Korean Style Sliders

Holy poopsticks! This one’s a winner. Seriously. Big time. No joke. Good lord.

We originally planned on having fish tonight for dinner. But as we were meandering about town with the dog, I began blabbing, as per the usual, about meal ideas. I typically ask my husband repeatedly throughout the day what we should eat for dinner. We’re both not quite sure why I ask him because no matter what, I end up deciding in the end. Usually the decision has nothing to do what we initially planned on eating but it always turns out to be good. I guess even though I ask him what we should eat, I’m pretty much having a conversation to myself all day about it.

As we walked under the underpass, the idea came to fruition: a Korean inspired burger. How had I not thought of this before? Well, I probably did but knowing my brain, I go through hundreds of ideas throughout the day, continuously forgetting about one after the other.

Radish. Chili paste. Soy sauce. These were just a few of the things that popped into my head on what to add to the burger. The patty recipe was already done; I ripped it off my dad’s recipe for these AMAZING beef patties he makes. After we had them during our trip up to New Jersey this past Christmas, my husband repeatedly asked if I could make them. Did I oblige right away? No. Should I have? Maybe. Am I glad I finally made them? Yes.

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There’s a ton of topping ideas I can think of at the moment: garlic aioli, kimchi, green onions, some type of sesame oil infused sauce, etc. This is an awesome way to totally customize the food per the diner. Today, I decided to make a garlic, mayo, ketchup, chili paste mixture. It was seriously good. BIG TIP: obviously, raw garlic is pretty potent and unless you don’t plan on speaking for several hours after dinner, you need a way to tone it down. I didn’t want to cook the garlic, mostly because I felt lazy. But I thought I had heard about “roasting” garlic in the microwave so I tried it. It initially sounded like WWII in the microwave but it actually worked! Take a few cloves of garlic (skinned), cut onto pieces, wrap it up in a paper towel and zap it for about 20 seconds at a time until it’s soft. Weird technique, but it works. Dice up the garlic, mix with some mayo, ketchup, and chili paste. It’s pretty damn good.

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Before I go onto the recipe, let me address one last thing: grind your own beef. Seriously. I’ve never liked buying ground beef. It’s chewy, it’s rubbery, it’s watery, and overall, it’s just gross. Well, I’m going to guess you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have a meat grinder, idiot.” Well, ya don’t need one, idiot. All you need is a food processor. Take some lean meat (I prefer top round) and grind away. You’ll be surprised how much better the beef will taste when you grind it up at home.

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Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
1 pound lean beef, ground up with food processor
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
4-5 stalks green onion
1 egg
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
ground pepper

1. Grind up your beef, onion, and garlic using a food processor. Place into a big bowl.

2. Dice your green onions and add to the bowl.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand.

4. Cook/grill your burger to your liking.

5. Assemble on your bun with toppings of your choice.

 

Toppings that I used:
(1) Pickled radish (see: https://kimchiandkogi.com/2014/07/09/daikon-radish-salad/)
(2) Ketchup and sriracha combo
(3) Grilled onion
(4) Lettuce

Toppings I can also suggest:
(1) Hoisin sauce
(2) Kimchi
(3) Fried egg
(4) Grilled scallions

Enjoy!

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Kimchi Fried Rice

It’s Saturday. The day where I take the time to make the foods I want to eat. Today was the day for kimchi fried rice. Every Korean child grew up eating this (at least, I hope). It’s salty, it’s savory, it’s just everything you want for an easy lunch. The best part is the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. It’s crunchy and pretty much what I look forward to the most.

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This is also a great dish to add in pretty much whatever you want. You want more onions? You got it. Want to make it super spicy? Go right ahead. But today’s twist was: BACON. I’ve seen Spam used more commonly as a meat component to this dish. But to be honest…Spam scares me. It comes in a can that I feel like could sit around for decades and never go bad. Just not my cup of tea. But! The bacon in this was perfect. It added a nice fat flavor to the tangy kimchi, which matched perfectly with the fried egg.

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If you don’t have a cast iron pan, that’s fine…but I still suggest you go buy one. They are INCREDIBLY useful for any type of cooking. It was great for this dish because (1) cast iron pans retain their heat very well compared to their counterpart standard frying pans (2) it creates the nice layer of crunchy rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. If you have a bottle of kimchi sitting around, make this for an easy lunch!

