Banchan Workshop #10 Pantry & Banchan

07 10 17

I was so happy to be back at Neighbor‘s backyard last month to host workshop/pop-up event. Neighbor store has been undergoing some renovations in their backyard to accommodate hosting events. In addition to most adored shed, they have built a bar kitchen! It’s perfect for doing cooking demos, to serve drinks and bites. Workshop was all about basic pantry and banchan. I’m thinking this should have been the first part in the year of ‘Back-to-Basic’ series but even with some shuffling of order, I’m very glad I was able to share this content. See more highlights from this event below. Read More

Recipe All - Soup & Stew

A Simple Soup that has Healing Powers

07 06 17

Today I’m introducing one of my favorite Korean vegetable (namul) and soup using Korean soy bean sprouts, Kongnamul. Korean soy bean sprouts have yellow round soybean heads which adds crunchy texture. It’s great for soups or as namul (cooked then seasoned). I noticed that I rarely go through the entire bag of kongnamul when making this soup so I usually make two dishes out of it by making namul on the side. This soup is known to have some healing powers so Koreans like to eat it when feeling little bit under the weather. Hope you get to try them.

Photography by Selina S. Lee

Soy Bean Sprouts Soup & Namul (콩나물국, 콩나물무침)3-4 servings

1 bag of Korean bean sprouts (Kongnamul) – approx. 400g per bag
1 dashi tea bag
6 cups water
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped green onion
½ tsp gochugaru (chili pepper powder)

150g of bean sprouts (approx. ⅓ of bag)
2 tsp soy sauce for soup
1 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp toasted sesame seeds
pinch of fine sea salt

Soak bean sprouts in cold water for at least 15 min. Roughly trim long roots with your hands, separate any sprouts skin that peels from soaking in water. Remove as much impurities as you can in small batches. You don’t have to go through them individually. Wash, strain and set it aside.

1. In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to boil. Before water starts to boil, add the dashi tea bag to make the stock. If you don’t have this filter tea bag, you can just use dried kelp, dried anchovies or dried shrimp to make your own stock and just fish it out later.
2. On a high heat, bring the stock to boil then take out the tea bag and add all of bean sprouts and season it with salt. Let it boil for 2-3 mins in med-high heat.
TIP: You either cook the bean sprouts with lid open or lid closed the entire time. This is to help eliminate particular smell when fresh soy beans are cooked. I like to cook them with lid open.
3. Take out ⅓ of bean sprouts to make namul. Idea is to blanch the vegetable so it’s still little bit crunchy, not cooked all the way through. Strain it through cold running water and season it with sea salt, soy sauce for soup, minced garlic, chopped green onion, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Toss lightly with your fingers until seasoning is well blended in.
4. Boil remaining soup by adding minced garlic and chopped green onion. Boil for another 3-5 min. Add more salt to taste. Add little bit of chili pepper powder, ready to serve with some cooked rice.

Recipe All - Banchan - Others

Korean Beef Skewers (with Vegetarian option)

06 19 17

There is whole other part of Korean cuisine that I have yet to explore. It’s the royal cuisine. Food that was served on king’s table during Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910). It’s mindful, it’s delicate, it’s beautiful and of course, delicious. Joseon dynasty is one of very few, possibly the only era that was documented down to every detail through each king’s reign. All 27 monarchs ruled over 500 years of time. You can imagine the type of food that made it to king’s table and the royal family was exquisite and exceptional. A lot of what you see in modern Korean food is developed over the years based on region but heavily roots back to Joseon era. I’m happy to re-introduce this recipe again from what we made few workshops ago. You can see the previous recipe HERE and compare how it is prepared differently. Hope you get to try it. It’s a really good one to entertain the guests with.

Photography by Selina S. Lee

KOREAN BEEF SKEWERS (산적꼬치) – 3-4 servings (12 skewers)

8 asparagus stalks (medium thickness for easier threading)
1/4 lb thin sliced lean beef (sirloin or rib eye)
4 king mushrooms
12 rice cakes (thin round tube kind)
3 green onions
2 eggs
¼ cup flour

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp grated ginger
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mirin or cooking sake

Cut all ingredients preferably in same length. 2 to 2.5 inches. All ingredients will be par-cooked and seasoned separately before threading into the skewers. Prepare the sauce first by combining the ingredients.

BEEF or KING MUSHROOM – Cut the beef or mushroom into strips then marinate in sauce for about 30 min. Use about ⅓ of the prepare sauce and save the rest for later. After meat or mushroom is marinated, sautéed them on a skillet for few minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked.

RICE CAKE – Soak the rice cakes in cold water for few minutes then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 min. Season it with little bit of the sauce and sesame oil after draining to make sure it doesn’t stick together. There is no need to blanch the rice cake if you are using freshly made rice cakes.

ASPARAGUS, CARROT and GREEN ONION – Remove the tough ends of the asparagus and cut both asparagus and carrots into same size strips then blanch in boiling water for 2-3 min. Make sure vegetables are not overcooked and season with salt after it’s drained. Cut green onion, including the white part and set it aside.

Once all ingredients are par-cooked and seasoned, thread the meat/mushroom, vegetables and rice cakes onto the skewer. I like to thread them in this order: Asparagus – Mushroom/Beef – Carrot – Rice Cake – Green Onion. It looks pretty!

Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Coat each skewer with flour then with whisked egg (season with salt) and place the skewers in the pan. Add more egg on top of the skewer to fill in the gap. It’s okay if egg overflows, we can cut off the excessive to keep the shape after it’s been cooked. Cook it for 2-3 min then flip it over and cook for another 2-3 min in lower heat.

Serve with remaining sauce for dipping.

TIP: Soak or rinse the wooden skewers in cold water before threading. This will prevent the wood from burning.