Sundubu Jjigae ~ Soft Tofu Stew
Recipes for the popular Korean tofu stew, Sundubu (soft tofu) Jjigae (stew), are flexible. The recipes always include red chili powder and soft tofu, then perhaps add fresh vegetables and/or kimchi; the broth can be anchovy stock, chicken stock, or vegetable broth or water; it can be vegetarian or made with beef, pork belly, or seafood; the salty component can come from soy sauce, fish sauce or salt; sometimes an egg is added… sometimes not.
It’s spicy, silky, salty, and ultimately satisfying. It is a fast and easy dish, changing ingredients with whatever is at hand. Steamed white rice is served on the side to complement and balance the bubbling hot stew.
Sundubu Jjigae Recipe
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Jajangmyeon (Korean Black Bean Noodles)
Our newest tradition for a BLACK FRIDAY meal is the polar opposite to everyone’s beloved Turkey & Stuffing. JAJANGMYEON couldn’t be more perfect for the day after the Big Feast, giving those precious leftovers a little space to breathe and be enjoyed later on with gusto.
A super-satisfying bowl of noodles coated with slurpy black bean sauce that’s chock-full of pork and vegetables, Jajangmyeon is Korean/Chinese comfort food at its zenith.
Lovelorn Koreans typically eat this noir dish on BLACK DAY which is “celebrated” on April 14th every year. It’s a day dedicated to single people who haven’t yet found their true love; a reverse Valentine’s Day of sorts.
I’m advocating eating Jajangmyeon on BLACK FRIDAY as well. Jajangmyeon can follow that special day of high culinary expectations and not let anyone down with its super tasty salty/sweet flavors and visually astonishing deep dark color.
Jajangmyeon (Korean Black Bean Noodles) Recipe
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With Hanukkah right around the corner I have a hankering for brisket. But, just for fun this year, I am taking our beloved Jewish brisket recipe and giving it a Korean twist by replacing the tomato-based sauce with a gochujang sauce.
Gochujang is a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers.
Beef plus gochujang is a classic Korean pairing, slow-roasted beef brisket plus gochujang equals a match made in heaven. Fresh ginger and plenty of garlic round out the flavors. A touch of sugar brings out gochujang’s natural sweetness. Serve this brisket as the main dish of the holiday gathering and be sure to serve leftovers as gochujang brisket sandwiches – two ways to ensure happy guests this holiday season!
Gochujang Brisket Recipe
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Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken with Iceberg Lettuce Cups
White Seaweed Salad, Sliced Scallion & Chiffonade of Perilla
Warning: This is not your ordinary barbecued chicken. Here, grilled Korean-style spicy smoky chicken with a hint of sweetness (dak bulgogi) is nestled in refreshingly crisp iceberg lettuce cups, topped with a white seaweed salad dressed with garlicky mayonnaise and sesame seeds, then finished with slices of scallion and herbaceous ribbons of perilla.
The chicken marinade’s main ingredient is gochujang – a Korean red chili paste with sweet heat and a fermented umami richness. It is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried Korean red peppers.
The chicken is served in “under-appreciated” iceberg lettuce cups. Iceberg is the perfect vehicle for transporting the chicken – the leaves are pliable, just the right size, with a beautiful pale green color, and adequate crunch. My unique white seaweed salad is made of crunchy springy kelp noodles. Perilla (wild sesame leaf) is sliced into thin ribbons and sprinkled over the chicken, adding a complex herby flavor. It’s all very fresh and summery. Low-carb too.
Korean BBQ Chicken, Lettuce Cups Recipe
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White Seaweed Salad
Garlic Mayonnaise, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt
White seaweed salad makes a unique sea vegetable banchan (side dish). Seaweed “noodles,” also called kelp noodles, are made from kelp, water, and sodium alginate. Sodium alginate is extracted from the cell wall of brown seaweed. It is used as a stabilizer, thickener, and emulsifier in many common foods. In modernist cuisine it is used as the cold gelling agent to form spheres that have a thin membrane and are filled with a flavored liquid – a technique called spherification, pioneered back in 2003 by Chef Ferran Adrià at El Bulli.
Kelp noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and low in carbohydrates and calories, and rich in oceanic trace minerals. They have a neutral taste and surprisingly crunchy texture with a curious elasticity. Here, the salad is made with minimal preparation – the noodles are served raw, simply rinsed and coated with a garlicky mayonnaise, toasted sesame seeds and sea salt. The result is an unusual side dish that pairs especially well with spicy Korean dishes.
White Seaweed Salad Recipe
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