Sunday, May 26, 2013

Creamy Kkakdugi and Potato Salad Recipe

Smooth, creamy textures are an Asian food aesthetic that complement tart, sweet and savory flavors. Make this velvety, smooth potato and fermented radish salad for your next BBQ. It’s made with Yukon potatoes, kkakdugi (fermented Korean radish) and Granny Smith apple. You can use Napa cabbage kimchee as well, but I prefer the crunch and deep flavor of a fine aged radish kimchee. The added benefit to this summer salad is that it’s full of live probiotics... which in theory will help you chow down all that BBQ.

You’ll need:
  • a small and a large mixing bowl
  • a ricer
  • 4 medium Yukon potatoes, peeled, boiled and cubed into 1/2" pieces (approx. 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small Yukon potato for ricing, (approx. 1/2 cup, riced)
  • 1 cup kkakdugi, or Napa cabbage kimchee chopped into fine pieces
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small Spanish onion, chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp kimchee juice (optional)
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar or other sweetener 
  • paprika
  •  salt (optional) and pepper to taste
Make a mayo dressing—in a small bowl rice one boiled potato into mayonnaise. Add ginger, miso, sriracha, garlic powder, kimchee juice and sugar (or other sweetener) and mix well. In a large bowl add cubed potatoes, apple, onion and kkakdugi (or kimchee), add the mayonnaise dressing and mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add salt (optional), pepper and sesame seeds and mix again, adjust flavors to you taste and add more mayo if needed. Refrigerate overnight in a sealed container so that all flavors settle and blend together. Serve cold and dress with minced scallions, a little paprika and more toasted sesame seeds... and enjoy your summer BBQ!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Meatballs Jangjorim Recipe

This is a semi-traditional Korean dish: Meatballs Jangjorim. Jangjorim is cubed flank steak that is slowly braised in soy sauce, onions, ginger, garlic, sugar and kimchee. Instead of steak, I braised meatballs. The key ingredient to this rich, sweet and sour dish is fine aged Napa cabbage kimchee (aka old kimchee). When kimchee has matured it easily breaks down with heat, lending more flavor to cooking than fresh kimchee. The egg noodles are my favorite part of this meal. Here’s a quick ‘n’ easy recipe that’s ready in about 20 minutes.

You’ll need:
  • a large skillet with cover
  • 8 to 10 meatballs, pre-cooked
  • 2 cup egg noodles, pre-cooked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups stock, chicken or veg.
  • 1/2 cups fine-aged kimchee, minced
  • 1/2 mdium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger (approx 1" X 3/4"), sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp currant or all-fruit jelly
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

In a hot skillet add olive oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger, saute until onions clarify. Add stock and kimchee and bring to a boil then add pre-cooked meatballs. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove meatballs and set aside. Reduce the liquid to 2/3 the original amount then add currant jelly and heavy cream. Stir well until the liquid thickens. Toss the pre-cooked egg noodles with fresh basil into the thickened sauce. Return meatballs to the pan and cover. Serve hot with more fresh basil, sesame seeds and grated Parmesan cheese. Eat ‘em while they’re hot!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Korean Fried Chicken for Lunch

Korean fried chicken (Hanguk tongdak) on a hot day? Serve it up with creamy cold potato salad and deep fried cornmeal-crusted kimchee. Summer arrived early in Brooklyn, but it’s worth the hot oil and toil on a humid day such as today. Coming from the hot tropical island of Guam, we islanders have mastered the art of deep frying. There’s are two secrets: getting your fry-oil perfectly hot and getting up early to beat the heat so that you don’t seat into the oil. BTW don’t wear your Sunday bests when you do this, spatter travels far.

