Cultivate Your Relationship through Food

08 16 16

Banchan-23Photography by Leslie Santarina | SpottedSF

If you know me, I believe in sharing love through food. I actually believe that cooking has brought me closer to my family. I know it’s not easy to put home-cooked meal on the table every night but I knew if I start small like once or twice a week, I would get the hang of it. One of the things that I’ve been thinking a lot about is cultivating my relationship with my husband through food. We don’t share much common interest or hobby and he’s not a foodie either so I noticed that there is less and less opportunity to spent time alone. Date nights are wonderful and having some time to ourselves (kids-free) is so necessary but I know that after a long day at work, both my husband and I’d rather kick-back and watch a movie at home nibbling on something good. So I developed this favorite Korean inspired date-night-in menu to share with him and with all of you!

KIMCHI PORK TOFU STACK (김치 두부 제육볶음) – 2-3 Servings
1 cup sliced pork belly
1 cup lean pork (돼지불고기용)
1/2 cup fully fermented kimchi
1/4 onion
large green onion (대파)
1 packet of firm or extra firm tofu
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp cooking sake
pinch of black pepper
vegetable oil

1.5 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tbsp plum extract (매실청)
1.5 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp grated ginger

Make gochujang sauce by mixing all the ingredients and set it aside. / Add more gochujang (for spice) or plum extract (for sweetness) according to taste. Use more mirin to thin it out if needed. / Cut pork belly and loin into small bite size pieces (about 1 x 1.5”) and season with cooking sake and black pepper. Keep it in fridge for about 30 min. After 30 mins or so, mix the gochujang sauce with the pork. Massage the meat to evenly coat the marinate. / Cut kimchi into similar size as the pork. Drain the liquid if possible. / Cut 1 pk of firm tofu into 3 slices for layers (as shown) and wrap it in paper towel to blot out as much liquid. / Make thinly sliced green onions (I use the shreading knife) and soak it in cold water. It will begin to curl.

In a large skillet, add some vegetable oil and cook both sides of tofu layers until golden brown. Set it aside. On same skillet over medium high heat and cook marinated pork first until it’s almost cooked on all sides, add chopped onions and kimchi and cook it thoroughly until onion and kimchi is tenderized for about 5-6 mins. TIP: Increase the heat at the end if you want more smokey flavor! Assemble on a plate by layering from the bottom up, tofu – kimchi/pork with last tofu on top (repeat). Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and sprinkle some sesame seeds. TIP: fill each corners with enough meat so that layering of tofu is more even.

Banchan-12Photography by Leslie Santarina | SpottedSF

GRAPEFRUIT SOJU COCKTAIL (자몽소주 칵테일) – Individual Serving

1/4 cup (1 jigger) grapefruit flavor soju
1/4 cup (1 jigger) ruby red grapefruit juice (no pulp)
2 tbsp simple syrup
1/2 cup citrus Italian sparkling water
grapefruit slices and fresh thyme for garnish and flavor

SIMPLE SYRUP RATIO (1 : 1 : 2 – Sugar : Honey : Water)

Make simple syrup by combining the sugar, honey and water. Heat over low medium heat, keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Keep simple syrup, soju, grapefruit juice and sparkling water in the fridge so it’s nice and chilled. You can make each cocktail into the glass without pre-mixing as the sparkling bubbles will do the mixing when combining simple syrup, chilled soju, grapefruit juice and citrus sparkling water (in this order). Garnish with a piece of grapefruit slice and fresh thyme to dip it in the cocktail for a hint of flavor. Add more simple syrup for sweeter and more soju for stiffer taste! Play around with the proportions to make your perfect soju cocktail! Enjoy.

One thought on “Cultivate Your Relationship through Food

  1. Pingback: Banchan Workshop #6 Date-Night-In | SKYCreatives

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