Sunday, December 31, 2006

Korean Food Week Part 2

Part 1 here

No Korean meal is complete without 반찬 "ban-chan", which means 'side dishes'. If you go to a Korean restuarant to eat, they will seriously fill up the table with whatever side dishes they have on hand that day. Ban-chan can range from the traditional kimchi to the more exotic green lentil jelly (which looks like raw fish but is quite vegetable in nature and surprisingly good), fried whole fish, mashed potato salad, etc. So in order to be a good Korean wife, I am going to make some 반찬 for my family for the week. I will make or buy some (but probably not all) of the following:

*호박전 "ho-bak-jeon," 'fried zucchini'. Just batter round-sliced zucchini in egg and flour and pan fry. Lightly salt. Yum!

*오징어 "oh-jing-eo", dried squid. If you can get over *that*... you might actually enjoy it. We have some of this leftover from the last time we had Korean food, and it doesn't go bad very quickly. Usually ojingeo is served hot and sweet. I have no idea how you make it -- I just buy it premade at the Korean market. ;-)

*김치 "kim-chee", which is your typical Korean side dish. The simplest version of kimchi (and the one I will pick up at the market tomorrow) is spicy pickled Chinese cabbage. I am told that you can't serve Korean food without kimchi. Someday I might attempt to learn to make it, but as I have a dislike of all foods pickled, it's not on the top of my priority list.

*만두 "man-doo", Korean dumplings. I *can* make these, but as I won't get to the Korean market until tomorrow and I'm making dumpling soup tomorrow, too.... I think they'll just be purchased from the freezer section. Maybe some random day I'll be able to make some for us
and freeze them for the next time....

*Fried tofu. I don't have a recipe for this, and I don't know the Korean name for it, but it has been requested by my husband and so I will attempt it on the fly (I have eaten it once, so I have a vague idea of how it's supposed to turn out). I bought some firm tofu and I will attempt it one of two ways: first panfrying with no batter, then if that doesn't look good I will batter with egg. If that doesn't work, I will scour the internet for recipes because I will be at a loss.

*'Chinese' celery. This is a recipe that I used a few weeks ago with salmon, and JM said it tasted Chinese. But the recipe said it was Korean, and we both liked it, so it's going to stick. Basically, stir fry celery in sesame oil, brown sugar, a pinch of hot pepper, soy sauce and garlic (and now I can't find the recipe :P).

*일색나물, "eel saek na-mool," 'one color vegegable'. Actually this came from a recipe that was called 삼색나물 "sam saek na-mool," 'three color vegetables,' but the other two were mushrooms and JM can't stand mushrooms. Therefore, the recipe has been modified. This will be my first attempt at it, but it doesn't look too difficult and it seems that it would be to our liking. Stir fry thin-sliced green pepper with sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds and scallion. Serve warm.

*감자조림 "gam-ja jo-reem," which literally means 'potatoes boiled down in soy sauce' (a la jangjorim, in the previous post -- which *technically* is also a side dish, but I'm being loose with the rules). I will add in onions and perhaps leave out the peppers because that's the way my husband is used to eating it. *Hopefully* I can make it as well as his mother does and not burn it, as I tend to do with jorim's. :-)

If the week goes as I expect it to, there will be opportunity for me to send JM to work with one of the most commonly mislabled Korean dishes: 김밥 "kim-bap", which is all TOO often confused with Japanese sushi rolls. Koreans get very cross when people make that mistake, so I'm going to clear things up beforehand. Yes, kimbap and sushi are both rolls of food with seaweed and rice and various other fillings, but they are not the same. Kimbap never has raw meat in it, and typically the rice is flavored with sesame oil instead of vinegar (although this is not universal). Kimbap nearly always has meat in it, while sushi typically has either raw fish or is vegetarian. Kimbap usually has slivers of yellow pickled radish, egg, slightly cooked carrot, and some sort of meat like tuna, beef, or spam (yes, spam). Sometimes they are filled with what JM calls 'fish hot dogs': 오뎅 "oh-deng".

And that's the plan for the week! I intend to make the gamja jorim and the Chinese celery today or tomorrow so that we can eat off it for the whole week. They both reheat fairly well, and can be eaten cold if need be. The fried tofu, zucchini, green peppers and dumplings will all have to be served straight from the pan, so they will probably be rotated between dinners. The squid and kimchi will come straight from the fridge to the table -- gotta love that!

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  • Headmistress, zookeeper

    Is the 'ho-bak-jeon' similar to Japanese tem pu'ra? I think I've had it and liked it.
    I don't think I've had dried squid, but I have had dried cuttlefish, and we all love it.
    Only the HM likes kimchi.
    Fried tofu- we like this, too. I don't have any clue if it's authentic or not, but I practically deep-fry it to keep it from sticking to the pan. Tastes better, too.
    I've made something like your 'chinese celery' using grated sweet potatoes and ginger.
    Kimbap sounds good- I like sushi, but I also like sesame oil, so I think I might like it.
    Sounds adventurous and fun!