Anyone that knows me well knows that Korean fried chicken (Kfc) is one of my all-time favorite foods. There's many different types of Korean fried chicken: the Bonchon/Kyochon style (some of the biggest chains for Kfc in both the U.S and Korea), which have an eggshell-thin crust with a distinctive crunch; yangnyum chicken, which is tossed in a spicy, red-hot sauce; dak gang jeong, which involves a sweet soy sauce based sauce-- just to name a few. One of my favorite versions is padak, which is topped with a heaping mound of thinly sliced spring onion and a healthy drizzling of a sweet soy-mustard sauce. I decided to try making it at home, because it's not a dish that's easy to find in the U.S (at least where I live)-- however, it's a dish that's rather popular in Korea, and you can find it in most chicken places.
One distinct characteristic of Korean fried chicken is that it is usually double fried to make it especially crispy. This does require a little bit more effort and time, but I guarantee it's worth it!
Here is a quick and delicious dinner idea that's ideal for using up any leftovers you have in the fridge. I love fried rice, because you can pretty much use any combination of ingredients that you're in the mood for, and it'll turn out great! You may also use any type of rice (as you can see in the pictures, instead of plain white rice, I used Indian basmati rice, since that's what I needed to use up), but just remember-- the key to good fried rice is to use rice that's at least a day old. If you use fresh rice, it will be too wet (think of all the water you put in the rice cooker!), and it will not turn into fried rice. I adapted this recipe from the incredibly talented Chef David Chang, the mastermind behind the Momofuku restaurants, and chose to also add cheese to it, but feel free to substitute with any ingredients of your choice. Another key to good fried rice is to keep the heat on high and to cook the ingredients in batches! Read More
It's been a rainy few days in Baltimore, which means I'd rather curl up in my apartment with a hearty dish rather than venture out to restaurants and getting drenched in the process. I don't know if it's because my mom used to make this on rainy days, but dakdoritang is definitely one of the foods I crave the most on dreary, drizzly days. It's one of the most well-known dishes in Korean cuisine, and for a good reason; chicken and hearty vegetables are simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce that tastes complex with layers of flavor. Perhaps one reason this dish is popular is that the cooking techniques involved here are not rocket-science; the method is rather simple, but what's more important is finding the right balance of flavors, between the salty, sweet, and spicy-- feel free to kick up or lower the heat, depending on your preference. Remember, if you made a dish too sweet by accident, you can always add more salt (or soy sauce in this case), and vice versa: if the dish seems too salty, add more sugar or add more water to dilute it. This dish also has many variations in that some people prefer it very thick and stew-like, while some people prefer to have it thinner. If you wish to simmer for a longer time or need to re-heat it the day after, I would suggest stirring it occasionally and adding water periodically as you go. This dish tastes even better the day or two after, so feel free to make a huge batch! Read More
One of the most popular stews/jjigae in Korea...! There's many, many variations of Kimchi Jjigae- vegetarian that includes tofu or silken tofu, or with tuna, seafood, beef, sausage, ham, or pork--! I guess that just shows how much Koreans love kimchi, and how this spicy ingredient is so versatile and complements a wide variety of other ingredients. My favorite type of kimchi jjigae is with pork-- the hearty pork balances nicely with the light tofu, and contributes a wonderful flavor to the overall dish. I used pork tenderloin, but you can use really any cut of pork that is tender (I've used pork neck several times before). I usually include rice cakes to add another starchy element to the stew, but if you don't have it on hand, you may omit it. This jjigae tastes better when you use overly ripe, sour kimchi, so don't throw away that kimchi that's sitting in your fridge, but use it to make stew! Read More
When I come home after a long day of work or classes, I am usually exhausted. As much as I love cooking, there are days when I just want to eat something quick that is satisfying yet requires minimum effort and energy expenditure. This dish is perfect for a quick weekday dinner during those days when you feel really, really lazy... I would say that this takes 10 minutes to make, from start to finish! The most work that this recipe requires may be mincing the garlic or chopping the green onions. (And isn't there always something cathartic about smashing garlic cloves with your knife?) The base sauce for this dish is a pretty standard Korean bulgogi marinade, except that since you're using ground beef, it requires no marination at all. I hope you enjoy it! Read More
This one has to be one of my all-time favorite recipes! What I love about this dish is that since the pork belly is marinated in a blend of doenjang and spices, it tastes exactly like how it would if you dipped the meat in the sauce, except even more flavorful and complex! The marinade also helps to tenderize the pork, resulting in an extremely juicy and soft piece of meat. Enjoy! Read More
This was one of my favorite foods growing up in Korea. My mom would make this at home, without the pasta (so it was more of a sausage stir-fry with peppers and onions), but I remember having it often at restaurants. I believe that the dish is originally Japanese, and also called "Naporitan." Supposedly a chef of the New Grand Hotel in Yokohama created this when he was inspired by one of the military rations in the 1950s. It's a very popular dish today in both Japan and Korea, and especially appeals to the palates of children and the younger generation. Hope you enjoy it! Read More
This dish is considered staple street food in Korea, and especially popular among children and students. Dduk bokki literally translates to stir-fried rice cakes. The rice cakes are cooked in a spicy, tangy, and sweet sauce, along with fish cakes and hard-boiled eggs. Even though it's one of the most popular dishes in Korea, I actually didn't care for it too much when I was younger. However, as I grew older and Korean food became more of a hard-to-access luxury in downtown Baltimore, unknowingly I started to crave this dish more often. Ddukbokki lends itself to many variations, and I've had versions with seafood, pork belly, or sausage-- the first time I had cheese ddukbokki, it was life-changing. The restaurant served it with browned, melted cheese, hot from the broiler-- it was a revelatory moment. Feel free to add or omit the cheese, or add some bacon or sausage for extra flavor. Traditionally, ketchup isn't used as one of the ingredients for the sauce, but I find that it imparts a nice tangy flavor and also enhances the color beautifully. Enjoy! Read More