The chicken was marinated in grated onion, miso, ginger, garlic and kimchee juice for two hours, then twice-fried in seasoned potato starch; the creamy potato salad was made from mashed and diced boiled Yukons, fermented Korean radish (kkakdugi) and lots and lots of mayonnaise; the deep fried kimchee was egg-battered and rolled in seasoned cornmeal—taken from a fried okra recipe. The only thing missing is a big ol’ sweet iced tea. EAT UP!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Kimchee Braised Meatloaf

Kimchee braised meatloaf on Jasmine rice for lunch warms up this wet, icky May day in Brooklyn! Don’t throw out that juice! I made a braising liquid with old kimchee, soy sauce, chicken stock, onions, butter and a splash of balsamic vinegar, then reduced the liquid to make a thick sauce. When kimchee passes its prime it’s perfect for braising meats and for making hot soups. When heated all the pungence dissipates leaving a tangy broth that’s rich in glutamates, a natural flavor enhancer. It brought this old meatloaf back to life.

A Better Borscht

Here’s a new twist on an old soup—vegan Korean borscht. This borscht is made with red beets, tomatoes and bunhong dongchimi, a non-spicy kimchee made with beets and radish. I made a regular vegan borscht and then blended it with the non-spicy beet & radish kimchee and horseradish. The tangy flavor is as refreshing as the deep magenta color. Take that, Brighton Beach! You don’t have to be Jewish, Korean or vegan to enjoy this cold summer soup. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Baechu Mashed Sweet Potates and Hanguk Ham

This dish is so smoky and good that you wouldn’t believe it’s vegan. I mashed Ruby Red sweet potatoes with minced Napa cabbage kimchee (baechu), toasted coconut, coconut cream and pistachio nuts. But jewel in this crown is my Hanguk Ham—pan seared strips of kimchee that were cured with liquid smoke, and brown sugar; it tastes like fine, cured honey bacon. I crumbled it into the potatoes right before serving.

Powering-up with Kimchee

Pictures don’t do justice. This is what 20 of the 30 lbs. of vegan kimchee looks like. By commercial industrial standards this is small, but by artisanal standards this a large batch. As I proceed in the PowerUp! Business Plan Competition, there are so many holes to fill. I’ve been meeting with Gregory Callander of Pace University, he has been my sage business coach and mentor how is guiding through the many components of a food business. It also helps having many friends in the restaurant and food & beverage trade, but my experience as a food manufacturer is a bit different. So far every question launches another question, but I’ve been advised that’s normal.

My homework this week is sourcing ingredeitns. Although lugging 30lbs of produce from Flushing Queens might seem altruistically artisanal, it’s hard on my knees especially on those rainy wet days. I’m exploring manufacturing space next week in Long Island City, two very important components that are attached to facility are the ability to create quality volume and refrigerated delivery.

At the last PowerUp! marketing class the lecturer, Santos Morales, asked if any of us had our product(s) or service in the public for assessment. I raised my hand to speak along with two others. Although I’ve been making my own vegan kimchee for about eight years, for over a year I’ve been doing tastings and food demonstrations, not just for writing the ePUB cookbook but for exploring what the American market will bear for a fine aged kimchee. Like fine wine, aged meats and sharp cheeses fine aged kimchee has deeper components of long-lasting flavors that are perfect for cooking. I’m happy to report my test market is alive and well and growing.

Meanwhile... back to Queens.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Gastromonic Escargatoire

I’m not a huge fan of escargot, per se. But these delicate Baechu Snails were hot and ready to eat in minutes. Certain foods complement the complexity of a fine-aged kimchee (sharp cheeses, nuts, cured meats, apples... etc.) especially when they’re baked into a pastry crust. These pizza dough roll-ups are stuffed with fine-aged baechu kimchee, prosciutto, Stilton cheese and crushed pistachio. I brushed them with melted butter, crumbled more Stilton and pistachio on top and baked at 425°F for fourteen minutes. If you think these look good, you should taste them, it’s an umami hurricane. I’m working on a gluten free version.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meat-loafing Around

The best part about making a meatloaf is having meatloaf sandwiches for the week. I dressed this hot sandwich up with a Korean aioli that I call gochunnaise. It’s equal parts of mayonnaise and guchuchang, aka Korean chili paste. It makes a great tangy spread with a very mild heat. I even use it in my spiced sweet potato salad... hmmm, now I wish I made potato salad last night.