Serves 2

Time: 35 minutes (20 minutes for cooking the rice)

Ingredients:
1.5 – 2 cups of cooked rice
2 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
1/4 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced kimchi
1/3 cup kimchi juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon butter
plenty of olive oil (or any cooking oil)
1 fried egg
1 cast iron pan

1. Heat up your pan over medium high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil.
2. Add the bacon and onions and cook until onions are translucent.
3. Add the rice, garlic, and butter. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Add your kimchi and stir.
5. Add your kimchi juice and sesame oil. Continue to stir the rice as it binds with the ingredients for about 3 minutes.
6. Lower the heat and allow the rice on the bottom to become crunchy.
7. Serve with a fried egg. Enjoy!

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Chicken “Porridge”

Today was hangover central. We don’t normally go out much anymore but I’ve come to one conclusion: anytime there is sake involved, sobriety is over for the night.

So with hangovers comes the need to have food that you won’t projectile vomit immediately. I prefer soups and spicy foods, while many others eat greasy food. Well….we did both today. Greasy pizza at Sam’s Club, pho, and now a hot porridge.

Growing up, there were a handful of Korean dishes that I still crave today. There was kimchi fried rice, dduk-kook (rice cake soup), kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew)…I can go on for a while. But there was one dish that my mom used to make that I could eat bowls of without ever getting sick of it: chicken porridge.

Now, the reason I put quotation marks around the “porridge” in my title for this post is because I just didn’t have the energy to find short grain rice. So instead of the standard thick and sticky porridge, we ended up with a porridge that was a bit more soupy. But it was amazing, nonetheless.

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One other thing I changed was that traditionally, I have known to just put salt and pepper (to your tasting) when the porridge is ready to eat. But today, I made a simple soy sauce-sesame oil sauce that tasted AMAZING when it was mixed into the porridge.

This recipe is great for a cold winter day…although it’s not cold here in Pensacola. It was 70 degrees today and humid. The A.C. had to be turned on…I’ll stop there.

Time: 2 hours

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Porridge:
2 cornish hens, defrosted and cleaned
1 onion, halved
1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
4 stalks of scallion, cut into thirds
1 big knob of ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
1.5 cups rice, cleaned and soaked in water for about 1 hour
water

Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 stalk scallion, diced

1. Place your chickens, garlic, onion, scallions, and ginger into a large pot. Add enough water to cover the chickens. (I would say I put about 3 quarts of water)

2. Bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow to boil for 1 hour. Skim off any gunk on top in the mean time.

4. Remove your chickens carefully and take off all of the flesh (carefully). I discarded the skin at this point. I also removed most of the other ingredients (onions, garlic, etc.) but it is entirely up to your preference of how much you want to remove.

5. Add the rice to the pot and add in the chicken meat. Bring to a boil.

6. Allow the porridge to boil until the rice is done cooking.

7. For the sauce, combine all ingredients.

8. Serve the porridge with the sauce and enjoy! You can top off the porridge with fresh ground pepper and fresh scallions.

As for the rice, if you cannot access short grain rice, using long grain (like I did) is sufficient. But if possible, get the correct rice to achieve the nice porridge texture.

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Mung Bean Pancake

First of all, happy holidays and a happy New Year! It’s been a busy last few weeks. School went on break for the holidays and then we drove up to New Jersey. Yes, Florida to New Jersey. It was a long trek but very much worth it. We walked all over NYC, went to a Brooklyn Nets game, ate doughnuts, ate dim sum, ate prime rib roast, ate…well, we just ate. A LOT. And we brought this little brat:

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My favorite thing about going back to New Jersey is being able to eat homemade Korean food endlessly. From soups to noodles to kimchi, I just can’t get enough of it. One of my absolute favorite foods growing up was the mung bean pancake, or as we say bin dae dduk. It’s a very traditional Korean dish that you can see being sold by street vendors all over the busy parts of Seoul. Filled with vegetables and some pork, this pancake is addicting. It’s like the crack of Korean pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, the name “mung bean pancake” is not at all appealing, I know. But my husband had these for the first time this past Christmas and boy, was he excited.

