It’s our last post for Korea week, and it’s been so much fun. I’d love to keep going, but we have to move on to another country. Luckily, we are going out with a bang, with this last Korean dish, ramyun.
Ddeokbokki is one of those meals that hits every note just right. Originally a royal court dish and now commonly sold by street vendors across South Korea, this bright red meal of rice and fish cakes with scallions is all glutinous starch with a spicy-sweet kick and a garlic high-note.
Ddeokbokki is perfect for this bitingly cold week: impossibly easy to prepare and on the table in five minutes flat. While I’ve made it before, tonight I enlisted the help of K-Pop group Dalmatian, whose truly adorable video will have you cooking this dish like a pro in no time.
Click through to watch their video for “Pretty Boy Ddeokbokki.”
This Bulgogi, or BBQ beef, recipe was so easy, I went back to read it twice in case I missed something. The meat had a perfect balance of sweet and salty. Two thumbs up from all kids and adults in my house!
We had some beef shanks in the fridge and this dish sounded perfect for a cold February night. It’s meant to be a side dish but could easily be a whole meal with rice and kimchi.
Braised in a sweet soy based beef stock, the beef should easily fall apart. We used a pressure cooker to shorten the total time to an hour.
Click through for recipe
Korea week is particularly exciting for me, since I am unabashedly obsessed with Korean dramas, and everything in them, particularly the food. As a matter of fact, food was what got me into Kdramas in the first place, since many of them are centered around cooking and eating. Some are set in restaurants (like my gateway drama, Pasta) or coffee shops (Coffee Prince, anyone?), but in many dramas, people are just eating all the time (Let’s Eat, I’m looking at you). Want to learn more? Read on!
Kimchi Jjigae is luscious, fatty, tart, tangy, chewy, meaty, salty, and satisfying. In a word: delicious.
Homemade dumplings are a labor of love: best made on a long, relaxed weekend afternoon while chatting with old friends. So what was I doing making them, alone, at 7:00 in the evening on a weeknight? Call me crazy, call me hungry, call me dedicated to the Food Explorer cause. The most important lesson here? It was worth the effort.
Bibim naengmyeon is a startlingly fresh, chilled noodle salad with a strong vinegar tang and the umami bite of fermented chili paste (gochujang). All efforts to the contrary, I can’t pronounce naengmyeon correctly, but I can say that it’s been one of my lunch staples for years.
It’s difficult to find a definitive recipe for this dish. As long as the key ingredients are there – extra soft tofu and a spicy red paste called gochujang, both simmered in an anchovy broth – you’re good. You can add pretty much anything after that. We used beef, kimchi and Chinese broccoli. served over rice, it definitely warmed us up on a frigid winter night.
Click through to see more photos and recipes