Friday, June 1, 2007

ECF: Korean feast

Korean dinner
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk
Last weekend, The Sweetie wanted to try a new recipe for bulgogi (Korean marinated BBQ beef). He wanted to make it really special so he made seasoned spinach, pickled cucumber and daikon radish, and we bought kimchee. It was so good, we made it again that weekend and invited friends over.

We ended up with 8 side salads (I'm not sure what the Korean term for these are) - these are usually cold but not always, served in a small dish but communal, and are meant to be eaten as little bites. The number of dishes, I've heard, speaks to the fanciness of the occasion. Some are kimchee (fermented spicy salads, often but not always involving cabbage). The most famous kimchee is won bok, which we can find in our local stores premade in jars, but the quality of it varies by the batch. There are other kinds, too.

Our table was big so I made two sets of the dishes. In the near group, clockwise from the left:

  • Water kimchee- white turnip and napa cabbage, in individual ramekins since you dip your spoon in
  • Sesame mung bean sprouts - these were from a can, but surprisingly good and crunchy. We seasoned them with sesame seeds, sesame oil, and green onion.
  • Cucumber salad - lightly seasoned with salt, sugar, and vinegar. This was better the first time we made it - I might not have added enough salt.
  • Seaweed salad - from the fishmonger. It was so good!
  • Daikon radish and carrot "noodles". This is a common dish in Korea, although our noodles didn't marinate long enough to get really soft.
  • Seasoned spinach
  • Daikon radish kimchee - we made this ourselves, approximating Korean hot pepper powder with 1/2 cayenne, 1/2 paprika. It was really good; next time we'll cut it into larger dice.
  • Won bok - from a jar. We've had better.

The two small dishes to the right next to the lettuce were sliced garlic and sam jang, a sauce made from miso paste, soybean paste, garlic, and sesame oil. It is so good! I didn't have soybean paste so I just used some extra miso and it was pretty close. These are garnish for making the bulgogi "sandwich" - you wrap it in lettuce, with or without rice, salad, or whatever, and eat it, kind of like a Thai lettuce wrap.

We set out rice bowls (we mixed dried seaweed into the rice when we made it- it was very pretty) at each place, and Korean steel chopsticks and spoons, water kimchee and a plate (this was a bit Western of us, I know).

We also had chapchae, or glass noodles with vegetables. It's super easy - you stir fry the veggies and garlic, and toss it with the noodles with sesame oil. And of course the BBQ beef - sorry I forgot to take a picture. We were too excited to eat!

The best part is we had some left over and got to have bibimbap for dinner a couple of days later:


Bibimbap is a rice bowl with all of the little bits of vegetable arranged on top (sometimes meat - I sliced up some of the bulgogi), and topped with a fried egg with a runny yolk. You then break up the egg and top it with hot sauce (we used Sriracha - it's a pretty good substitute for Korean chile paste) and stir it up.

[There is another kind they serve where they heat the bowl on the stove (over flame!) and crack a raw egg into it - then you stir it to cook the egg against the sides of the bowl. That is my favorite. But you need clay bowls to heat it like that, and holders for the bowls to not burn the table.]

Starting today, In Sheep's Clothing in Davis, CA, is liquidating. I'm sad, because it's the place I learned to knit, but Molly is moving on to another career and so the shop is closing. Please stop by to say 'bye and buy stuff.

Also, I'm heading to Boston next week and I plan to stop by the WWKIP day. Do you think I'll see Grumperina? Or be seen by the Subway Knitter?

If you are a knitblogger and want to meet up, email me (today...sorry about the late notice). I'll have my MOO cards on me!

This also means the blog is also taking a vacation. I'll see you on the other side!


FemiKnitMafia said...

1) I'm coming to your house for dinner tonight.

2) Absolutely meet me while you're in Boston. Let's chat more via email.

Catherine said...

oooh I'm in Boston too! Sadly I will be busy on WWKIP day but if you do get a group together for another day, let me know!

Judy G. said...

And I thought I was adventurous buying hazelnut oil...

Debby said...

Will you be near NYC at all? I'm half-way between Boston and NYC, but will be in NYC next weekend for GYGIG. If you will be there, let me know and we can try to meet!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Oh my gosh, now I'm so hungry ... I've got to go have breakfast now. See you next week in Boston. ;-)

Macoco said...

Oh man - I would have loved to do that event but I'll be out of town for work.