Making Kimchi Fries
I was faced with a dilemma while making this - sweet potato fries, or fries, fries? Honestly, I would’ve opted to go sweet potato all the way. Aside it being somewhat healthier, I also like prefer the taste. But my biggest concern was, will it photograph well enough? Imagine for a second; bright orange-y sticks under caramelized, brown bulgogi and stir-fried, well ripened kimchi. Too much orange, no? So I threw my health concern out the window and found some sort of middle ground by using both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. And you know what? I don’t think they look too bad together.
KIMCHI FRIES (serves 4):
[ 1 pound rib eye or sirloin, thinly sliced + 1/4 cup soy sauce + 1/8 cup sugar + 6 cloves garlic + 1 small onion or 3 shallots + 1/2 of a small Asian pear + 1/4 cup of water + 2 tablespoon sesame oil + 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil ]
[ 1/4 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons Korean pepper paste (gochujang)
+ 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 1 cup kimchi + 1/2 an onion or 2-3 shallots, chopped ]
FRIES & OTHER TOPPINGS:
[ 1/2 cup (kewpie) mayonnaise + 3 tablespoons Sriracha + 1 pound french fries (or sweet potato fries) + grated cheddar or your preferred cheese + toasted sesame seeds + chopped onion + chopped scallion ] OPTIONAL: Sour cream.
In a food processor or a blender, add all the beef marinade ingredients except vegetable oil and combine. Transfer to a large bowl and add more sesame oil or black pepper to taste. Add the rib eye or sirloin and toss to coat. Seal in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until smoking. Add the meat and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and keep warm. Rinse out the skillet and wipe dry.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, gochujang and soy sauce. Add the kimchi and toss to coat. Heat the skillet until very hot. Add the onion and kimchi and cook over high heat until the liquid is thickened and glossy and the kimchi has browned a bit.
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the 3 tablespoons of Sriracha.
Fry your preferred fries. Scatter the still hot fries on a platter and sprinkle with grated cheddar. Top with bulgogi and kimchi. Drizzle with some of the Sriracha mayonnaise and sprinkle onion, sesame seeds and scallion. Top with a dollop of sour cream, if using. Serve with additional Sriracha.
I’m currently still using my broken down Canon EOS 400D, error 99 and all (sob story). As for the “vintage filter setting”, that’s done in post editing. You can read more about the program and general techniques here. As I’ve said in my photography FAQs, the lack of lighting sometimes leave a lot to be desired, and I make up for it by putting the photos through rigorous rounds of post-editing.
Hope this helps (and thank you!)!
Making Hot Triplets (Modified Yuanyang)
You know how sometimes you ask a married couple why they don’t have kids yet, and they answer with something ambiguous like, “Not for a lack of trying!” - well, that’s exactly my answer in the attempts of getting froth on these babies without an espresso wand. Minus the ambiguity I read somewhere that you can achieve similar results by using a whisk and twirling it between two hands to create foam, then sticking it into the microwave to stabilize the foam. Well, I twirled, I twirled that whisk like my life depended on it, but to no avail. Fortunately, this drink already tastes so good sans foam, so I hope you’ll give it a try. A word of warning - those who are not big coffee drinkers should stay away because this drink contains the triple caffeine threat; dark chocolate, black tea and black coffee. Welcome to the dark side.
HOT TRIPLETS (slightly modified from Lady & Pups, serves 2)
[ 2 1/2 heaping tablespoon whole black tea leaves + 2 tablespoon ground coffee + 3 pieces of Hershey’s dark chocolate, or other brands of dark chocolate + 2 cups of water + 1 small 14-ounce can condensed milk ]
Combine whole black tea leaves, ground coffee and water in a pot and set over medium-high heat. Stir slightly and take off heat right before it comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat completely and stir in the dark chocolate until melted. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
Strain the liquid through a very fine sieve into a milk pitcher, and add the condensed milk to combine. Reheat the mixture with a steam wand on an espresso machine until hot, frothy and foamy on the top.
If you’re a similar soul like yours truly and do not own an espresso machine with a steam wand, you can attempt to get some foam by reheating the mixture over the stove, then use a small whisk held perpendicularly to the pot then twirl the whisk by rolling the handle rapidly between the palms of your hands, until the desired amount of froth is obtained.
