Tag Archives: Gochujang

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.

 

Cold Vegetarian Bibimbap (Korean Rice Salad)

bibimbap2pMost of you have probably heard about the famous Bibimbap, but I bet Cold Bibimbap is much less popular. When I saw it first time on cHow Divine blog, the idea was so seducing, I made it in the following two hours and loved it, in spite of some forced modifications. When I finally prepared it with all the required products, it tasted even better and now I am an avowed addict of Cold Bibimbap.

In spite of its exotic name, this dish contains ingredients easily available all year and in most countries in the world (apart from gochujang; see the TIPS below). It is perfect not only as a hot day, soothing meal, but also an excellent way to deal with leftover rice. For me it’s most of all a very original alternative to one-meal rice salads I have been preparing for long years, but in a rather European way, i.e. with mayonnaise or vinaigrette dressing. Thank you so much, Gomo, for one more extraordinary Korean discovery.

I have slightly modified the amounts, scaling down the recipe and also replaced salt with soy sauce. Gomo indicates walnuts, sesame seeds, spring onions and dates as optional toppings. For me the three first have become obligatory, but I haven’t used dates yet (I must admit I’m not very fond of them). Click here to see Gomo’s original recipe, as well as lots of other fascinating and tempting Korean dishes.

TIPS: You will be surprised to see that all the ingredients are easily available in most countries, though, like in most fiery Korean dishes I know, the presence of gochujang (Korean hot and sweet chilli paste) is crucial. I strongly encourage you to buy it if you intend to cook Korean cuisine, even rarely. Gochujang is sold on internet, keeps for ages in the fridge and you can play with it in Western dishes too. It cannot be substituted by any other chili paste, so if you cannot get it, I advise using more syrup and adding some powdered chilli. The result will not be the same of course, but it’s still better than using Chinese or Thai chilli paste for example.

The gochujang amount given below depends on how hot you like your dishes to be and also on the gochujang’s hotness level (mine was medium hot; grade 3).

Do not skip the walnuts! They are here not only for the additional crunchy texture, but they significantly enrich the bibimbap’s flavours with their slight bitterness.

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

300 g (about 1 1/2 cup) cooked short grain white rice

half of a 400 g/14 oz can of red beans

1 avocado

1 small carrot, grated

two handfuls of sliced crunchy lettuce (or other crunchy salad leaves)

1/2 long cucumber

Toppings:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

3-4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3-4 tablespoons chopped green onions or chives

(dried dates)

Dressing:

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon syrup of your choice or honey (I have used agave syrup)

1 heaped tablespoon gochujang (or less/more, see the TIPS above)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Cut the cucumber in half, lenghtwise.

(You can remove the seeds if you wish; I didn’t).

Slice the halves, sprinkle with salt and let it soften for about 10-15 minutes.

Rinse them,  drain and pat dry.

If you kept your rice in the fridge, reheat it in a microwave (covered) until it’s slightly warm (not hot!). Thus, it will be easier to separate the grains.

Cut the avocado into cubes.

Drain the beans.

In a big bowl mix all the dressing ingredients, adjust the taste if needed, and combine with the rice, the avocado, the cucumber slices, the grated carrot, the lettuce and the beans.

Serve sprinkled with walnuts, sesame seeds, green onions or chives (if you like dried dates, you might try them too).

Chicken with Hot and Sour Korean Bibim Guksu Sauce

hotsourchickenkI am in one of my frequent Korean cooking frenzies. Browsing my favourite blogs, looking for new ideas, I have stumbled upon Bibim Guksu, a cold noodle dish with hot and sour sauce. Until now I have associated Korean cuisine with its hallmark hot and sweet flavours, so the sauce has obviously piqued my curiosity. Instead of making noodles, I finally borrowed only the sauce and incorporated it into a chicken stir-fry. I know this is far from its traditional use, but the result was excellent. The sour touch of vinegar didn’t hide the familiar hot and sweet flavours, but added a pleasant refreshing touch. I already feel it will be my staple fiery sauce for summer dishes.

