It’s always a good weekend when Korean food is involved. I’m convinced that my bout with severe illness right after I got back from Korea was a result of kimchi withdrawal. In an attempt to stave off future maladies, I think it’s highly important that I maintain a quota of Korean food consumption. It’s for my health, you see.
Amul’s brother, Rahul, is as much of a foodie as we are. He was here this week for business, so Amul and I made a trip over to Kukje on Friday night to stock up on supplies.
I always look forward to this time of year for the produce options that abound. It’s not the harvest season for nothing. I love how readily available pomegranates, persimmons, and Korean pears are here in San Francisco. Olivia is turning into quite a herbivore as well. She’s always loved carrots and apples, but lately she’s expanded her palate to include Korean pear and persimmon. They compliment the gourmet Spanish almonds nicely, heh.
Anyway, I digress.
Saturday morning dawned rainy and cold, so Amul and I warmed up with a breakfast of vegetable jook and Korean barley tea. Jook’s a Korean rice porridge/gruel. It’s become a comfort food for me, warming and mild. We garnished ours conventionally with pine nuts and sesame oil.
Rahul arrived Saturday evening, and we prepared a full Korean dinner for him. Barbecued pork, chapchae, doenjang chigge, sticky rice, sesame leaves, kim, lettuce, kimchi, pickled radish and cucumber…the works. It turned out really well, and Rahul highly enjoyed it.
Sunday morning, Amul and Rahul were just going to have cereal for breakfast, but I insisted on trying out my newly acquired recipe for ho-tteok. Ho-tteok is a Korean street food, it’s a chewy fried pancake that’s filled with melted cinnamon sugar and chopped nuts. I ate one like every day when I was in Korea. So my attempt at making them at home was surprisingly a huge success.
Rahul was so impressed by his introduction to Korean food, that he insisted we spend the afternoon at Kukje so that he could take supplies back with him to Boston. So lunch was consumed at Kukje’s shiktang. We gave Rahul a nice sampling some more Korean dishes: tteok mandu guk, dolsot bibimbap, and mul naeng myun.
Last night, in an attempt to make a dent in the leftovers in our fridge before we head out of town for the holiday, I experimented and threw some ingredients (heaven help me if I had to recreate the recipe) into the wok and ended up with pork kimchi fried rice. It was actually pretty yum!
I think our next cooking project is attempting to make our own kimchi. Amul’s gotten all the necessary ingredients. We shall see how it turns out…