Tag Archives: Korean

Kimchi Soup with Shiitakes, Tofu and Kale

kimchi-soup-tastefood

I won’t say this soup is authentic, but it does take inspiration from a Korean Ramen-style bowl, while I improvised with what-was-in-my-kitchen ingredients. It also nipped my craving for a healthy, warm and spicy soup on a rainy day.  You can see there are no ramen noodles in the soup – I had a package of udon noodles ready to use, but the soup was so densely packed with vegetables, I didn’t see the need to add them (but add them if you wish!) What I did include are gochugang and kimchi, 2 traditional Korean ingredients that are essential to the flavor of the soup. Gochugang is a fermented soy bean and hot pepper paste, which is available in Asian and specialty stores and the international  section of well-stocked supermarkets. It’s a murky, spicy and slightly sweet paste which adds umami-rich depth of flavor to any dish it graces. Think of it as miso with a kick of heat. Kimchi is fermented cabbage and other vegetables such as daikon and scallions – kind of a Korean cole slaw – boldly flavored with the likes of fish sauce, red pepper, ginger, and garlic, all of which contribute heat and a fiery tint to the soup broth. Again, kimchi is available in well-stocked supermarkets and health food stores. The shiitakes are also essential to this soup, as the mushrooms impart deep flavor to the broth. Feel free to substitute or add other vegetables such as spinach, broccolini, and bok choy.

Kimchi Soup with Shiitakes, Tofu, and Kale

If you are using udon noodles or ramen noodles, pre-cook them and add to the soup before serving. Serves 2 to 4.

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil, divided
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon peeled grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup kimchi, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons kimchi juice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugang (fermented hot pepper paste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 small bunch kale, tough ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
8 ounces soft tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 red chile pepper, thinly sliced

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they soften, turn golden brown and begin to release their juices, stirring frequently. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to the same pot over medium heat and sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté until bright in color and crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kimchi and kimchi juice and sauté 1 minute, then add the stock, soy sauce, gochugang, sesame oil, and sugar.
3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and continue to simmer until the kale wilts, about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Return the mushrooms to the soup, gently stir in the tofu, and simmer until just heated through.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the scallions and chile.

 

Momofuku Bo Ssam – Lacquered Pork in Lettuce Leaves

Slow-Roasted Pork Wrapped in Lettuce with Ginger, Scallions and Red Chilies 

Normally I can’t resist tweaking a recipe, but not this time. As soon as I read this article and recipe in the New York Times for Momofuku Bo Ssam, I began to plan my week around making it. Adapted from the Momofuku cookbook by David Chang and Peter Meehan, this Korean-inspired recipe has perfection written all over it. Despite its exotic name with a restaurant pedigree, I might call this dish Lacquered Slow-Roasted Pork. The meat alone is a masterpiece, oven-roasted to a crispy, caramelized heap with nothing more than copious amounts of sugar and salt. It’s then wrapped in lettuce (ssam), brightened with an intoxicating muddle of ginger and scallions and thoroughly electrified with a fermented bean and chili sauce which will rock any Scoville Scale. If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it.

Bo Ssam: Slow-Roasted Lacquered Pork with Ginger, Scallions and Chile Sauce

I have adjusted ingredients to suit my pantry and adapted the quantities to generously feed a family of 4 with lots of leftovers.

Makes about 8 servings.

For the pork:
4 pounds pork butt (shoulder)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup brown sugar

For the ginger-scallion sauce:
1 bunch scallions, about 8, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the red chili sauce:
1 tablespoon fermented bean and chili paste
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Cooked basmati rice
Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Place the pork in a large bowl. Combine the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup salt in a small bowl. Rub all over the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to cook, heat oven to 300 F. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any accumulated juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until the pork is falling apart tender, about 5 hours, basting occasionally. Remove meat from oven. Increase oven temperature to 500 F. Rub brown sugar all over pork. Sprinkle with a little salt. Return to the oven. Roast until a dark caramel crust forms on the pork, 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, shred into pieces and large chunks. Arrange on a serving plate.

While the meat is roasting, prepare the ginger-scallion sauce and red chili sauce. Combine all of the ingredients for the ginger-scallion sauce together in a bowl. Taste for seasoning and set aside. Combine all of the ingredients for the red chili sauce together in a bowl. Set aside.

To serve: Place a few forkfuls of shredded pork in the center of a lettuce leave. Top with rice, ginger-scallion sauce and a drizzle of red chili sauce.

Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups

There is something primally satisfying about eating with your hands, and with Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups you will enjoy that pleasure and more: satisfying, juicy and seriously good finger food with the extra kick of spice.  This is fun food to make and eat – perfect for a casual, interactive dinner party. Line the table with bowls of condiments and rice and platters of beef and lettuce leaves. Then let everyone assemble their own cups. Pile the meat on fresh lettuce leaves along with rice and a sprinkle of condiments. Drizzle some of the reduced meat sauce over the rice and serve with a squirt of sriracha.

Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups

A key to the flavor of this recipe is the beef marinade. Strips of beef soak in a rich, umami-ish sauce fortified with stout, and are pan-fried until browned and slightly caramelized. The sauce is then reduced to an intense salty, sweet, hot sauce for drizzling. Serves 6-8.

For the meat:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark beer
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 pounds New York strip or rib-eye steak, cut cross-wise in very thin slices

For the condiments:
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Sriracha
2 cups basmati or sushi rice, cooked
1-2 heads green leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried

Prepare the marinade:
Whisk together soy sauce, stout,  garlic, sugar, lime juice, sriracha and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add meat and toss to thoroughly coat the meat. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate covered up to 24 hours.

Prepare condiments:
Toss carrot with lime juice in a small bowl. Place scallions, mint, cilantro, sesame seeds, sriracha and rice in individual serving bowls. Arrange lettuce on a platter.

Prepare Meat:
Heat 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Add beef strips in batches in one layer without overcrowding. Brown on both sides. Transfer to a platter; keep warm. Once all the beef has been cooked, pour the remaining marinade and any collected meat juices into the skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce until somewhat thickened. Pour into a small bowl.

To serve, top a lettuce leaf with a few spoonfuls of rice, 1-2 meat strips and a spoonful of the marinade reduction. Sprinkle with the other condiments and drizzle with sriracha. Roll up and eat.