Korea Day: Eat like a champion

Andy Salisbury

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Bulgogi

If you want to play like a champion, you need to eat like a champion. That's why we've turned to our ever-loyal, longtime Korean ally and former intern Andy Salisbury to share his generations-old Korean cooking secrets with us. These are family recipes refined by his great-grandmother and passed down from generation to generation since then. If there's a more authentic way to learn the secrets of the food that fuels the most advanced StarCraft-playing civilization, I haven't heard of it. So read on, grab a shovel and get ready to bury some cabbage in your backyard!

Malgun Miok Kuk (Clear Seaweed Soup)

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of cut seaweed

- 4 cups of water

- 1/2 pound of beef

- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

- 1 scallion

- 1 tablespoon of salt

- 1 clove of garlic

To prepare:

Soak the dried seaweed in warm water for 30 minutes, then rise and wash carefully. Cut the seaweed into 2-inch lengths, shred beef into 2-inch lengths and crush the garlic.

Bring the water to a boil, and add the beef. Remove any froth from the top, and add the seaweed, scallion, garlic, soy sauce and salt. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes before serving.

nappa cabbage

Image courtesy of Jon Roberts

Kim Chee (Spicy Pickled Cabbage)

Ingredients:

- 3-4 pounds of nappa cabbage, sliced into 1 1/2-inch pieces (in the summertime my great grandmother would use cucumbers)

- 1/3 cup of salt

- 1 cup of daikon, julienned

- 1/2 cup of carrots and/or green onion (optional, my great grandmother would put in for color mostly)

- 1-3 tablespoons of red pepper powder, mixed with 1-3 tablespoons of hot water (depending on how spicy you like it)

- 1 tablespoon of paprika

- 3 cloves of garlic, minced

- 2 tablespoons of ginger, minced

- 1 tablespoon of sugar

- 1 tablespoon of patis (a type of fish sauce)

To prepare:

Place the sliced nappa cabbage in a large bowl or sink and sprinkle it with the salt. Place a plate over the nappa and weigh it down with heavy rocks, bricks, or can. Then let it sit overnight. The next day rinse the salted nappa and squeeze out as much water as possible. Use your hands to mix the remaining ingredients into the salted nappa. Allow this new mixture to sit overnight while weighed down once more. Pack the seasoned nappa into jars and let it ferment in a refrigerator (or, if you're feeling authentic, bury it underground like the Koreans did before refrigerators were invented). It must be cool, and it must sit overnight at a minimum. Best if left alone for a week.

Image courtesy of John Joh

Bulgogi (Barbequed Beef)

Ingredients:

- 1 pound of steak, sliced thin

- 1 tablespoon of garlic, minced

- 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil

- 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper

- 3 tablespoons of sugar

- 1 tablespoon of ginger root, minced

- 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped

- 1/4 cup of soy sauce

To prepare:

Combine the meat with a marinade made of all other ingredients, and let it marinate for 2-10 hours. Cook the meat over charcoal for best flavor. Serves 4.

Image courtesy of Dolmang

Chap Chee Noodles with Meat and Vegitables

Ingredients:

Beef:

- 1/3 pound of thinly sliced beef

- 1/2 cup of thinly sliced carrots

- 1/4 pound of sliced nappa cabbage

- 3 ounces of bean threads (saifun) soaked in warm water

- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

- 2 tablespoons of canola oil

- 1/2 cup of sliced bamboo shoots

- 2 cups of chopped spinach

- 1/2 tablespoon of salt

- 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper

- 1 tablespoon of sugar

Marinade:

- 1 tablespoon of sugar

- 1 clove of garlic, minced

- 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper

- 2 green onions, finely chopped

- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

- 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil

To prepare:

Combine the beef with the marinade. Heat it all in a wok on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Cook the beef until it's done, and add the carrots, bamboo shoots, cabbage and spinach. Combine everything thoroughly, and add the bean threads and remaining ingredients. Cook everything on medium until it's all hot. Serves 4.

Soong Nung (Rice Water)

- Meant for the end of a meal

To prepare:

Add a few cups of water to the grains of rice stuck at the bottom of a rice pot. Bring this to a boil, and then serve at the end of a meal. It aids in digestion.

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