Photography by Selina S. Lee
You guys! I finally finished my first 4 pillars project! Beginning of last year, I embarked on this project that I created for myself – I ask myself, why do I create more work for myself? I wanted to work on iconic Korean recipes and wanted to explore and experiment them. First project was all about Korean stews ‘Jjigae’ and I have shared all 4 stews here including this one, Soft Tofu Stew (Soondubu Jjigae), Kimchi Jjigae, Soy Bean Stew (Ddenjang Jjigae), Gochujang Jjigae. Recipes are still not perfect but I think they are good guidelines. I’m sharing few notes and tips that I’ve learned by trial and error. Hope you get to try them and enjoy them for the remaining cold and rainy season. Now onto my next 4 pillars project, SOUPS! Stay tuned.
Soft Tofu Stew ‘Soondubu Jjigae’ (순두부 찌개) – 4 Servings
1½ tubes soft tofu or 1 box silken tofu
¼ cup chopped thin beef brisket (차돌박이)
¼ cup diced bella mushrooms
1 green chili pepper (풋고추)
¾ cup water or stock
1 egg – optional
SEASONING FOR TOFU
1½ tbsp shim’s sweet sauce
½ tbsp soy sauce for soup
SEASONING FOR STEW
2 tbsp gochugaru
2 tbsp soy sauce for soup (국간장)
1 tbsp shim’s sweet sauce
2 tbsp water
Make a small slit on the middle of tofu tube to cut in half and take it out of the package. This will retain the shape. If you prefer cottage cheese like texture, you can make a small slit on the top of the package and squeeze out the tofu. Marinate the tofu with shim’s sweet sauce, soy sauce and pinch of salt. This will also help extract some liquid out of the tofu. Chop and dice beef brisket and bella mushrooms. Chop scallions and prepare seeded chopped green chili peppers. These Korean green peppers are not as spicy so you can use them more for your liking.
1. In a medium size pot (I use clay pot), add gochugaru, water, shim’s sweet sauce and soy sauce and mix them off heat.
2. Over heat, cook both beef and mushrooms in the seasoning until beef is cooked through. Add ¾ cup water or any type of stock (beef, vegetable) and boil it for few minutes. NOTE: water level should be low as tofu will add more liquid to the stew.
3. Drain tofu and add it to step 2 to boil it on high heat for about 5 min. Add chopped scallions and chili peppers and boil in lower heat for additional 2-3 min. If needed, season with soy sauce to taste. Take it off the heat. Crack an egg in the middle while it’s still boiling before serving.
Photography by Selina S. Lee
It’s always sunny here in Caifornia but It’s been cold and chilly around here. Brrr! I’m loving all the layering, scarf wearing, warm tea in my hand but all I think about is making a bowl of soup. This chickpea crab miso soup is so light and comforting. We eat a lot of miso soup around here. It was important for me to find a good miso paste. I tried many different brands available from the market and one that I love the most is chickpea miso from South River. It has a chunky pieces of chickpea in the paste! I also love chickpea miso from Miso Master as well but it’s not as chunky like the South River brand. Both brands are all natural and organic and it’s delicious! If you are local, you can find South River miso at the Preserved store here in Oakland or Miso Master brand at Whole Foods Markets.
Now, Let’s talk little bit about that wooden bowl. Some of you have asked me about the source. I got them online at AliExpress! They are beautifully handmade and easy to maintain. You can find other shapes of wooden bowls at the same shop. Enjoy!
Photography by Lisa Wong Jackson
Here is a lovely scene captured by Lisa at the private workshop I hosted last summer. We started our meal with a warm chickpea crab miso soup and we still talk about it! I added few more details to the recipe but still very simple to make. Check it out!
CHICKPEA CRAB MISO SOUP (칙피콩 크랩미소장국) – 4 Servings
1 cup cooked crab meat
1-2 tbsp chickpea miso
6 mini yukon yellow potatoes
1 katsuobushi or seafood stock tea bag
5 cups water
½ cup radish shoots or pea shoots
Prepare potatoes by cutting them in halves or quarters. Chop scallions finely.
1. Put the stock tea bag is cold water and bring it boil. Once it starts to boil, take the tea bag out and add miso by sifting through slowly dissolving into the stock.
2. Add potatoes and boil it about 20 mins until potatoes are soft. Lower the heat and add chopped scallions.
3. Serve in a bowl by adding the cooked potatoes on the bottom, add cooked crab meat and radish/pea shoots on top. Pour the miso soup from the edge of the bowl. Serve warm.
Photography by Selina S. Lee
Happy New Year! Happy 2017!
As a new years tradition, I had another great Korean holiday meal with my family last night. It was one of few opportunities where I can pig out on mom’s home cooked meal. My sisters and I brought some dishes to add to the table. I made one of my holiday favorite, Mung Bean Fritters (녹두 빈대떡). It brought back memories of all those years helping mom on the side of the kitchen making these. Not to mention sneaking in a few bites while I was helping her. So happy I can make my own now and to share this recipe. Hope you get to try it too!
MUNG BEAN PANCAKE (녹두 빈대떡) – 4-6 servings
recipe adapted from Korean Bapsang
2 cups peeled mung beans
1 cup mung bean sprouts (숙주나물)
1 cup washed kimchi
1 cup pork belly for shabu shabu
1/2 cup crown daisy leaves or parsley leaves (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced seeded red pepper (optional)
cooking sake or white wine
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
Rinse and soak the mung bean in cold water for 3-4 hours. Drain leaving little bit of water to be used for blending (approx. 1/4 cup). In a blender, grind 2 cups of soaked beans. Adding little bit of water will help blend them smoothly. Add little bit of salt for seasoning. The the batter should be thick and coarse consistency. Prepare mung bean sprouts by boiling it for just 2 minutes to cook but still crunchy. Rinse it in cold water, drain and set it aside. Cut pork belly in small bite size pieces and season with salt and pepper and cooking sake (or white wine). Prepare kimchi by cutting in small bite size pieces then wash it in running water on a strainer, squeeze out excess water and set it aside. Chop scallions and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, add the mung bean and combine all ingredients by mixing gently so it’s evenly mixed. Prepare the crown daisy leaves and red pepper slices to add. I like to soak the red peppers in cold water to take the heat off a little and to take the seed out easily.
On a non-stick pan, heat oil on medium-high heat using generous amount of oil. Use the spoon to put the mixture into the pan and spread it down into a thin round shape. Add crown daisy leaves and red pepper on top. Cook until the bottom is golden brown (2-3 minutes), and turn it over. Lower the heat, Gently press it down with a spatula, and cook for another 2-3 minutes then flip it over one last time and cook for 1 min. Repeat the process with the rest of the mixture. Serve hot off the pan with the dipping sauce.