Friday, December 30, 2016

Ddukbokki with Pork & Kimchi

Printable Version (Recipe Only)

Ddukbokki is a dish made with plain dduk (Korean rice cake that has a plain rice flavor and a texture something like a cross between gnocchi and mochi when cooked), a sweet and spicy hot sauce made with gochujang and often also with Korean style fish cake called odeng or eomuk, but when we were kids, my dad always made it with pork and ripe kimchi, and it's my favorite way to eat it.

The chew of the dduk, a little bite of pork, some crunchytangy contrast from the ripe kimchi, and that sweet and spicyhot sauce - Delicious memories... :)

Ddukbokki with Pork & Kimchi
Makes 2 to 3 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Printable Version

- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 pound pork shoulder or belly, cut into thin slices (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 a small onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips vertically
- 2 cups ripe kimchi, lightly drained and cut into 1/2-inch strips (no need to be exact - I just bunch it all together and start cutting in roughly 1/2-inch increments)
- 1 Tablespoon gochujang to start
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce to start
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons sugar depending on how sweet you like things
- 3/4 to 1 cup water, depending on how thick or thin you like the sauce
- 400 grams dduk aka Korean Rice Ovalettes (at the Korean market, you won't see packaging labeled with Imperial measurements)
- optional: chopped green onion and/or toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) In a wok or large frying pan, bring 1/2 Tablespoon oil up to medium high heat and then saute the pork until it's cooked through (opaque on both sides).

2) Add the onions and continue to saute just until onions start to turn translucent. Add the 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to distribute seasoning.

3) Add another 1/2 Tablespoon of oil and kimchi, and continue to saute another 2 or 3 minutes.

4) Add gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, and water, and stir until gochujang is mostly dissolved.

5) Add dduk (rice cakes), stir to incorporate, turn the heat down to medium, and cook, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes or until rice cakes are just cooked through, stirring occasionally. (If you try to cut a piece of dduk in half with the side of a fork, the dduk should have a soft and chewy give almost completely to the bottom before you can cut through it.)

6) Sprinkle with chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds if you like and enjoy! :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

California Roll Dip

Printable Version (Recipe Only)

Family and friends can't get enough of this deconstructed sushi favorite adapted for dipping. You can also serve it over sushi rice or regular steamed rice and make a rice bowl meal of it. It's good for 2 or 3 servings that way.

So easy to make and perfect for those holiday parties and potlucks coming up!

If you don't have surimi (artificial crab), you can substitute with peeled and precooked shrimp (the smallest size you can find), thawed and thoroughly drained. Of course real lump crab, thoroughly drained, is worth the splurge if you can swing it. ;)

California Roll Dip
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or 2 to 3 as a rice bowl topping
Time: 20 minutes
Printable Version

- 1/2 pound surimi (artificial crab), completely thawed, water squeezed out, and chopped
- 1 Persian cucumber (aka Baby Cucumber) diced, excess water squeezed out. (You can use one small pickling cucumber or half of an English/Hothouse cucumber, seeded as well.)
- 1 large ripe avocado, diced
- 3 Tablespoons very finely chopped onions
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I like Best Foods/Hellman's.)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Gently fold all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. (In these kinds of preparations, I like to sprinkle dry/powder ingredients like salt and sugar over the entire surface area because it's much easier to make sure they get evenly incorporated into the recipe that way.)

Serve with crackers, pita, tortilla chips, or as a vegetable dip.

Enjoy! :)