I have discovered this delicious vinegared Korean sauce thanks to Gomo from cHow Divine and Sue from My Korean Kitchen). Their versions of Bibim Guksu vary, but the sauces are quite similar. I have combined their sauce recipes, making mine slightly more sour and adapting it to an individual portion. I also couldn’t resist adding a grated garlic clove. Check the original sauce recipes and, most of all, two different but equally tempting Bibim Guksu versions, as well as other fabulous recipes at cHow Divine and My Korean Kitchen. Thank you so much, ladies, for this wonderful, inspiring recipe! Now that I have become fond of the sauce, I cannot wait to try it with cold noodles.

If you are a happy owner of a tub of gochujang (the famous Korean chilli paste, one of the ingredients in this recipe), you might like these – more or less Korean – ideas:

Korean - Style Pork Tenderloin with French Beans

Korean – Style Pork Tenderloin with French Beans

Gochujang and Sour Cream Sauce

Gochujang and Sour Cream Sauce

Korean Squid with Carrot and Cabbage

Korean Squid with Carrot and Cabbage

Squid and Celery in Gochujang Sauce

Squid and Celery in Gochujang Sauce

Black Pudding Toasts with Gochujang

Black Pudding Toasts with Gochujang

Fried Rice with Kimchi and Bacon

Fried Rice with Kimchi and Bacon

Preparation: 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

1/2 chicken breast

1/2 carrot, 1/2 sweet pepper or other vegetables of your choice

1 spring onion

Bibim Guksu Sauce:

1 heaped tablespoon gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon syrup or honey (I have used agave syrup)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1 small clove garlic, grated

Combine the sauce ingredients. Put aside.

Cut up the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and season it slightly with salt.

Slice the carrot finely, cut up the pepper.

Slice the spring onion.

Heat oil in a pan or wok, stir-fry first the meat and the carrot, then add the sweet pepper with the white part of the spring onion.

Stir-fry until the chicken breast is thoroughly cooked.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and fry, stirring, until the sauce thickens.

Serve with rice, sprinkled with chopped green part of the spring onion.

Székely Gulyàs with Gochujang, or Koreanised Hungarian Pork and Sauerkraut Stew

gulyasgochujangpj

Hungarians and Koreans have at least one thing in common: a huge passion for chili pepper. In spite of such an important link I don’t think I have ever heard of Hungarian-Korean fusions dishes. I don’t know how and why I had a crazy idea to incorporate gochujang (Korean chili paste) into the Hungarian Székely Gulyàs, but I have greatly enjoyed this amusing experiment and thought I would share my impressions with you.

Most of you have probably heard about the famous Hungarian Gulyàs. Székely Gulyàs (pronounced “see-cay goo-yash”) looks and tastes different, mainly because it includes sauerkraut (fermented cabbage). I discovered it last year thanks to Zsuzsa ( from Zsuzsa is in the kitchen). I wrote about it last year (here) and have prepared it many times without feeling any need of alterations. The origins of the name are not clear. Some say it comes from an ethnic group called “Székely”, who still lives in the present Romania, others – like Kàroly Gundel, a famous Hungarian cook – say it was named after a writer Jozsef Székely, whom Gundel calls the “godfather” of this stew. Whatever the origins, Székely Gulyàs is worth discovering. It is quick, easy, can be made in advance and even though it’s hearty, it has few calories and almost no fat (if you use lean meat). In short, it’s a perfect one-pot meal for cold winter days and the same could be said about its Koreanised version.

Gochujang, one of the staples of the Korean cuisine, is a sticky hot paste based on chili and soy beans. It has different levels of hotness, but gets never as strong as, say Thai curry paste. Here gochujang, used instead of dried Hungarian paprika, mellowed the flavours and brought a different complexity to the final result. Combining gochujang with European saurekraut seemed weird at first, but on the other hand, gochujang is often added to warm dishes containing kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage), so finally the satisfying result of my experiment shouldn’t come as such a big surprise. As a final Korean touch,  I have added some toasted sesame seeds and sprinkled the dish with Korean chili pepper. I hope that my Hungarian friends will not be shocked by these bold alterations.

If you don’t feel like “Koreanising” this Hungarian dish, you might want to try the “basic” Székely Gulyàs:

szekely4p

TIPS:

Székely Gulyàs is traditionally served with sour cream, but I find it equally delicious with thick sour milk or Greek yogurt. It was surprisingly good with this Koreanised version.

Like many stews, this one gets at least twice as good when reheated the following day. Actually it improves every time it’s reheated.