But first, let me cover the basics of this recipe. I’m sure you’re used to seeing mung bean sprouts at the store but I am going to assume the actual mung bean is not something you have really ever shopped for. It’s the mung bean sprout…in seed form! I was lucky enough to find it at my local Asian market but I also have seen it in organic food stores as well. Make sure to get the ones that are split already since the most tasking part is getting as many of the green skins off of the beans as possible.

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Other than the mung beans themselves, this recipe calls for really basic ingredients. Serve it with onions in soy sauce and vinegar and you’ll be happy as a clam.

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Makes about 10-12 medium sized pancakes
Ingredients:

1-1.5 cups of split mung beans (soaked overnight in water)
1 cup mung bean sprouts, blanched and squeezed out
1/2 cup chopped kimchi (the older, the better)
1/2 cup julienned pork (I used pork loin)
4-5 stalks of green onion, julienned thinly

1. You must soak the beans overnight; this will soften the beans as well as allow the green skins to come off.
2. Once your beans have soaked, start massaging the beans to get as many of the green skins off as possible. As you do this, swish the beans around with the hand and pour out the water. The skins will float out. Continue to add water and repeat this process until you are left with mostly “peeled” beans. Set aside.
3. Blanch your bean sprouts, meaning boil them in water for about 2-3 minutes. Then, rinse them with cold water and squeegee the water out of them. Put into a large mixing bowl.
4. Rinse your kimchi with water to get rid of the pepper flakes and juices. Chop roughly.
5. Add your green onion, pork, and chopped kimchi to the large mixing bowl.
6. In a high speed blender, blend your mung beans with a bit of water. I added about 1/2 cup but essentially, you want it to be relatively fluid like a thick soup. Add water if needed.
7. Mix together the blended beans and the ingredients in the mixing bowl. (See photo above)
8. Heat up a large frying pan over medium high heat and add plenty of olive oil. (Make sure to have ample oil every time you ladle more pancake mixture in)
9. Ladle your pancake mixture and flatten the pancakes as much as possible. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
10. Enjoy with soy sauce, vinegar, and diced onion!

One of the biggest tips is to slightly undercook the pancakes, meaning just to a light golden color. I like these pancakes best when they are reheated so by undercooking the pancakes, you can fry them back up to a nice golden color to eat.

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Spicy Pork Belly

Oh god. OH dear god. Oh oh lord.

It’s taken a while to get used to being back in Pensacola…the land of Walmart’s and rednecks. We went to New Orleans last weekend for Halloween and dressed up as Walter and Lebowski from…well The Big Lebowski. Man, New Orleans is a weird place. This was our 4th (maybe 5th?) time there and it just gets weirder every time. We saw all sorts of costumes…mostly Wayne’s World, Dexter, and some woman who was completely naked but painted…so that apparently made it ok.

I love  Sundays. It’s the day of actual rest after my Saturday, which usually consists of heavy sleeping and napping. Trying to teach students how fractions, coordinates, variables, decimals, etc., is exhausting…it’s also my recharge day of everything. I have time to cook and time to realize that my job is far better than sitting in a cubicle working for a boss.

Today we did our crazy day of shopping and boy, was it a successful one. While meandering Publix (supermarket of Florida), we stumbled upon the pork section. And we saw it. We saw pork belly and all of a sudden, the rest of the market or world didn’t exist. I did my quick ocular pat down of the sliced pork belly: did it have white fat? was it nice and pink? how thick is it? 3 out of the 5 packages passed the test and now, it will end up in our bellies in a matter of hours.

Be very careful when buying your pork. I have seen terrible quality packages of pork belly before: yellow fat, discolored flesh, too much fat. You want the fat to be really white, flesh to be super pink, and a nice layering of fat versus flesh.

Pork belly is truly an underrated cut of meat. Yes, I know, bacon is pork belly, and yes bacon is amazing. But there’s a lot more to pork belly than just bacon. In Korea, pork belly is barbequed over hot coals and the results are always mind blowing. The fat itself is like pork butter. The meat is just…delectable. Ok, now I’m 2 beers in and I’m going to talk forever. Pork belly is really special. If it’s prepared correctly, it is insanely flavorful and addicting. The fat, the meat, the flavors, are irresistible. Pork belly is so good that it’s great by just dipping it in salt and pepper.

