Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kimchi chiggae : Korean kimchi stew

Last week for #LetsLunch, Karen (whom we were honoring with liquid lunches) asked me if mine was going to be kimchi soup.

Sadly, it wasn't -- I made a ham bone soup with my Easter leftovers. But, I promised her I would write up a post with my kimchi chiggae (also sometimes spelled kimchi jiggae) recipe, so, here it is!

Normally, you make kimchi chiggae to use up the end of a big jar of kimchi. I haven't had kimchi in a while, so I made it using new kimchi. It was still delicious. But -- it's best with older, funkier kimchi that has had some time to get crazy.

So, you start with some pork cut into small bite size pieces. You want a fattier cut of pork - like pork belly. This is some pork shoulder steaks that I bought on sale:

I let mine marinate in sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine for about 30 minutes, then ran it quickly through a very hot wok. I also sprinkled some gochugaru (Korean hot chili flakes) to give it a little heat, the way pork bulgogi is often served.

Next, chop up some kimchi. Try to reserve as much of the juice as possible -- this helps to flavor the broth. I chop mine on a plastic cutting board, then rinse the cutting board with a little water into the wok. If you have extra juices in the jar, dump them in too.

Heat the kimchi over medium to high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning. Add half an onion (sliced thinly), 2 TBS sugar, 2 TBS gochuchang (Korean chili paste) and at least 8 cups of water.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the pork.

After 15-20 minutes, mix in 2 cans of tuna meat (rinse it first), 1/2 block of firm tofu cut into squares, and 1 bunch of green onions sliced into 1-inch pieces.


Drizzle sesame oil over stew before serving. Serve with hot white rice. 

RECIPE: Kimchi chiggae

2 cups diced pork (marinate in soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine and sugar)
2 cups cubed tofu (use firm or extra firm)
3-4 cups kimchi, chopped
1 half onion, sliced thinly
8 cups water
2 TBS sugar
2 TBS gochuchang (Korean chili paste)
2 TBS sesame oil
1 bunch green onions (sliced into 1-inch pieces)
2 cans white tuna meat (rinsed)

* Stir fry pork and set aside. If there are drippings left over, leave them in the wok.
* Add the kimchi to the wok with the pork drippings and cook 5 minutes. 
* Add onion, sugar, gochuchang and water. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat slightly. Add the pork. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until kimchi softens. 
* Mix in the tuna, tofu and green onions. Heat 5 more minutes then finish with sesame oil. 
* Serve with white rice.


Friday, May 6, 2011

#LetsLunch: liquid diet edition

Hooray! The triumphant return of the blog! and just in time for #LetsLunch, the monthly meeting of food-types with blogs, hosted by Cheryl Tan of A Tiger In The Kitchen.

Each month, after posting, Cheryl prods us into our next theme for lunch. Last month, as soon as Karen, of Geofooding, said she'd have to sit this round out (due to being on a liquid diet due to cancer surgery) we all threw our hats in the ring for a #LetsLunch Liquid Diets.

So, the day is today. I initially thought my offering might not make the cut (there are some decidedly non-liquid elements in my soup here...)  But this is a soup I made after Easter because I can't bear to just throw out food animal parts (ie: a perfectly good ham hock).

So, I started my soup with the leftover ham from Easter, some leeks and a little garlic. I really wish I would have had time to completely cool the stock and skim the fat that inevitably rises to the top, but I didn't have time. The soup was still tasty, but it would have been nice. 

I had never made a ham hock soup before (the usual ham soup ingredients don't really appeal to me, such as peas or white beans) so I wasn't totally clear how to proceed. I asked around on Facebook and Twitter (and got some great advice, as usual).

Instead of white beans I used black, the added the ham (lots of it!) and potatoes. I wanted to add zucchini to make it a little healthier, but people advised they could turn to mush sitting in the soup.

So, I fried the zucchini separately, tossed with oregano and breadcrumbs to make "croutons" which I added to my bowl just before serving. The zukes stayed somewhat crunchy this way but I still got to have them as a nice fresh addition.

Liquid Lunch ham hock soup: 
1 ham hock
2 leeks (sliced thinly)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Water (cover the ham hock or fill the pot about 2/3 of the way)
3-4 cups diced ham
2 cans black beans (rinsed)
2-3 cups diced potatoes (I used fingerlings, but you could use whatever you have on hand)
1-2 cups zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp* dried oregano  (this amount is a total guess... go crazy, add as much as you need)
1-2 TBS bread crumbs
1 tsp each (or more to taste) cumin, white pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped, to serve

* Cover ham hock, leeks and garlic with water and simmer 1 hour. If you have time, cool completely and skim any fat that rises to the top. If you just want to get to the part where you sit down to a hot bowl of soup, ignore and press on. 
* Remove the ham hock (carefully! splatters of hot stock HURT). Pull off any meat that's been boiled loose. Chop to bite-size pieces and return to the broth. 
* Add ham and potatoes. Continue to cook over medium heat 15-20 mins, then add the black beans. 
* In a separate pan, saute or grill the zucchini in the olive oil with the bread crumbs and oregano. Add more oregano if needed. 
* Season your soup with the cumin and white pepper. It should taste ham-y, smoky, and have a nice bite to it. 
* Put a few spoonfuls of the zucchini "croutons" in your bowl, then ladle hot tasty soup over. Serve with fresh parsley. 

Let's Lunch is a monthly meeting for food bloggers and is the brain child of Cheryl Tan. Our group chooses a date and a theme, then we all post our recipes on the same day.

If you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you! send a Tweet to us using #letslunch (I'm @emmacarew).

Check out the liquid lunch offerings from the others: 

Cheryl’s Miso Bacon Corn Chowder at Tiger in the Kitchen.
Caitlin’s Spring Green Soup at her book tour blog
Linda’s Crack Pie Inspired Shake at Free Range Cookies.
Rashda’s Spring Pea and Mint Soup at Hot Curries & Cold Beer.
Ellise’s Cucumber-Avocado Gazpacho at Cowgirl Chef.
Mai's Peanut Butter Espresso Smoothie at Cooking in the Fruit Bowl
Eleanor's Turnip Pork Soup at Be a Wok Star 
Cathy's Almond Nut Milk Granita at ShowFood Chef
Steff's Gazpacho at The Kitchen Trials

Oh, and please, please, please raise your glass (or bowl... if you're having a liquid lunch) to our friend, Karen, at Geofooding, and her fight against cancer. 

PS - Karen, Cheryl & Rashda: stay tuned for the Kimchi Chiggae post I promised earlier!