Do not throw away the liquid drained from the sauerkraut. You can add it during the cooking process if you feel your dish is not tangy enough. Personally I love my sauerkraut dishes very tangy, so I don’t even drain the liquid most of the time.

Preparation: about 2 hours (but it’s definitely best reheated the following day)

Ingredients (serves 2):

300 g lean pork

1 small onion

1 big garlic clove

300-350 ml sauerkraut (raw, not cooked)

3 tablespoons gochujang (medium hot) or more, depending on your preferences

1-2 tablespoons oil

sour cream or milk

salt, pepper

2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds

Korean dried chili pepper (to sprinkle on top)

Drain the sauerkraut, but don’t throw away the liquid (see the TIP above).

Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Chop the onion and the garlic.

Fry the onion until soft.

Add the meat and fry it until golden brown.

Take the pan from the heat, add the spices and the garlic, 125 ml (1/2 cup) water.

Lower the heat and simmer the meat covered for one hour.

Take off the lid, add the sauerkraut and some more hot water to cover the whole dish.

Add the gochujang.

Continue to simmer first uncovered, then, after 30 minutes, covered for about 1 hour in total.

Add sesame seeds about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with a splash with sour cream and/or sprinkled with Korean chili pepper. You can let it cool down, refrigerate overnight and serve it reheated the following day. (You can also freeze it).

Squid and Celery in Gochujang Sauce

celerysquidpj

This may sound strange for some of you, but I was brought up knowing only celeriac, the humble and ugly cousin of the beautiful celery, which I must have discovered around the age of twenty. Contrary to what some people think, celery is unpopular in several European countries and its strong anise aroma is disturbing or even unbearable for those who discover it as adults. Celery is widely available and consumed in my city and I am used to it simmered in soups, stews and other slowly cooked dishes (such as Ragù alla bolognese) where it ends up acting rather as seasoning than a distinct vegetable. I am however completely lost when it comes to keeping the celery crunchy or raw. On the other hand, I appreciate its fresh aroma, its pleasant crunchiness and its beautiful bright colour, hence my recent decision to start cooking it more often.

A couple of days ago, ready to prepare my beloved Korean Squid with Cabbage and Carrot, I changed my mind at last moment and decided to use celery as the sole vegetable. Surprised by the excellent result of what I consider an extremely unusual combination, I have decided to share my discovery with you, even though I realise that my enthusiasm for celery will seem ridiculous to those for who this vegetable has been a boring staple for years.

My impressions of the squid and celery combination are difficult to describe. The first thing I have noticed was the unusual mixture of textures. The crunchy celery and the slightly chewy, soft squid were slightly surprising, but very pleasant. The celery’s anise aroma hasn’t shadowed the delicate squid taste and gave the whole dish a fresh, awakening touch. The hot and sweet sauce (based on gochujang, the famous Korean hot paste) not only supplied a red hue the whole meal cried for, but most of all bound the two completely different ingredients into a coherent whole. This improvised, quick meal was a very welcome touch of spring in the middle of rainy autumn days and has emboldened me to further experiments with celery. I will be grateful for any ideas or recipes  you would like to share with a beginning fan of celery.

If you don’t like celery, but the mention of squid makes you instantly hungry, I strongly recommend the above mentioned Korean Squid with Cabbage and Carrot, my staple and beloved way to serve squid. I must have prepared this stir-fried delight dozens of times since I discovered it on Hyosun’s blog and still am not tired of it. The sauce I have used with celery was inspired by this Korean recipe.

TIPS: If you keep the celery crunchy, make sure you use the younger stalks without “threads” (the thicker ones were not very palatable and I promised myself to use them next time in longer cooked dishes).

If you don’t have gochujang, add more chili powder mixed with one teaspoon syrup or substitute it with Chinese chili paste (the taste and texture will however not be the same because gochujang is unique).

Before I pass to the recipe I would like to express my compassion with all those affected by the hurricane Sandy. I wish you lots of strength and courage and hope that your lives will soon get back to normal.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

2 fresh or thawed, cleaned medium squids (mine were about 15 cm long, excluding the tentacles) 

3 – 4 young celery stalks (or higher, thin parts of thick celery stalks)

2 flat tablespoons Korean chili powder

2 tablespoons oil

Sauce: 

1 garlic clove, crushed or grated

2 tablespoons sake

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste)

1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup

1 teaspoon sesame oil

(soy sauce or salt to taste)

1 teaspoon (or more) sesame seeds


Cut off the squid fins and put them aside.