There’s two ways I prefer to eat my pork belly: marinated and un-marinated dipped in sesame oil, pepper, and salt. The marinated version is to die for: the combination of red chili paste, brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil searing over hot coals is mouthwatering. I prefer to cook my pork belly very thoroughly for a couple reasons. First, my stomach can’t handle a whole ton of pork fat so I try to render it out as much as possible. Second, allowing the pork belly to cook longer allows all the flavors to really caramelize and also creates a really nice texture in the pork belly.
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If you look in the photo above, I intended to make another marinade consisting of miso and rice wine vinegar with the pork belly. Then I remembered “Portion control” and decided not to make even more pork belly. But, if you have enough eaters and pork belly, try the miso version out as well.

Another underrated and also relatively unknown ingredient that I think should be used more often is the Korean chili paste. Fermented, spicy, sweet, and tangy, it adds loads of flavor to anything. I always add it to my barbeque, whether it’s pulled pork or ribs. The spiciness is subtle but packed with flavor from the fermentation of the paste. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it now. You will never live without it ever again.

If you can find this cut of pork, PLEASE try this. You won’t regret it. If you can’t find pork belly, I would definitely substitute any cut of pork with a bit of fat in it. And please try Korean chili paste. If you haven’t had an extensive experience with Korean food, this is the place to start.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of sliced pork belly (I used strips that were about 1/2″ thick)
1/2 cup Korean red chili paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6-8 cloves of garlic, diced finely

1. Place your pork belly into a large mixing bowl. If you bought really long strips, I would suggest cutting them in half. Ours were only about 6 inches long.
2. Add in remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until each piece of pork belly is coated.
3. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
4. Grill thoroughly until most of the fat has dripped off. However, it is entirely up to your preference in how well done you want your pork.

Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!

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Kimchi Noodles

Oh, this has to be one of my most favorite dishes my mom used to make me. I miss her cooking dearly.

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This simple and easy-to-make dish is full of flavor. But it is not for the faint of heart. If you’re familiar with kimchi, it can be overwhelming to eat a dish that revolves completely around it. “Be adventurous,” says your inner self. It’s also a weird concept (according to my fiancé) to eat cold noodles. Is it? I think it’s ingenious. Why eat hot noodles on a hot day?

These noodles are apparently called wheat flour noodles. I’ve just always known them as the super-thin-noodles-with-the-black-band-around-them. I think in Korean they’re called “somyeon.”

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If it’s a hot summer day for you and you have plenty of kimchi on hand, you won’t be sorry making this.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 people

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped kimchi
1/4 cup kimchi juice (ew?)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 sheet nori, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon sugar
2 servings of thin Korean wheat flour noodles, boiled and chilled
1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber

1. Combine all ingredients except nori in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
2. Place into a serving bowl and top with nori.
3. Yes, that’s really it!

I told you this dish was easy to make.

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King Mandu!

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Oh my GOD. I DID IT. This has to be one of my all time favorite Korean food, 왕만두. It essentially is a steam pork bun but it’s called “King” since they are so freakishly large. Many times, it’s referred to as Wang Mandu (cue innapropriosity) but I prefer not to call them that.

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It’s a savory, garlicky, juicy filling inside a puffy and chewy outer “bun.” This was was far easier to make than I thought it was going to be. With very basic ingredients, you’ll be eating this in no time!

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Prep time: 2 hours

Servings: 10 large buns

Ingredients:

Bun:

1 cup warm water (hot enough that you can stick your finger in but want to take it out)
1 packet yeast (approx. 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2-3 cups all purpose flour

1. Place all ingredients except flour in a large bowl. Mix well. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Take 2 cups of flour and mix into above bowl of ingredients.
3. As you mix, add more flour until dough starts pulling off from the sides and is not sticky.
4. Start kneading your dough on a clean surface, adding more flour as needed. Knead for 5 minutes.
5. Place in a bowl and cover with a towel or saran wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
6. After 1 hour, knead your dough for 1 minute. Place back in bowl again for 30 minutes and begin making your filling.

