Tag Archives: Gochujang

Open Omurice with Hot Gochujang Sauce and Mushrooms

omurice_My favourite omelette is the French-style, rugby ball-shaped fluffy one, which apparently gives a very clear idea of a professional chef’s skills. I often order it for lunch in France, but I haven’t mastered it yet, so whenever I make an omelette, it has to be the easiest flat one. The famous Japanese omurice (fried rice with an omelette) has two main versions: rice wrapped into a round thin omelette or topped with the fluffy thick one. I was glad to discover that Japanese Soul Cooking, from which I sourced my very first omurice, features the former version. Yesterday I decided to “koreanise” it a bit and replaced the customary ketchup with hot gochujang sauce. It proved such a great idea, I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Actually, I think I will never go back to the standard mild omurice!

For those who have never heard about this dish, omurice/omuraisu (オムライス) belongs to “youshoku” (洋食), Japanised Western dishes, the category which includes such dishes as korokke (croquettes).  The dish was apparently invented in Tokyo at the beginning of the XXth century and its name is a contraction of “omelette” and “rice”. As I have mentioned, it consists of two parts: “chikin rice” (cooked rice, fried with chicken, onion and carrot, then seasoned with ketchup) and the omelette, either wrapped around the rice or made into a fluffy shape and put on top. Whatever the version, the dish is served either with more ketchup on top or with a generous amount of demi-glace sauce.

The omurice where fluffy soft omelette served on top of the rice is often called “Tampopo omurice”, with reference to the legendary Japanese film “Tampopo” (if you like Japanese cuisine, you must see it, not only because of omurice!). See the beautiful Hiroyuki’s Tampopo omurice here.

I have never tasted omurice in Japan and while preparing my first homemade version I was afraid double presence of ketchup would spoil the rather promising result, but maybe because I’ve used my own homemade ketchup, I found it surprisingly good. On one hand, I was thrilled to discover another egg dish in my long collection, but at the same time this way of using leftover rice is a nice alternative for fried rice or rice-based salads I’ve been making for years.

Apart from the gochujang sauce, I have also changed the “chikin rice” ingredients, skipping the carrot and peas and replacing them with mushrooms. As you see above, I have also made too much “stuffing” to close the omelette properly (by “properly closed” I mean something like Nami’s perfect Omurice you can admire here), so I named it “open” 😉  If you want to follow the original recipe, I invite you to buy the wonderful Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.

TIPS: If you are don’t like ginger, you can skip it and the gochujang sauce will be equally good (I liked it here though; it added a nice fresh kick).

Egg dishes get cold very quickly, so I strongly advise serving omurice on a warmed plate (heated in the oven, set at lowest temperature).

Whenever using leftover cooked rice I always warm it a bit in the microwave. Thus grains are easier to separate.

Preparation: about 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

1/4 chicken breast

3 medium or big button mushrooms (called cremini, when dark)

1 small onion or shallot

3 heaped tablespoons steamed Japanese rice

3 tablespoons chicken stock

oil

Omelette:

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of milk or cream

salt, pepper

Gochujang sauce:

2 tablespoons gochujang

1 tablespoon sake

1 tablespoon honey or syrup

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or 1 teaspoon normal soy sauce

1 garlic clove, crushed or grated

(1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger)

toasted sesame seeds

Cut the chicken and the mushrooms into small pieces.

Slice the onion finely.

Put a bowl and a plate to warm in a cool oven (set at lowest temperature).

Fry the chicken bits, the onion and the mushrooms.

Add the rice, the gochujang sauce and the stock.

Simmer at low heat until everything is hot (make the liquids thicken if the sauce is not thick enough).

Place the rice mixture into the warm bowl and keep in the oven until needed.

Prepare the omelette mixture.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the omelette, destroying the bubbles which will form.

When the top of the omelette is almost set, put the pan aside.

Place the omelette on the heated plate.

Place the rice stuffing at the half of the omelette. (You can also do it in the pan but I found the transferring process very difficult).

Cover it with the other half, spread some gochujang sauce on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

Shoyu Chicken with Gochujang (Chicken Simmered in Soy Sauce and Gochujang)

shoyu_goch_chickIf you ask me what I have been eating most often for the last three years, Shoyu Chicken would certainly be among the top ten. The frequency with which I prepare it is not only due to its irresistible taste and texture, but also – and maybe most of all – to its extremely low difficulty. Actually, I cannot recall any other equally effortless warm dish. Even though, after dozens of times, the original recipe is still my favourite in my house, I have obviously twisted it more than once. This gochujang (Korean chilli paste) version has also become a staple and is always welcome whenever the chilli addict in me requires an urgent dose of spicy food.

This recipe is based on the original Shoyu Chicken, a Hawaiian recipe found on a wonderful, inspiring blog Humble Bean, which is unfortunately no longer continued. “Shoyu” means “soy sauce “in Japanese and even though this dish comes from Hawaii it does have a Japanese influence of course. Since the first time I prepared it I have cut down on the soy sauce amounts (and always use the low-sodium version), but otherwise I still prepare it the same way and never get tired of it.

