Lately, I’ve been working on making my own stock and sauce that I can use daily. I know, this sounds time consuming but I can honestly say that it may be worth the time if you make your own banchan (side dishes) or do a lot of Korean cooking at home. By learning to cook using homemade stocks and sauces, you can easily add a depth of flavor without adding too much seasoning. Let’s just say the amount of sugar, salt and soy sauce that was being added to deepen the flavors seemed…well, bit alarming. The idea of it came from this one Korean cooking expert and recipe developer named Shim Young Soon (심영순). Now in her late 70s, she’s been developing recipes and teaching Korean home-cooking for past four decades in Korea. She is currently on Korean cooking battle show called Taste of Korea (한식대첩) as part of judges panel and still actively promoting the art and culture of Korean food. The sweet and savory sauce recipe is from Ms. Shim and it has changed the way I cook and eat around here. I hope it comes in handy for you as well.
SEAFOOD STOCK (멸치다시육수) – yields about 2 cups
1 Seafood Tea Bag (Kelp, Dried Anchovies, Dried Shrimp or fish), 2 cups Water, 1/4 Onion, 1 Green onion head/roots.
You can buy a tea bag with dried seafood to make a batch of seafood stock. I like to add a 1/4 onion and green onion head/roots to make the stock less fishy and more flavorful. You can boil water with the tea bag in cold water and take it out and off heat as soon as it starts to boil. You can reuse the tea bag up to 2-3 times if stored in the freezer. Stock will last in the fridge good 2-3 weeks.
SHIM’S SWEET SAUCE (심미즙) – yields about 1 cup
Asian pear, Korean radish, onion, garlic, ginger
All above ingredients are based on 100g except for ginger 5g. / Cut all ingredients in small chunks and throw it in a blender. Grating the pear beforehand will help blending easier as it will add some liquid. / Once everything is nicely blended like a smoothie, squeeze the juice out by using a hemp cloth or a sifter. Remnants from juicing are too good to waste so I usually use them to make kimchi paste!
SHIM’S SAVORY SAUCE (심미장) – yields about 2 cups
soy sauce, sugar, shim’s sweet sauce, dried red chili pepper, perilla leaves, beef, ginger, red wine, honey
Soy sauce (2 cup), sugar (1/2 cup), shim’s sweet sauce (1/4 cup), dried red chili pepper (2), perilla leaves (3), beef (100 g), ginger (2 slices), red wine (1/4 cup), honey (1/2 cup)
Prepare beef stock by boiling the beef chunk in water. Any type of lean beef will work. I usually leave them in cold water for at least 20 min to take out as much blood as possible before boiling. / In a medium pot, add soy sauce, shim’s sweet sauce, ginger slices, dried red chili pepper, perilla leaves and in low heat. Stir occasionally. / Add beef stock including the beef chunk. / Add red wine and honey and stir. / Keep simmering until reduced to approx. 2 cups. / Let it cool down, sift before bottling. / I usually save the beef and chop finely to serve with jook (rice porridge).
Here is everyday Korean banchan using all three sauces above. Enjoy!
BRAISED POTATOES (감자조림)
10 mini yukon potatoes
2 cups seafood stock
2 tbsp shim’s sweet sauce
1 cup shim’s savory sauce
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp butter – optional
Cut and peel potatoes in halves. Rounding the hard edges will keep the potatoes in shape, without falling apart during braising.
Boil potatoes with seafood stock, just enough to par cook them. You can add more water to make sure potatoes are submerged. It should still be hard before adding the sauce. / Add shim’s sweet sauce, savory sauce and boil it until potatoes are fully cooked. / Take it off heat, Add olive oil, butter and honey and toss it around until it’s mixed.