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Filling:

1 pound fresh ground pork
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 cup finely chopped napa cabbage
2 stalks scallion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
kosher salt

1. Take your chopped onion, cabbage, garlic, and scallions and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt and mix. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Take your ground pork and in a bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and ground pepper.
3. With your hand (deal with it), mix in one direction (I go clockwise) for 1 minute. The meat will bind together well.
4. Squeeze excess water out of your vegetables that have been covered in kosher salt. Place the squeezed vegetables in the bowl with pork.
5. Mix again (in the same direction) to combine thoroughly.

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Bun assembly:

1. Cut your dough into tennis ball sized pieces.
2. With a rolling pin, roll out your dough into a circle, about 7 inches wide.
3. Place 3 tablespoons of filling in the center and start pinching the edges together. Make sure it is completely sealed.
4. In a steamer, place a couple cups of water and on the rack, cover it with parchment paper (or use cupcake liners).
5. Place buns on the paper; make sure they are placed at least 1 inch apart. They will expand a LOT while cooking. I made that mistake today..
6. Let the buns sit (before steaming) for 20 minutes.
7. After 20 minutes, start steaming the buns over medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
8. Enjoy with soy sauce!

Extras:

1. I would definitely add fresh ground ginger to the filling; todays selection of ginger at Walmart looked like little pieces of dried cat poop.
2. You can definitely add some spice to this, using something like chili oil in the filling.
3. Any other vegetable would taste great in the filling, such as mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, mungbean sprouts, etc.

 

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They aren’t the prettiest things in the world. Honestly, they kind of look like used baby diapers. And do make you have garlic breath but it’s worth it. No one will want to talk to you but at least you have a steamed pork bun to eat.

 

Easy Peasy Kimchi

Yes, I made kimchi. Kimchee, kimchi, whatever. You still know what I’m talking about. For newbies, this may seem terrifying. It’s a pickled side dish that is normal to have on the dinner table as ketchup is here in America. For semi-newbies, I’m going to assume you’ve had a bad experience trying kimchi. But I’m also going to assume you ate at some mediocre Korean restaurant that never fails to put terrible kimchi on the table. This stuff below is good. Really good.

Now, don’t take this to be the traditional route for making this renowned Korean side dish. For years, I watched my mom make it but I have absolutely no desire to put in that much effort, packing the final product into jars bigger than my head. Considering we find it hard enough to go through two mason jars of kimchi in our household, I figured out a simple and easy way to make kimchi. This version only has the daikon radish, no napa cabbage.

I’ve never liked store made kimchi. Usually, it’s far too sweet or has way too much garlic (gasp, is too much garlic a real thing?). When I eat kimchi, I actually want to taste the radish and cabbage. I mean, without those ingredients, what is kimchi?

Prior to moving to Pensacola, I never would have thought I would have to make my own kimchi. It just never crossed my mind. In our only “asian” market here in Pensacola, they do sell jars of it. But I have a strong feeling those jars have been sitting there for a wee bit too long by the looks of it. Dark and mysterious looking = not worth trying. So with that, I had to make my own. The first few times were, well, terrible. But after experimenting for the past year, this is an easy and full proof way to make fresh kimchi.

Ingredients:

ingredient

Take a look at this salted fermented shrimp. The smell is astounding. Astoundingly bad. Little black beady eyes staring back at you. That one shrimp you focus on is swimming among thousands of it’s comrades. I always wonder how they even get this many tiny shrimp. Is there some magical little worker with tiny little fingers separating them out? Where do they come from? Why did someone decide fermenting tiny shrimp was a good idea?

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BUT it adds great flavor to the kimchi. If you can’t imagine putting these little eyed creatures in your batch, then skip it. But you need to put in the fish sauce at least. Equally as pungent but not equally strange looking.

First: dice your radish into 1 inch cubes. Place in a bowl and sprinkle coarse salt all over the pieces. This starts the pickling process and you will see after 15-20 minutes that water will start to draw out of the radishes. 4

Second: This (below) is rice flour and water. I don’t really know what this does for the kimchi, but in the midst of making up my own kimchi recipe, I vividly remembered how I used to help my mom by stirring this like crazy.