If you cannot find gochujang or don’t feel like having a spicy meal, try this mild version:

Shoyu Chicken

Shoyu Chicken

TIPS: If you like soft chicken skin, leave the skin on, but for me the result was much too fatty, so I did it only once and have always skinned the legs since then (it’s really very easy and takes maximum five minutes for two legs).

Try to use chicken pieces with bones, which add lots of flavour.

I strongly advise using low-sodium soy sauce. You will have less salt in the final dish, but more of the wonderful soy sauce taste.

Do not skip the vinegar. The dish will not be sour, but the vinegar adds a certain je-ne-sais-quoi you will like. (You can use any vinegar you have, unless it’s something like raspberry vinegar, etc. of course).

It’s obviously delicious served with kimchi.

Preparation: about 1 hour – 1h30

Ingredients (serves 2 – 4 people depending on the size of the legs):

2 chicken legs (cut into two pieces) with or without skin

100 ml (about 3 fl oz) low-sodium Japanese soy sauce (or 70 ml of “normal” soy sauce)

300 ml (about 10 fl oz) water

60 ml (about 2 fl oz) agave syrup or honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or any other vinegar)

2 heaped tablespoons gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

2 big garlic cloves chopped or sliced

toasted sesame seeds

(1-2 tablespoons sesame oil)

Bring all the sauce ingredients to a boil (apart from the sesame seeds and oil).

Lower the heat, put the chicken into the sauce, cover (add more water if needed) and let it simmer for at least one hour until the meat falls apart from the bones.

Finish cooking it uncovered until the sauce thickens.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and with sesame oil.

Serve with rice (and kimchi, if you have it).

 

 

 

 

Stir Fried Korean Noodles (Dangmyeon) with Marinated Minced Beef

kornoodlesbeefpAs you might have noticed, I have been quite lazy in the kitchen during last weeks. Due to my recent frequent trips, I don’t find motivation to cook complicated dishes, not to mention trying new recipes. Last weekend however I felt an urgent need for cooking adventures and decided to prepare my very first bibimbap, the famous Korean beef and vegetable rice dish. I wanted to go shopping, but looking through my fridge I saw that, miraculously, I had almost all the ingredients. I started to marinate the minced beef, I prepared the vegetables, assembled the sauces and suddenly realised… I ran out of rice! If you are Asian or, like me, an Asian food addict, you can imagine the horror, since the shop selling good quality rice is far and there was no way I could get there before the closing time. This happened for the first time in my life (of course I count only the years since I have fallen in love with Japanese short grain rice), so after the first moment of panic, I started to look for a solution and came up with this simple, but absolutely delicious, Korean-inspired dish.

The vegetables depend on your preferences (maybe apart from the carrot which in my opinion goes perfectly with Korean flavours), the crucial elements being the sauce, the marinated beef and, last but not least, the Korean sweet potato noodles, called dangmyeon (당면). Light brown, or rather greyish, they don’t look very attractive when dry, but they are my definite favourite transparent noodles. Contrary to all the glass noodles I know, they actually do have their own delicious taste, though they absorb easily flavours from the sauces and spices. I love them especially for their slightly chewy texture other noodles lack. I find them excellent with Chinese dark soy sauce and here they were perfect with strongly flavoured marinated beef. In short, the initial catastrophe ended up in an invention that is already on my staples list. If you cook Korean from time to time, you will probably have all the seasoning and sauce ingredients in your kitchen at any time.

The beef marinade, the sauce (substantially modified) and the remaining ingredients (everything slightly changed) are inspired by a bibimpab recipe found in the excellent The Food and Cooking of Korea by Young Jin Song.

If you don’t like beef, but feel like experimenting with these Korean noodles, I have posted here a similar stir-fried dish with chicken.

Preparation: 20 minutes (+ beef marinating time: 30 minutes at least)

Ingredients (serves two):

2 portions of Korean sweet potato starch noodles (I take usually about 80 g for two, but it depends on your appetite)

1 courgette, julienned

1 big carrot julienned

6-7 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or dried ones; soaked until soft), sliced (without stems)

1 onion, sliced (it can be the white part of the spring onion)

(a handful of soybean or mung sprouts)

200 – 250 g minced beef

Beef marinade:

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (I have used Chinese dark soy sauce)

2 small garlic cloves, crushed or grated

1 tablespoon chopped spring onion green part

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine (I have used, as always, sake)

salt and pepper

Sauce:

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

1 teaspoon (or more) Korean chilli powder

1 tablespoon agave syrup (or honey or another syrup)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sake

1 tablespoon soy sauce (light)

Combine the marinade ingredients with the minced beef. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes (you can leave it for several hours or even overnight, but refrigerated).

Combine the sauce ingredients.

Soak the noodles in boiling water for about 20 minutes before you start stir-frying.

Heat one tablespoon oil in a wok.

Stir fry the beef until crunchy.
Add the onion and the shiitake and stir fry until the onion becomes soft.

Add the carrot and stir fry for about one minute.

At the end add the courgette (and the sprouts if you use them), the noodles and the sauce.

Stir fry until the sauce thickens.