Divide the liquid and foam into cups and serve immediately
Making Spicy Vegan Eggplant Pasta
At first, whenever someone says vegan food all I can picture is a bowl of oatmeal. Lots of peanut butter, seeds and chopped fruits. It then expands to mashed avocadoes on slices of 12-grain (or some other - who’s counting?) bread. Add sprouts to that. Maybe cheese made of cashew and nutritional yeast. Perhaps tofu - the whole shebang. It rarely translates itself to me as a normal bowl of pasta, with lots of flavourful, easy to get fresh vegetables. For someone who lives in a third world country where vegan products barely make it to the shelves, recipes like this are pretty much Godsend. If you’re a student trying to live off a budget, this one should be calling out to you too. Have no worries if you don’t have an oven, you can just pat the eggplant slices dry and use a bit of oil in a skillet to pan-roast them. I’m also including a recipe for homemade vegan linguine, just in case.
SPICY VEGAN EGGPLANT PASTA (recipe from Food52, serves 4)
[ 2 medium eggplants + 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided + 1 medium onion or 4 shallots,chopped + 2 cloves garlic, minced + 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes or one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes + 1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano + 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus extra for finishing + 1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for finishing + 1 pound (vegan) linguine pasta ]
Cut the eggplants crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. Lay the slices on a baking sheet, salt them well on both sides, and set aside for half an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 425° Farenheit.
Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant, tossing the slices to coat them. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheets and roast them until they’re tender and browning, about 20 minutes.
Alternatively, heat the oil in a skillet and fry the eggplants. If you’re working in two batches, use 1 tablespoon per batch.
While the eggplant roasts, heat remaining tablespoon of the olive oil on low heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the minced garlic and sautée them until onions are soft. Add the tomatoes, oregano, pepper flakes, and basil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, till the sauce has thickened up. When the eggplant is ready, remove it from the oven, chop it into 1-inch pieces, and add it to the sauce. Continue to simmer gently on very low heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and gently fold in the sauce. Top the pasta with additional chopped basil and red pepper flakes to taste.
Cheesecake with Almond Biscotti Crust
"You want a bite?"
"No thanks, it’s already late. I’m starving though."
"Then what are you gonna do?"
"You know, too much water can kill you."
"Yep. Everything in moderation."
"What can you have that’s not in moderation?”
*makes slurping noises and pretends to gnaw at air*
Making Buldak (불닭) / “Fire” Chicken
Rumor has it that the dish Buldak - “Bul” translating to fire and "dak" to chicken, is so spicy that even some Korean have trouble swallowing it down. The truth? Well I guess it depends on how brave you are with your spices. Let’s be honest here, why attempt to make something called “Fire chicken” if you’re not up for the burn that only the fieriest ingredient can provide? In my recipe I’m using a combination of red pepper powder, red pepper paste, bird’s eye chili, dried chili pepper flakes, black pepper and mustard to concoct a gastronomy atomic bomb. The copious amount of honey or corn syrup might lessen the blow, it might even trick you to thinking that it’s not spicy enough, but just you wait, the [somewhat pleasant] burn is coming for you.
BULDAK (불닭) / FIRE CHICKEN:
CHICKEN & MARINADE:
[ 1 whole chicken, cut into bite size pieces + 3 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 tablespoon corn syrup or honey + 1 teaspoon ground black pepper + 1 scallion, sliced ]
Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour all over chicken pieces. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
[ 3 tablespoon red pepper powder + 2 tablespoon red pepper paste + 2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 tablespoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon honey or corn syrup + 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 teaspoon yellow mustard + 3 garlic cloves + 1/2 of an onion + 1/2 of a Korean pear + 1/2 tablespoon dried chili flakes + birds eye chili, to taste ]
In a blender, blitz all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste, adjust the seasonings according to your preferences and set aside.
Lift the chicken pieces from the marinade and fry the chicken pieces in enough oil to shallow fry. Work in batches to make sure the chicken brown and caramelize properly. Drain and set aside.
Remove the excess oil from the pan and return the chicken pieces. Over low flame, add the sauce into the pan and allow to caramelize a bit. Increase to high heat and cook, turning often, until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken pieces.
Arrange the chicken on a serving plate. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed and serve immediately.
Nike - Rise and Shine