Attempting to Make a Korean Dinner Pt. 6

Ok… I am done with Korea at this point LOL.  I made japchae again for lunch, and then a quick cucumber pickle and baked the remaining fire chicken, and added a few soft boiled eggs to the fire sauce.  I also redeemed myself with the eggplant dish this time, simply by stir-frying it and adding a bit of water to my sauce in the pan, ensuring that it was well-cooked and saucy and delicious (just realized I forgot to add fish sauce… oh well).

Today was supposed to be seafood pancake day… so I planned and prepped for the simple potato pancake, the kimchi pancake, and the green onion pancake.  I added some chopped shrimp to the last two… the potato pancake turned out quite delicious, although I had a wee potato left, and grating it as well as the onion took forever.  The kimchi pancake broke and never solidified, so each time I tried to turn it over, it just ended up becoming scrambled.  I think this is due to me using the smaller pan, using the bigger pieces of kimchi that I bought instead of chopping it finer, and not adding enough oil.  I even tried to save it by adding an egg on top.  Bless my mother, she said it still tasted good though.  The last one, I kept adding oil, and it ended up looking like a sad mushy oily mess 😦  It still tasted okay, but I think I added too much green onion, even though I tried to add more batter, it just didn’t work out proportionally correct.  I’m also not good at flipping things in the air, so I pathetically kept scraping at the bottom and using my spoons to turn them over.

28276086_10156248855058960_396464713_o.jpgI think I just don’t want to attempt this dish for a good while  because the prep work exhausted me and the result was less than decent, definitely unsatisfied.


Attempting to Make a Korean Dinner Pt. 5

I followed this recipe to make buldak, aka fire chicken!  It’s a popular dish that I’ve seen on Youtube mukbangs and also on some select menus at korean restaurants.  It’s always piqued my interest, and I wondered what it tasted like, especially with a combination of mozzarella cheese on top. Turns out, it tastes amazing.  I followed Maangchi’s recipe here:

28208336_10156246513673960_898021416_oFirst of all, the sauce that Maangchi gives is DELICIOUS:  sweet, tangy, spicy.  Also very simple to whip up, although very messy particularly with the vivid bright red color. It also took a long time to control the cooking and baking of the chicken, especially since I had to use what was in my fridge, which was chicken drumsticks instead of 1-inch breast.  I’d say I spent total around 50 minutes in the pan and also in the mini oven.  I also added a bit more water to let it simmer longer, but it could have used a bit more time actually.

In addition, I found mini rice cakes and went ahead and boiled that and threw it in there on top after rinsing in cold water.  Lastly, topped it all off with a generous heap of mozzarella cheese to toast and melt.  The combo is very interesting and surprisingly delicious!   I’d def crave this dish again!  There’s a few more drumsticks marinating in the fridge as I just couldn’t fit anymore into the pan.  This yields 8 drumsticks, and we ate it over plain white rice.  My family enjoyed it very much!  Maangchi is great.

Tomorrow, Korean green onion and seafood pancake time.  My mom also wants me to make Japchae again.  I may also attempt to make korean fried chicken, and red bean buns too next week since my mom loves those.  We’ll see.

P.S.  I was disappointed because my friends are all out in NYC and Jersey City celebrating their birthday, and I couldn’t join, partially because it’s too much walking and cold, and it’s also snowing.  But, as I’ve had to learn many times over, you gotta try to make the best of what you have through your disappointment and try to still do what you can.  It still turned out not a bad Saturday, and I still feel like I can go to bed having accomplished something productive and new.

Attempting to Make A Korean Dinner Pt. 4

We are almost nearing the end of Korea Week!

Today I made Bibimbap, which apparently means Mixed (Bibim) Rice (bap)!

28275312_10156243886508960_1054264151_oBefore and After Pics:

Again, I followed Maangchi’s recipe, and altered the ingredients a bit according to what I had left in my fridge.  I used:

-1 Cucumber

-1 Large Carrot

-12 oz. beansprouts

-8 oz. spinach

-1/2 a portion of enoki mushrooms

-whatever of the red bell pepper I had left from the previous day for japchae

-green onions for garnish

-gochujang (red pepper paste)

-1 portion of steak (marinated first with sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds, and honey)

I’m very proud of how it turned out!  I attempted to fry the bottom of each serving of rice before serving and topped it off with a fried egg as well.  I think the process is simple enough, just a lot of chopping, mincing, and prepping.  It simultaneously makes me appreciate the food I’ve eaten at the Korean restaurants before, admiring it as a dish I had no idea how it happened before, to making it in my kitchen, but not being as excited by it anymore now that I understand the process.  Never thought the day would come… but I think I’m actually ready to leave Korean cuisine and won’t be super hyped by the idea of going to a Korean restaurant from now on.

I believe the remaining to-do lists that I will most likely target next will be some version of Korean pancake, as well as the Korean Fried Chicken.  Since starting this cooking journey for Korean food, I’ve used up most of my bottle of sesame oil and at least 2 bunches of garlic lol!   In the future at some point, I’ll try making cold spicy noodles as well as the pine nut porridge.  Perhaps I should redeem myself in the eggplant and potato banchans as well…

Trying to foodventure my way through the tastes of each culture is pretty fun, and I have ready guinea pigs at home to try them out 😀

Stay tuned for next week as we enter Japan, and I attempt to make dishes like Chicken Katsu and Tamagoyaki!  I think after that, it’ll be soul food or Indian cuisine.  Not a huge fan of Mediterranean, but my dad likes it and it’s quite healthy so I may try some falafel wraps or something like that.

Although I have not been successful today in finishing all the tasks I wanted to do, the bibimbap still leaves me with a deep satisfaction since it was always a really colorful and delicious dish that caught my eye on the menus at restaurants… and especially since I was really hungry heh.  It makes me happy to make my parents eat healthy dishes hehehe.  Lots of veggies, all tasty.

Attempting to Make A Korean Dinner Pt. 3

My chopping and mincing skills are getting better I noticed! Regardless, I roughly followed Maangchi’s recipe for japchae and it still took me a long ass time to prep everything.  I had to utilize 1 pot, 2 pans, 2 chopping boards, and prep 9 different components of veggies for my japchae cause I’m greedy.  It was fun though, and the result was quite delicious! My parents seemed to genuinely enjoy it which made me happy ^_^

Yields 4-5 generous servings


(All medium heat unless otherwise specified)

-1/2 bunch of enoki mushrooms (20-30 sec. cooking time)

-1/3 lb beansprouts (20 min. boiled with cover on –> idk why so long but Maangchi said so)

– 1 egg, yolk + white separated (matchsticks)

-5 green onions (2-inch chopped, 40 sec. cooking time)

-1 generous handfuls of baby spinach (30 sec. blanched)

-1/2 cucumber (matchsticks, 20 sec. cooking time)

-1/2 onion (fat matchsticks, 2 min. cooking time)

-1 red bell pepper (matchsticks, 20-30 sec. cooking time)

-1 carrot (matchsticks, 30 sec. cooking time)

-1.5 cloves raw garlic, 1.5 cooked garlic

-16-20 shrimp, deveined (1 min. cooking time maybe, or whenever color has turned orange immediately)

-1/2 lb. japchae (boiled for 8 min, taste test)

-adjust soy sauce and sesame oil, roughly 2-2.5 tbsp each, 1 tbsp sugar

-sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top

Other mini accomplishments for today:  Used up my spoons on folding laundry and cooking.  Tomorrow will be gym, data science, cooking bibimbap, wash hair.  Hopefully I won’t run out!