Friday, March 14, 2008

Soy Sauce Beef and Radish Kimchi and Dumplings

This is an update of our recent food adventures. Over the past two days, I have made three new foods: 장조림 ("jang jo rim", soy sauce beef), 무 생채 ("moo saeng chae", literally radish salad, but it's more like radish kimchi), and 만두 ("man doo", dumplings). All were made from scratch, using the recipes they link to, with of course some modifications. I think I've written before about how pathetic I am when it comes to making jangjorim. It typically ends up burnt with tough meat. So this time I took the cheater's route: I used the slow cooker. And, surprise of surprises, it doesn't taste all that bad. The meat is tender enough, and though it's not as good as my mother-in-law makes it, I think it will do.

The radish kimchi is ridiculously easy to make. The only problem for any readers out there is that the anchovy sauce and Korean pepper powder are not readily available at your average grocery store. I used a whole Korean radish rather than half a daikon radish, which is just about right. Here's the amazing thing about radish kimchi - I tried it while on vacation in Florida, and I actually liked it. Yes, Harmony the Kimchi Hater actually enjoyed radish kimchi. In the picture it is all done, ready to be jarred.

I have made dumplings before, and I remembered them being really easy to make. This time I wanted to make a dumpling recipe that I thought would be good in 만두국 ("mandoo gook", dumpling soup), because I not only want to use the dumplings as side dishes in meals over the next few weeks, I would also like to use them to make dumpling soup at some point. Spend an hour making dumplings, eat off of them for many meals. That's was the idea. It was supposed to be EASY.

Unfortunately, the dumpling skins I'd bought sometime last year had gotten freezer burn. That meant they cracked all over the place, requiring creative folding and much less filling in some cases, some surgery in others, and in the case of two of the skins there was nothing to be done. Still, I'm fairly pleased with the results. Please be merciful while looking at the finished product. I did the best I could!

The smaller and not-as-pretty ones are destined for dumpling soup, where their imperfections will be less noticeable. The rest are for dinners once a week. Twenty-four dumplings, two people, once a week for four weeks. That's three dumplings a piece each time it is served. What's more, I have filling left over. I will probably attempt to make dough from scratch next time, which will be its own adventure.

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  • Ron and Ginny

    Well, the dumplings look beautiful to me. (What do I know?) LOL! Tonight is pizza night here...

  • Samantha

    I think this is very cool! And you're inspiring me--my husband is Vietnamese and I've never really tried to make Vietnamese food because it's so intimidating. Plus we live in Manhattan so it's way too easy to order take-out. :-)

    But maybe I should follow your lead here. I look forward to more posts and photos of the beautiful food.

    And hey, the dumplings looked pretty good to me! :-)