burgers with Slaw post

one lot of Guacamole

flour or corn tortillas

Korean pickled radishes

Japanese mayonnaise

Warm up the tortillas then pile on the cooked pork, coleslaw, guacamole, pickled radishes and mayonnaise.