Serve sprinkled with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Roasted Chickpeas with Gochujang

chickpeasnackpSeasoned toasted chickpeas are probably not new for many of you. They have been tempting me on many blogs for quite a long time. Whatever the seasoning, toasted chickpeas always seemed delicious, easy and very light compared to most snacks I know. Somehow I kept on forgetting to give them a try until I saw the gochujang version at cHow Divine. As an avowed gochujang (Korean chilli paste) addict, I was so enchanted by the idea of sweet and hot chickpeas served as snacks, I simply wasn’t able to take them off my mind. After a dozen of batches I am still equally enthusiastic about them and absolutely wanted to share this scrumptious discovery with you. If the combination of sweet and hot flavours makes your taste buds dance, this is definitely your kind of snack! Thank you so much, Gomo, for one more exceptional recipe!

I have slightly increased the gochujang amounts, but otherwise I haven’t modified this recipe. I discovered a long time ago that, just like me, Gomo uses regularly agave syrup, so I even didn’t need to change this item (you can use any syrup or honey of your choice instead). Even though my recipe is practically the same, I strongly encourage you to visit Gomo’s blog and discover  beautifully photographed, inspiring recipes (such as Cold Vegetable Bibimbap I am now addicted to) that will make you fall in love with Korean cuisine.

TIP: Everything seems ridiculously simple here, but drying the chickpeas might prove a slight problem if you are in a hurry. If you don’t dry them thoroughly, they will still be delicious, but will stay slightly soft. It you bake them for too long, they will simply burn and become so tough, you might break your teeth on them. After a quick search I have found a bery useful tip on The Kitchn website: using a salad spinner is a great way to drain chickpeas (do not spin them too violently since they are delicate and may fall into pieces!).

Preparation: about 50 minutes

Ingredients:

1 x 400 g (about 14 oz) can of chickpeas or about 300 g (about 11 oz) cooked chickpeas

1 teaspoon oil (canola, peanut or another type of oil intended for high temperatures)

1 heaped teaspoon gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

1 teaspoon agave syrup (you can substitute with honey or syrup of your choice)

about 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 190°C (about 375°F).

Wash and drain the chickpeas, using a salad spinner, if you have one.

Pat them dry with paper towels and make sure they are thoroughly dry.

Put the agave syrup, the oil and gochujang into a big bowl and mix well.

Combine with the chickpeas, making sure they are well covered with the seasonings.

Place the chickpeas on baking paper. Do not overcrowd them!

Bake about 25 – 30 minutes until they are slightly tough outside but still soft inside.

When they start browning it means they are already burnt, so watch them closely.

Sprinkle with salt while they are still warm.
Serve cold.

Chicken Legs in Doenjang (Korean Soybean Paste) and Gochujang

misogochchickenpIt was a total improvisation and I still cannot believe it gave such a marvellous result. Even though I have just come back from a short trip to Rome, which was a marvellous culinary experience, the dinner I dreamt of was fiery and Asian (yes, I am addicted…). I was tired by a long car trip, so anything complicated was out of question. I found two chicken legs in the fridge, I took out a jar of gochujang (Korean chilli paste), a tub of doenjang ( Korean soybean paste), one onion and some leftover stock I had in the freezer. Simmered for two hours in this mixture of ingredients, the chicken legs became fork tender, while the mixture of stock, soybean paste and gochujang has thickened turning into a sticky hot sauce. These few products created an amazing aroma, a complex taste and proved an extraordinary warming treat I will certainly make regularly this winter. I strongly recommend it to all the hot food lovers.

TIPS: If you don’t have the Korean soybean paste (doenjang), you can substitute it with the Japanese miso, which is a bit different. First of all Korean soybean paste has a stronger taste, so if you have only miso, use preferably a darker version. Japanese miso loses its nutritional values while simmered for a long time, while doenjang apparently doesn’t, so it is perfect for such a dish.

Taste the dish when it’s almost ready (the sauce is thick) and add more soybean paste if it’s not salty enough, or more gochujang, if it’s not hot enough.

I have served it with fresh chopped shiso and its strong taste was perfect here, but I am sure it would be also good with chives or spring onions.

Preparation: about 2 1/2 hours

Ingredients (serves two):

2 chicken legs (I have skinned and halved them but you can of course use whole legs with skin)

1 liter stock or water (use any stock, European or Asian, vegetarian or meat)

4 flat tablespoons Korean soybean paste or miso, preferably dark: red or black; or more

4 flat tablespoons gochujang (or more)

1 onion

1 tablespoon oil

(chopped shiso)

Slice the onion.

Heat the oil in a pan.

Fry the onion at medium heat until it softens.

Add the stock or water, the soybean paste, gochujang and stir well.

Add the chicken legs.

Cover the pan and make it simmer at low heat for one hour.

Take off the cover, increase the heat and simmer the dish for at least one more hour.

Taste when it’s almost ready and add more doenjang or gochujang if needed.

It’s ready when the sauce thickens and the meat falls off the bones when touched with a fork.

Serving it with chopped fresh shiso was a good idea, but you can choose any herb of your choice.