Yangpa Jangajji (Korean Pickled Onions)

pickledonion

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)

radish

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)

soybeans2

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.

Mango Passionfruit Smoothie

mangopassionsmoothie

The internet is back! We would have had it sooner but our set up was timed perfectly with a nation-wide problem setting up cable internet for Telstra. Moving house went well, despite jettisoning half our worldly goods due to lack of storage space. A bit of perspective helped, looking at an object that has sat in your garage for four years unused, you have to be realistic about the exact same thing happening in the new house. My kitchen stayed mostly intact, I have all of my essentials and it’s lucky that the kitchen has the only cupboards to be found in the house. My sister and her boyf purchased an amazing kitchen island from Ikea that is the new home for my kitchen appliances, with space for two stools on the opposite side. I’m still adjusting to the COMPLETELY NORMAL OVEN that doesn’t burn the base of everything. The first time I put something in to bake without two trays protecting it I broke out in a sweat (or was that just the charming Queensland weather?). The blender once again has a permanent place on the counter for my daily breakfast smoothie and this is the recipe that I will be making for as long as I can get my paws mangoes.

5 passionfruits might seem a little excessive but what’s the point of putting them in if you can’t taste them? I add the lemon juice because I like everything to be sour but leave it out if you like your mango beverages sweet.

Mango Passionfruit Smoothie

pulp of 5 passionfruits

1 orange, skin and pith removed

juice of 1/2 lemon

flesh of 2 mangoes, frozen

big handful of kale

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp psyllium husk

3 tbsp rolled oats

Combine all ingredients in a blender and add enough cold water to just cover everything.

Blend until completely smooth and serve immediately (this does make a lot, sometimes I keep a cup of it for breakfast the next day and it keeps quite well).

Dolsot Bibimbap (Korean Fried Rice in a Stone Bowl)

bibimbap1

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.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

cornsalsa

I am just crazy for anything smokey or charred, especially paired with fresh and zingy flavours. As soon as I finished making this salsa I had to test it with a few Doritos, nek minnit half the packet is gone (okay, so that happens any time that I open a packet of Doritos but on this particular occasion the salsa was to blame). It’s great as a dip or as a side, next post I’ll show you what I did with it.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa

Recipe by Ainsley Badman.

1 ear of corn

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

big pinch of salt

125g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

large handful of coriander, finely chopped

1 avocado, cubed

Leaving the husk on the corn, microwave it for 5 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly then peel of the husk and silk.

Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat, spray the corn with oil and grill on all sides until black and blistered, set aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the red onion, lime juice and salt, allow to sit for 5 mins.

Cut the corn off the cob and add it to the mixing bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, coriander and avocado.

Mix gently and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lime juice to taste.