Cut the squid tube lengthwise in order to obtain one flat sheet.

Score it diagonally into a criss-cross pattern (the interior side) and then cut it into 2 cm strips.

Do the same with the fins.

Cut the tentacles into bite-sized pieces.

Cut the celery into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a pan and stir-fry the celery for one minute.

Add the squid and the chili powder and fry them, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Finally add the sauce ingredients. Season with soy sauce or salt to taste.

Stir-fry until the squid is cooked (about 3-5 minutes). Each strip should be white (whiter than the raw squid), curled and soft, but still slightly chewy.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

 

Gochujang and Sour Cream Sauce

gochsourcreamp

I have been meaning to share this sauce with you for several months or even years. It includes only two ingredients, so I shouldn’t probably even call it a recipe. Observing blogs and reactions of my family and friends, I realised that even though simple, sour cream and gochujang are not only an uncommon, but also a surprising combination, hence the decision to write about it. I have been preparing this sauce for years, sometimes as often as several times a week. I serve it with dishes and snacks of as different origins as Hungarian and Japanese and make sure both ingredients are constantly available in my fridge.

Gochujang has been a staple for many years now. Actually I was addicted as soon as I tasted it. Its hot and sweet flavours and the sticky consistency have won me over instantly. For those who still don’t know it, gochujang is a Korean condiment, based on hot pepper and fermented soybeans, usually sold in red plastic tubs. It is dark red, a bit sticky, quite hot and slightly sweet (it has different degrees of hotness and I usually buy medium hot).  In Korean cuisine gochujang is put into soups, sauces and marinades.

I don’t remember when I had the idea to combine gochujang and sour cream, but somehow it felt very natural. Sour cream (or I should rather say “milk”, because what I use is called “sour milk” due to its low fat content) is extremely cooling and I often use it to tame down very hot sauces and dishes. Combined with gochujang it still is cooling, but gives a fiery “kick” and its taste is much more complex than a simple mixture of chili pepper and cream. Of course the “kick” depends on how much gochujang you have put and what kind of gochujang you buy.

I serve this sauce with grilled sandwiches, Japanese or Korean meat rolls, spring rolls, Indian curries, Mexican dishes such as chili con carne, Hungarian dishes (such as Szekély Gulyàs or Stuffed Pepper), skewers, grilled meat, fish and shellfish, roasts… It’s also a perfect dip for raw vegetables served as snacks at a party (celery, carrot, cauliflower…).

TIP & UPDATE: The Sour cream or milk can be substituted here with Greek yogurt, which is slightly sour.

Preparation: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

125 ml (about 1/2 cup) sour cream (I use thick sour milk) or Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon gochujang (or less/more depending on your preferences)

Mix the ingredients with a fork or, if you want to obtain a homogenous smooth result, with a food processor.

Teriyaki Pork Rolls with Sweet Pepper, Shiso and Gochujang

 

First I saw Hiroyuki’s Pork and Radish Rolls, then Kelly posted her Sticky Pork Ribs… Not only have I started to crave pork, but most of all, I realised it has been ages since I wrote about a pork dish. As you might have noticed I am a big pork fan. Most of the meat dishes posted on my blog call for pork and even though I eat much more chicken, it illustrates my affection for this meat, which until recently had been receiving a lot of bad press. You might have also noticed how enthusiastic I have become with Japanese- and Korean-style meat rolls stuffed with vegetables. The meat I choose most often is of course pork (I have wrote about  Okra Teriyaki Pork Rolls, Potato Teriyaki Rolls, Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls, Pork Rolls and Shiso in Tempura). I cannot think of a more amusing way to prepare and to have meat and vegetables in one dish. I have such rolls for lunch, as a snack, dinner and it’s great finger food at a party. This is a new combination idea I had last week.

Since I had a huge bunch of shiso (see below), I thought it might be a good idea to pair it with bell pepper (hot pepper was excellent in the Korean Pork Rolls and Shiso in Tempura). I usually coat pork rolls with teriyaki glaze, but this time I longed for a fiery meal and added gochujang (slightly sweet Korean chili pepper paste) to my teriyaki glaze. Gochujang, shiso, pork and pepper combination turned out perfect. While the previously posted Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls had a spring character, these seemed suitable for hot summer days.

