Q:What are you making for new year's?
…I’m not sure yet? I wasn’t planning to make anything but probably something nice and easy. What do you think I should make?
Making Budae Jjigae (부대찌게) / Army Base Stew
It’s been a jjigae kind of week here, with all the downpour. Today is no different. Budae jjigae, or Korean army base stew, was an invention of necessity during and after the Korean war. People made this dish by combining leftover Spam and hot dogs from U.S. Army facilities (hence its other name, “Johnson tang”), and mixed it with whatever else that was available. All the ingredients were combined with water and red pepper seasoning in a large pot and boiled. Essentially, it’s a hot and spicy stew with one packet of ramen and a sliced of processed cheese slapped on top, with the seasoning packet chucked out and chock-filled with pseudo-healthy proteins and vegetables and shared between 2 or 3 people. Not very photogenic, but excellent for the nippy weather (and your wallet) and possibly a good hangover cure.
[ 3 cups low sodium chicken broth + 2 tablespoon gochujang + 2 teaspoon gochugaru + 1 teaspoon sesame oil + 1 teaspoon soy sauce + 2 garlic cloves, minced + 100g minced beef + 3-4 sausages, score lightly and slice into thirds + 150g tofu, sliced + 1 onion, sliced + 1 cup kimchi + 6 mushrooms, sliced + a handful of baby bok choy or other greens you like + a bunch of spring onions, chopped + 1 packet of Korean instant ramen + 1-2 slices of processed cheese + 1 tin baked beans (I’m using kidney beans) ] Note: I didn’t use Spam because there wasn’t a kosher alternative for one here. You can just add more sausages (which I did) if you like.
In a bowl, mix together the gochujang, gochugaru, sesame oil, soy sauce and minced garlic. Add in the minced beef and mix to combine, being careful not to mush up the beef too much.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.
Arrange other ingredients except cheese and ramen in a wide, flat bottom saucepan, claypot or heatproof casserole dish. Put the gochujang beef mixture on top. Add the prepared soup base to the ingredients and bring stew to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Add the ramen (without the seasoning) to the stew. Simmer uncovered for another 3-5 minutes. Add cheese and simmer till cheese melts. Top with a sprinkle of chopped green onions, sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.
Serve hot with rice (double carbin’ yo) and banchans.
Peter Vronsky - Reprise
Musashi’s Chirashi Bowl. Wow, this was so much fresh sashimi (on top of a bed of perfect rice) all for a good price. Went here with a friend and thankfully, because its break, we didn’t have to wait long before being seated and getting our food. My favorite was the tuna…it just melted in my mouth.
Wednesday is favorite Tumblog day.
Duffy - Distant Dreamer (Instrumental)
Do you know how to cook black bean paste? I dont know where to buy the halal one.
I know it doesn’t say so on the package, but I’m pretty sure all the chunjang (black bean paste) are حلال .The main ingredients are soybeans and flour that are fermented with caramel added before the aging process. Sometimes soy sauce is added too but as far as I know there are no alcohol or meat products in it. I do check for ingredients and alter recipes to make every dish حلال (since I’m a Muslim too) before I post them on the blog.
Hope this helps!
Making Jjajang-myeon (짜장면) / Black Bean Sauce Noodles
Some days when I’m feeling upset, I like to make pickles and sauces. Frustrated? make a bottle of pesto. Depressed? pepper relish sounds good. Stressed out? make two pounds of kimchi. It gives another meaning to bottling up your feelings. I like to think that it’s much more lucrative than just brooding around indulging yourself.
A few days ago my paternal grandmother was hospitalized due to GI-tract bleeding. It’s been managed and she’s much better since, but I was home that day and felt helpless and ended up making two batches of Korean pickled radish - kkakdugi and danmooji. Add that to the lingering wad of kimchi and now I’m in a bit of a pickle. No one in this house is as big of a pickle enthusiast, so I’ll have to find a way to eat them all before I leave to Qatar in a few weeks. This is one of them. It’s a re-post but with a bit better pictures, methinks. Feel free to add minced chicken, beef or pork and fry them with the garlic in the cooking step below.
JJAJANG-MYEON (serves 2-3):
[ 1/2 cup diced carrots + 1 cup diced zucchini + 1 onion, diced + 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes + 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, any kind + 3 cloves of garlic + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil + 1/4 cup Chunjang (Korean black bean paste) + 1 1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in 1/4 cup water + 2 tablespoons sugar + 2 teaspoon sesame oil + noodles or spaghetti ] OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon grated ginger.
Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic and ginger, if using, until fragrant. Add potato, onion, and zucchini and keep stirring until the potato looks a little translucent.
Clear a space in the center by pushing the ingredients to the edges.
Add the other tablespoon of vegetable oil to the center of the wok, then add the black bean paste and stir it with a wooden spoon for 1 minute to fry it. Mix the vegetables in the pan into the sauce and keep stirring.
Add water and let it cook with the lid closed for about 10 minutes. Open the lid check if the vegetables are fully cooked. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch. Keep stirring until it’s well mixed and thick. Add the sesame oil and remove from the heat.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Warm the sauce if needed. Serve with hard boiled egg, cucumber strips and danmooji.
I’m not a baking person, so this was no small feat - three layers of devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream, whipped chocolate ganache as the base frosting and then pourable ganache as the second coat. Presents and trees made out of chocolate with royal icing details (even though they look kinda wonky).
…happy holidays? /deathbyconfections.