Lately, I’ve been working on making my own stock and sauce that I can use daily. I know, this sounds time consuming but I can honestly say that it may be worth the time if you make your own banchan (side dishes) or do a lot of Korean cooking at home. By learning to cook using homemade stocks and sauces, you can easily add a depth of flavor without adding too much seasoning. Let’s just say the amount of sugar, salt and soy sauce that was being added to deepen the flavors seemed…well, bit alarming. The idea of it came from this one Korean cooking expert and recipe developer named Shim Young Soon (심영순). Now in her late 70s, she’s been developing recipes and teaching Korean home-cooking for past four decades in Korea. She is currently on Korean cooking battle show called Taste of Korea (한식대첩) as part of judges panel and still actively promoting the art and culture of Korean food. The sweet and savory sauce recipe is from Ms. Shim and it has changed the way I cook and eat around here. I hope it comes in handy for you as well.
Photography by Selina S. Lee
KIMCHI JJIGAE (김치찌개) – 2-3 Servings
1 ½ cup of fermented/ripen kimchi – recommends Im Soon Ja brand (임순자 익은김치)
½ block of soft tofu for stews (찌개용 두부)
1 cup chopped pork – mix of lean and pork belly
1 tsp preserved shrimp (pn. Saeujeot 새우젓)
1 chopped green onion
1 cup water
½ cup seafood broth – optional (멸치육수)
Kimchi should be fully fermented and ripen. It should be soft and bit sour. Newly made kimchi will not give same type of flavor in the stew. / Cut kimchi and pork in good bite size pieces (about 1.5”). / Cut half of tofu block and slice them thin (shown in picture above). You should get 2-3 pieces. / Chop green onion to add before serving.
1. On high heat skillet, cook mixed pork until it’s almost crispy on the edges. Set it aside on kitchen paper towel to drain oil.
2. In a shallow pot add chopped kimchi with little bit of vegetable oil and saute them until it’s soft and cooked. Add cooked pork and saute a little more to mix.
TIP: You can add little bit of sugar when sauteeing the kimchi if you think kimchi is too sour. Sweetness balances out sourness really well! Also, I love using Korean nickel-silver pots (양은냄비) because it heats and cooks fast!
3. Add water and seafood broth and boil it for about 15 mins by closing the lid. If you are not using the seafood broth, add more water. I like to add a tsp of preserved shrimp for the extra savory flavor! NOTE: Seafood broths are usually made with dried kelp, dried anchovies.
4. On lower heat, add tofu and boil it for another 5 mins. Keep pouring the juice from the stew over the tofu to flavor it. Add chopped onions before serving. Don’t forget to serve it with a bowl of rice!
Styling by Samantha S. Lee / Photography by Selina S. Lee
I feel the fall in the air today. We’re getting chilly mornings and evenings with plenty of sun light in the afternoon. I love this season the best when things feel calm and relax. Everything feels bountiful and fuller. I’m getting pretty busy here preparing for my upcoming POP-UP and also getting ideas down for entertaining for the holidays. While rest of the hemisphere is working on creating cheese boards, I did a quick anju (안주) board using Korean favorites. Cheese boards doesn’t seem to fail. It’s just a great way to welcome your guests and have them mingle over a spread of goodness. Anju means type of food that is served with drinks. It’s usually dried food, nuts and fresh fruits. It’s also called Jujunburi (주전부리) which means snacks or something to nibble on. This really makes me want to invite few friends over for some beer. How does that sound? There is no cheese involved here but Seaweed Crisp with Almonds and Dried Cuttlefish sounds good to me. See what they are below!
1 / Peach Nectarines
2 / Concord Grapes
3 / Pistachio Nuts
4 / Asian Golden Pear
5 / Sweet Dried Mango
6 / Dried Roasted Sweet Potato
7 / Roasted Chestnut
8 / Seaweed Crisp with Almonds
9 / Dried Cuttlefish
10 / IPA (India Pale Ale)