Kimchi Stew with Kale, Pork, and Silken Tofu ~ Soondubu Jjigae
My non-traditional version of the popular Korean tofu stew, soondubu jJigae, is flexible. I always start with kimchi and silken tofu, then perhaps add vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, or daikon; broth can be anchovy stock, chicken stock, or vegetable broth; it can be vegetarian or made with ground pork, beef, pork belly, or seafood; the salty component can come from soy sauce, or fish sauce, or salt; I sometimes add an egg… or not. I make this fast and easy stew often, changing ingredients with whatever is at hand.
I especially like the myriad of flavors, textures, and colors; it’s spicy, silky, and very satisfying. Last night, there was plenty of kale in the fridge, so that went into the stew as well.
My method is somewhat unorthodox too. I always like to cook the meat ahead of time and drain off the excess saturated fat. Then I use the more healthier olive oil to cook the stew. Flavorful toasted sesame oil is used as a finishing oil only, not in the cooking process.
Note: for a more standard version of soondubu jjigae, please visit any of the fabulous Korean bloggers in the side bar below.
Kimchi and Silken Tofu Stew Recipe
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Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup
Oyster Mushroom, Rice Noodles, Ground Beef, Beef Stock
Zucchini, Egg, Pine Nuts, Scallion, Garlic, Sesame Oil, Chiles
Roasted Barley-Corn Tea
It was inspired by a Korean soup casually known as “marketplace noodles.” But here I use rice noodles for my gluten-free friends and roast the oyster mushrooms for added depth and richness. In addition to a homemade beef stock, a wild assortment of garnishes take what could be a simple mushroom noodle soup to another level… I would even serve it to David Chang.
Pair roasted mushroom noodle soup with a roasted barley-corn tea. This intriguing tea is a combination of Korean bori cha (barley tea) and oksusu cha (corn tea). Barley adds nutty, grain-like flavors while the corn flavor is reminiscent of grilled corn on the cob.
Roasted Mushroom Noodle Soup Recipe
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Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup) 떡국
Happy Lunar New Year! We’re celebrating with the Korean soup traditionally eaten on this day – Tteokguk. Rice Cake Soup is the main dish of Seollal (Lunar New Year). It is a day to express respect and gratitude, especially to one’s elders and one’s ancestors. The white color of the rice cakes is said to symbolize purity and cleanliness while their shape represents coins, symbolizing success and prosperity.
My version of tteokguk is not exactly traditional but I sure do love symbolic meals, that is one of the reasons why Passover is a favorite holiday. Here, I make a rich stock with roasted beef bones as well as brisket – to manifest a flavorful New Year. I add hot chiles – so our year will be spicy! I garnish with a rainbow of color – for a bright, brilliant, colorful year to come. And finish with edible flowers – for beauty and grace…
Tteokguk (Korean Rice Cake Soup) 떡국 Recipe
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Seafood Kimchi Ramen (Haemul Kimchi Ramyun)
Shrimp & Kimchi Fried Dumpling (Goon Mandu)
Quail Egg, Fishcake, Roasted Seaweed, Shrimp, Scallion
We’re celebrating the re-dedication of our beloved Korean Friendship Bell by enjoying Korea’s most celebrated pickle dish – kimchi! There are several hundred types of kimchi which are made from various vegetables, fish, seafood, fruit, and herbs. Our recipe uses the most popular of all types of kimchi – napa cabbage kimchi – for the base of the soup and the filling for the fried dumplings.
Kimchi is made by pickling vegetables (or other foods) with seasonings such as chili, ginger, garlic, and salt. Generally, there are two categories of kimchi – the “quick” kind which is made for immediate consumption or eaten within a few days just slightly fermented, and the other type in which the mixture is allowed to ferment and mature. Both methods result in Korea’s favorite dish – a delightfully pungent, robust food that is so much more than a side dish.
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A Rejuvenating Korean Soup
Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sweet Rice, Pine Nuts, and Garlic
In a Broth Simmered with Ginseng, Ginger, Red Dates, and Gingko Nuts
At first it might seem counter-intuitive to serve a pot of hot steaming soup on summer’s most sweltering days. But if one considers the ingredients in samgyetang, the popular Korean ginseng chicken soup, the choice starts to make sense.
Ginseng’s properties are said to be rejuvenating and revitalizing, a booster for the libido as well as the immune system. Hot soup is said to help regulate body temperature in oppressively hot weather. The energy promoting quality of ginseng plus the soup’s rich nutrients help to regain the loss of stamina on super sultry days.
Medicinal attributes aside, I instantly fell in love with this soup. I adore the presentation, where a whole chicken fits snugly into a pot surrounded with mysterious-looking vegetables, fruit, and nuts. Sweet short-grain rice with pine nuts and garlic cooks inside the chicken, a technique I had never seen before.
After an hour of simmering, an intriguing chicken soup is served in its own pot. The sweetness of the jujubes, the earthy slightly-bitter ginseng, and the glutinous rice produce a uniquely flavored somewhat cloudy soup. Diners can place pieces of chicken, rice, and all the accompaniments into their own bowls, then ladle the hot broth over the top. Salt, pepper, and scallions are served on the side so each diner may season the soup to his liking.
Samgyetang – Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup Recipe
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Pan-Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops in a Korean Seaweed Soup
Traditionally this satisfying soup is savored by Korean mothers who have just given birth as a restorative meal, to replenish vitamins and nutrients. Consequently, it is also enjoyed on one’s birthday, as a way to commemorate that special day. Here, the addition of some gorgeous huge Atlantic Sea Scallops definitely adds to the celebration!
This soup, miyeok guk or miyuk guk, is simple but super-flavorful and the scallops add a luxurious component. It’s made with seaweed known as miyeok in Korean/wakame in Japanese, lots of garlic and ground pork in an ocean-y broth. It is garnished with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, a sprinkling of crunchy sesame seeds, while a restrained amount of Korean red chile flakes called gochugaru adds a lively quality. The scallops are seasoned with Kosher salt and seared in a hot pan with just a bit of canola oil to let their natural flavor shine.
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Fresh Local Swordfish over Spicy Fish Soup with Gochujang and Gochugaru
Doenjang Braised Beech Mushrooms, Red Jalapeño, Scallion, Cilantro
This version of Korean Maeuntang, a hot spicy fish soup is bright, fresh, and fiery. Chili paste, chili flakes, and fresh chilies layer on the heat while beech mushrooms add slightly crunchy slightly nutty texture and flavor to the fragrant fish broth. Pan-seared fresh local swordfish sits atop the soup, retaining its crispy exterior. Fresh cilantro and scallion add verdant sparks. The flavor comes from the various forms of red chili, not from a long simmer, so this mouthwatering red-hot meal can be on the table in about 20 minutes…
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