Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Kitchen Adventure....

Well, I've been talking about cooking Korean food at home since... I don't know... maybe August... but I finally just got around to doing it for the first time tonight (and no, I'm no including cheese ramyon in that). I was rather inspired by reading Crazy Korean Cooking . I first decided to make 파전 (p'ajeon: scallion pancake), but then I decided to make some 참치찌개 to go with it while I was actually in my kitchen.

I used the recipe from Crazy Korean Cooking as a base, but then added my own ingredients to try to eat what I'm used to eating at my favorite little kimbab restaurant (which serves a lot more than just kimbab).

First I went and and bought some tuna... They have special tuna just for making jjigae.... luckily I noticed the English writing... I was just kind of staring at the 20 different kinds of tuna and had no idea what to buy...
I fried up the tuna for a few minutes along with some green chili peppers. This is going to be spicy!!
Here's my Kimchi and peppers. I only added in two peppers... all that kimchi should be enough spice... I did throw in that whole bag of kimchi though.

Here's my tofu and my ddok (rice cake in the bag there). Threw those in too, but I think next time I won't throw them in so soon. Didn't seem to matter too much... Oh, and tofu is REALLY cheap. That whole box there was 400 won (30 cents?) The rice cakes were about 2,000 won ($1.50USD?)

Threw all that (not all the rice cakes though) into the pot with the tuna and chilies. Added two and a half cups of water and let it boil.

While that was cooking, I made some p'ajeon. P'ageon is Korean scallion pancake. Is that a scallion in the photo? It looks huge.. is it a leek or something? Anyway... whatever it is, I cooked it up and made a pancake with it. It tasted right. I added one cup of flour, one cup of water, two eggs and a pinch of salt. Mix it together like you would any pancake batter. I added the onion to the batter, but I wonder if it's better to add it to the batter once it's in the pan. Oh, I also threw in another green chili, very finely chopped. Got to give it some spice!

It took a few tries to get it to look like what you see here. The hardest part was getting it to cook all the way through. Though, I'm infamous for letting that happen to breakfast pancakes too. Not that I've cooked those in 10 years either though...

I let the jjigae simmer for a little while while I fixed everything else up.

Anyway, here's the final product! Dip the p'ajeon in the soy sauce for more enjoyment and deliciousness. You'll maybe note the absence of rice... I wanted rice.. I really wanted rice... but I only have one pot for soup and rice... and since my jjigae was in the soup pot, I had no pot to make my rice in.... got to find a better solution to that problem.....

Here's my own recipe for everything I made... note* this is my first time making it, so you can choose to trust my recipe if you want, but it hasn't been tested for generations or anything....

Chamchi Jjigae (tuna stew)
  • 1-2 cans of tuna (preferably jjigae tuna, if available)
  • Small bag of kimchi aprox 500 g
  • Small container of tofu
  • ddok (Korean rice cake, preferably the flat round kind for soup) if available and desired
  • Chili peppers 1-4 depending on how spicy you like it. If you are saving for leftovers, this will make your jjigae much spicier in the following days.
  • Any vegetables you like (mushrooms, potatoes, onions, zucchini are all good options)
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Fry tuna for 5 minutes in the bottom of the pan with oil.
Add kimchi and fry for another 5 minutes or so.
Add water, chilies, vegetables and let boil.
Add tofu and ddok and let simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Consistency should be quite thick. This is really more of a stew than a soup. This is my favorite Korean food, so even if you can't make it yourself, you should try to eat it at your local Korean restaurant. :-)

P'ajeon (Scallion Pancake)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • Chopped scallion
  • 1-2 finely chopped chili peppers (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Mix flour, water and eggs in a bowl and make sure that there are no clumps.
Add chopped scallion to the batter.
Pour batter into frying pan with oil.
Make sure the pancake is thin. Otherwise, it will not cook inside. I found I had better luck with the big ones than with small ones. Use a big pan and make big pancakes... 2 laddelfulls of batter.
Flip your pancake once top is starting to cook, and before it starts to burn on the bottom. (use two spatulas if you have them)
Once both sides are cooked, you can eat and enjoy. Be sure to dip in soy sauce for the best effect.

1 comment: