A bowl full of Jeong – Gamjatang


Gamjatang – Pork bone and potato soup. This dish could easily be called the staple item or one of the most known Korean food among my closest circle.

It is my family favourite too. I could not think of my fam/parents visit without us devouring on gamjatang at one of our favourite Korean restaurant in town. I remember my late Dad loved this so much he would use his most extraordinary food critic slash foodie reaction to describe the taste of it, while trying to convince our fam friends to grab some with us *100% success rate with out-of-town visitors craving for more*. Ah I miss you appa 😘.

I also remember on one of my solo trip to Seoul, my dear dongsaeng offered me to stay at her apartment. The first food that we had, right after Eun-chong and her mom picked me up near Anyang station, was the unforgattable biji gamjatang/비지 감자탕.

Not only delicious, I often crave for a pot of boiling hot gamjatang on cold rainy days or whenever I need something spicy to cheer myself up. Thus, I call it a bowl of “Jeong” as it revolves – and often served -around comfort of bonds, found when I’m surrounded with with my family and friends.

I was exchanging “I am super hungry” and “I crave for some good. . . ” with my only and super cool and kind sunbae/선배 on messengers at work. And I casually mentioned “Ahhh..I want some gamjatang”.  Last Saturday, she invited me to her place to have some makgeolli/막걸리 with her husband. And guess what! She made us some gamjatang 😍 because she remembered I mentioned wanting it. 감동 (touched) times infinity.

I helped her out by mixing the sesonings (by that I mean, listening at the instructions from her husband *I call him hyungboo – sister’s husband* and measuring it exactly as he said) and by asking a lot of questions while I watched 언니/unnie did her magic in the kitchen. Now I’m sharing you the recipe I screenshot from our chat. Good luck:

What you need:

Pork bone // potatoes // dried basil leaves // garlic (minced or whole) // green onion // onion // gochujang (고추장) – Korean chilli paste  // doenjang (된장) – fermented soy bean paste // gochugaru (고추가루) – dried chilli flakes // perilla leaves // perilla seeds powder (들깨 가루) // cooking wine – mirim style // ginger powder

How to make:

– Soak the pork bone in cold water for about one hour to get rid of the blood

– Put the pork bone in boiling water and boil it for a bit then throw away the water

– Pour some water again, dunk potatoes in,  put 3-5 dried basil leaves, garlic, onion cut in halves, green onion *important tips: include the peel of onions and the end part/root part of green onions to get rid of the meat smells*

– Scoop out the leaves and other floating objects after you boil it for a bit

– Put in the seasoning (: 1 spoon of doenjang, 3 spoons of gochujang, 1 spoon of cooking wine/mirim, 1 spoon of minced garlic, 1 spoon of ginger powder)

– Halfway after it boils for a while, pour out a good amount of gochugaru and bolit it down again until it turns yum red.

– Put in some perilla leaves and perilla seeds powder right before serving
It was yum and MSG free!

We had it with bossam/boiled pork wrap and shared some stories – from politics to relationship. I have only met hyungboo a couple of times. But he had shared insights for life that have helped me through some difficult curves. I honestly enjoy listening to his advices and he has a lot of jeong for his “I only have a few friends and dongsaengs”. Jeong/jung/chong is a Korean term that is really hard to describe in plain English.

Jeong is a particular sentimental attitude that goes beyond mere affection and loyalty. Jeong has multiple faces and it defined as “feeling, love, sentiment, passion, human nature, symphaty, heart”. It describes complex feelings or emotions such as an attachment or a bond – Dr. John Linton from various sources

A bowl of jeong that fills you up with warmth. Even when I was lectured by hyungboo and was given “a homework” to work on/help to solve my 고민/worry, I know it was out of “Jeong”. Man, I could never thank God enough for the jeong(s) I have in life.

Jumokbap, the Korean rice balls

Ju-mok-bap or fist-clenching-rise is a Korean snack rice balls (or meal, if you binge on more than 2 of it). There are kinds of jumok bap out there, but the most basic needs for this yum treats are:
– Rice
– Crushed seaweed
– Sesame Oil
– A pinch of salt

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Basic ingredients of jumokbap minus salt

For the fillings, you can go creative and put whatever protein or veggies that you like. You can even make them from fried rice. Anything you like.
If you choose to fill it with raw ingredients (e.g. carrots, mushrooms, ham) you might want to pan fried them with some oil.

Today I decided to make my kind of very easy version (from the already easy recipe) of jumokbap.

For this recipe you will need:
– Basic ingredients (1 cup of rice, 1 tea spoon of sesame oil, a pinch of salt, crushed seawee
– Leftover fried chicken, minced

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tips: you can use any kind of store-bought seaweed and crushed inside a plastic bag. I’m using the already crushed and seasoned one. I using this kind of seaweed makes it more easier and tastier.

How to make jumokbap:
– In a mixing bowl, put in cooked rice, salt, sesame oil.
tips:
– Some people only use the seaweed as coatings but I love em so I also mixed it into the rice.
– I also mixed the fillings all together with the other ingredients. But you have the option of putting it only in the middle of the rice balls (like onigiri).

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– Pour another serving of the crushed seaweed into a smaller bowl.

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– Now you’re ready to start your assembly line.

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– Grab a fistful (bite size or more) of the already mixed rice.

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– squiz it into balls so it won’t break a part.

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– cover it with seaweed as coatings

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– done! you can enjoy it now!