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Take about 1/3 cup and 1 cup water and boil over medium heat. It will become a opaque paste once boiled. Once it reaches this paste stage, turn it off and let cool.

Third: Check on your radish. They should be giving out more and more water, as you can see below.

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Fourth: to your cooled rice flour paste, add 1/2 cup chili flakes, 1 teaspoon salted shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, 2 cloves crushed garlic, and some crushed ginger. Mix.

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Fifth: take your radish and drain out any excess water that has come out. To this, add your chili paste mix, sliced green onions, and chopped Chinese chives. Mix.

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Sixth: lightly pack your mixture into mason jars (or whatever jar you have). With the excess paste left on your bowl, take a few tablespoons of water and mix it together. Add this to your jars.

Seventh: close your jars, clean them up, and let them sit out of the refrigerator for at least 1 day. Then, move to the refrigerator.

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This will be ready to eat in a matter of days. I prefer to eat kimchi when it is more fresh. Enjoy!

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Legendary Korean BBQ Ribs

It is time. It is indeed time to share the lengen -wait for it- dary recipe for Korean barbecue ribs. Every time I’ve asked someone what their favorite Korean dish is, it always is “Korean barbecue.” Every time I have people over for a barbecue, it is the first thing to be devoured as if it never existed in the first place.

Korean barbecue is like no other. It has a plethora of sweet and savory flavors, with ingredients such as garlic (of course), mirin, to even pear. I find the most important flavor to come from sesame oil, a highly underrated oil in the culinary world.

After visiting family in Vancouver and sharing each others’ recipes, I learned the true technique of the beloved Korean barbecue ribs from my aunt (I owe all of this knowledge to her) that apparently many restaurants use. I’ve made these plenty of times before (minus the use of pear), but I found mine tended to uncontrollably catch on fire over the hot coals, due to the giant chunks of garlic and onion stuck the meat. This version leaves the ribs flavorful and tender, without questionable black chunks embedded into your meat.

This specific cut of ribs can either be really easy to find or incredibly difficult. The short rib is always found in Korean markets; however, you can most likely find them in random markets. I know, that’s incredibly specific and helpful. Living in Pensacola, in the land of hillbillies and rednecks, I was (somehow) able to find this cut at Sam’s Club (Walmart’s version of Costco. Yes, we have become Walmart people). The rib meat is critical for this dish; steak can be used as a substitute but I suggest searching high and low for the proper cut. One of the most important components of this dish is the specific texture of the short ribs.

When picking out your ribs, make sure the meat is well marbled. This area of the cow tends to be fatty so be careful not to choose a pack that is loaded with too much fat.

This recipe is the perfect amount for two people. Or one. If you dare.

Ingredients:

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First: take your ribs and soak them in cold water for an hour (while draining and replacing the water every 15 minutes or so). This bleeds out the ribs, making them extremely soft. I know, this looks like a gruesome discovery of human body parts in a sink, but I promise, this technique works and is essential.

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Second: as the ribs are soaking, start your preparation for the marinade. Take 3/4 of a whole onion, 1 whole pear (whichever type of pear you can find), 6 cloves of garlic, and about 1 cup of water and either blend or put it in the food processor. Once liquified, pour into a sieve over a large bowl and drain out the liquid. Throw away the solids.

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Third: mix into the liquid about 3/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of sesame oil, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Add ground pepper. Mix. Oh, and if you have mirin on hand, put about 1/4 cup of that in. I honestly, completely forgot.

Fourth: take out your ribs and run them under cold water, one by one. While doing this, try to get rid of as much residue off of the meat and bones. A lot of this residue will come off during soaking as well. You will also see a great difference from when you first opened the package to now. It will have gone from a healthy red to a ghastly pale red.

Fifth: take each rib and with the back of a knife, start tenderizing the meat. Place these on a rack and let sit for 30 minutes.

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Sixth: in a deep baking dish or container, place these ribs and pour the marinade in parts, layer after layer. Make sure all of the ribs are completely covered with the marinade. Let sit for a few hours and they’ll be ready to be fired up.

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Extras: you can use white sugar instead of brown sugar in the marinade. Obviously, you can also adjust the amount of garlic and onion, but in all honesty, this should be the perfect amount. If you feel the need to change it though, how dare you?