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Go ahead and follow this recipe, or free your creative culinary skills and make your own! Post your version of jumokbap and tag me on instagram!

Hearty Lunch

Two weeks ago, I made a hearty set of lunch at my friends’ apartment. That day, after a lot of thinking, asking, wondering, I decided to go Korean. =D For 7 people.. the recipes I picked are quite easy and fast.

I made 2 things.. Korean Seafood Pancake and Beef Bulgogi. As I have posted the Seafood Pancake recipe long time ago, I will not write it down here again. But insteadm you can click >>Here<<

Before I tell you how to make beef bulgogi, let me tell you a little bit background of this delicious but simple meal.

Bulgogi can be literally translated as bul: fire and gogi: meat. Therefore it refers to the method of cooking variety of meats in open fire. Bulgogi can also be differed in seasoning method.

According to Mr. Wikipedia bible,

Bulgogi is believed to have originated during the Goguryeo era (37 BC–668 AD) when it was originally called maekjeok (맥적), with the beef being grilled on a skewer. It was called neobiani (너비아니), meaning “thinly spread” meat,in the Joseon Dynasty and was traditionally prepared especially for the wealthy and the nobility class

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgogi

Woah, I never knew that it has been around for a long time. Bulgogi nowadays could be made by grilling or pan frying. Although it has a wide variety of flavors and seasonings, Bulgogi in general will consists of cloves garlic, onion, and green onions, sesame oil and soy sauce.

Without further due… Here is my own recipe of Beef Bulgogi

Ingredients:

– Thinly sliced beef

– soy sauce (the thick one that used for marinating meats)

– honey

– pepper

– onion

– garlic

– green onions

– Korean pear (shredded)

– veggies (I used mushrooms and zucchini)

– sesame oil

Hot to make

– marinate beef with honey, salt and pepper, shredded pear, soy sauce and minced garlic

– saute onions

– add marinated beef with the sauce

– add sesame oil

– add green onions and other veggies

– cook until meat is done and the sauce is reduced a little bit

– serve

– enjoy

notes

becareful with the zucchini, if you don’t clean it properly it will add bitter taste to your bulgogi

pear will add flavor and natural sugar

 

Pictures to be uploaded after I come back from school =)

 

Tuna Pancake

I bought a can of tuna a couple days ago. I didn’t know what to do with it.

canned tuna in grape oil


I thought of making tuna omelet/참치계란말이(chamchi gyeranmari)

But when I got home today, I found Maangchi (the Korean Cooking guru) just posted this video:


psst.. for those who don’t know who Maangchi is, She’s a  cooking guru on Youtube, specializing on Korean (and fusion) culinary. She has a channel, website and books which include recipes, cooking ingredients and methods which in my opinion are very easy to learn/follow. 

What a coincidence, eh?! Sooo.. I’m making tuna pancake/참치전(chamchijeon) tomorrow!!! yay! I’ll be posting the pictures and the complete recipe once I’ve succeeded  making it

Okay.. I ended up not making the Tuna Pancake “tomorrow” and my dearest camera’s memory couldn’t be transfered. *sigh*

so here is the Recipe:

Ingrdients:

– 1 can of Tuna

– 1 clove of garlic

– salt and peper

– cooking oil

– sesame oil

– Onion, chopped)

– flour

How to Make:

– drain the tuna from excess liquid from the can

– mix tuna, flour, chopped garlic and onion, sesame oil, salt and peper until the mix is not that runny.

– Heat the cooking oil on the pan

– place the mix on the pan, one spoon size per portion.

That’s all!! =D again.. thanks Maangchi 언니 for the recipe, and don’t forget to check out her other awesome recipes!! !!

My Tuna Pancake. It's yummy although I did not plate it artistically =P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until then

XOXO

my yukgaejang

Thanks to my care cell member.. I found this lady who made videos on hot to make Korean food.. Since it’s super cold here in Vancouver.. I just feel like it’d great if I can make something warm and yummy *for my self at least* and sooo.. I watched her video, bought the ingredients.. and finnaly made my own yukgaejang.

Apparently yukgaejang itself is “a variety of gomguk, or thick soup, which was formerly served in Korean royal court cuisine. It is believed to be healthful and is popular due to its hot and spicy nature” (wikipedia). I tink it IS super healthy since it’s all veggies and just some tiny bits of meat in it! =) And I also agree that it’s really good to be served in chilly days..

For The recipe *and other recipes* you can go to http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yukgaejang

Now.. here comes ‘yukgaejang making pictorial‘ kkk–

The Ingredients
Dried Toran
All Ready!
I'm Soaking extra for bibimbap =)
My creation!! hahaha

(will post in a few minutes.. camera MIA..hahaha)

Now some notes I took while making yukgaejang

– You really have to boil the gosari and be patient! or else not only it will still have some sort of a strong smell. It will be hard that you can’t chew.

– I bought Toran *instead of celery* and I could only find the dried ones.. all you need to do is soak it in warm water for about 30 mins

– as you know all dried food will expand if soaked.. so soak only half of what you think you’ll need out of the dried ones.

Final Verdict: I like it. But it’s so complicated that I would rather go to a Korean restaurant and order it. One reason is because you have to soak the toran for at least one night before you make the yukgaejang. An another reason that you need time and patience since you have to be attentive and can not be forgetful of the simmering soup on the stove *knock on wood you’ll burn everything if you leave it away and forget about it*. By the way, Ap Gu Jung in downtown Vancouver and Wang Ga Ma in Lougheed have good yukgaejangs!