For those who don’t know shiso, or perilla (lat. Perilla frutescens), it’s a herb used in Japan (紫蘇) and Korea (ggaennip, 깻잎), although the Korean variety is apparently slightly different. It is usually sold as a bunch of rather big leaves, similar to nettle leaves in shape (see the leaf on the photo). I buy my shiso in a Thai/Vietnamese grocery shop and I suppose it is used in other Asian countries. They are either green either slightly violet (called “red shiso” in Japan) or bicoloured. The taste is astringent and the smell quite strong, but not as overwhelming as for example coriander: actually I don’t think I have ever met anyone who hates shiso. It can be used raw or cooked.

If you don’t like this pepper filling idea, here are other pork rolls I have written about:

-Okra Teriyaki Pork Rolls

-Potato Teriyaki Rolls

-Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls

-Pork Rolls and Shiso in Tempura

TIPS: Of course in this recipe any herb of your choice can be used, as long as it supports well the frying/grilling process (I would recommend green onions, coriander or Thai sweet basil).

Pork rolls (raw) can be prepared the day before, stored in the fridge and fried just before serving.

Preparation : 40 – 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2 – 3):

12 -15 thin pork slices (max. 3 mm thick)

1 big bell pepper (or another variety of sweet pepper)

12-15 big shiso leaves (or more if they are small)

flour

salt, pepper

oil

Teriyaki glaze with gochujang:

3 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 4 if you have low sodium soy sauce)

3 tablespoons sake

1 heaped tablespoon gochujang (or less if you gochujang is particularly hot – mine is medium hot – or if you don’t like very hot dishes)

Cut the bell pepper into thin strips (cut them in two horizontally if they are very long; their length should be adapted to the size of pork slices, so that they do not stick out too much).

Season slightly the pork slices with salt and pepper.

Prepare the shiso leaves.

Place the pork slice on a cutting board, seasoned side up. Put one or more shiso leaves to cover most of the surface.

Put 3 pepper strips at one end of the pork roll.

Roll it tightly and put aside.

Do the same with all the pork strips.

Heat some oil in a pan.

Dust the pork rolls with flour and fry (sealed side down), covered on a medium heat until they are well browned (it will take about 15 minutes).

Combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients and heat them in a small pan or in a microwave.

Pour the teriyaki sauce over the rolls and make sure they are well coated.

Let the sauce thicken for about one minute.

Transfer the rolls to a plate and garnish with the remaining sauce.

Korean Stir-Fried Squid with Cabbage and Carrot

koreansquidpThe successful experiment in simmering daikon with squid (click here to see the recipe) reminded me how much I love squid and made me look for new squid dishes. If I hadn’t seen this recipe in The Food and Cooking of Korea by Young Jin Song, I would have never even dreamt of stir-frying white cabbage and even less combining it with squid. Therefore, I treated it as a high-risk experiment, but the result was stunningly good. Actually it was so good that I prepared this dish three times last week!  The cabbage was refreshing, slightly crunchy, while the squid was soft and soaked with my beloved and typically Korean sweet and hot flavours. Since the cabbage, a Winter vegetable par excellence, is treated here in a definitely springtime or summertime way, I found this dish a perfect choice for a between-the-seasons meal.

I have slightly modified the recipe skipping the chilies because the gochujang (Korean chili paste) and chili powder make it already quite hot. If you prefer very hot dishes, add 2 fresh chopped chilies to the first frying step.

TIP: You can prepare this dish in advance and serve it… cold. It is delicious served as a cold salad.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

2 fresh or thawed, cleaned medium squids (mine were about 15 cm long, excluding the tentacles) 

1 medium white onion, chopped or sliced

2 cabbage leaves, cubed (without the central thick vein)

1 big carrot, julienned 

2 flat tablespoons Korean chili powder

1 garlic clove, crushed or grated

2 tablespoons sake

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste)

1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup

1 teaspoon sesame oil

(soy sauce or salt to taste)

1 teaspoon (or more) sesame seeds

2 tablespoons oil

Cut off the squid fins and put them aside.

Cut the squid tube lengthwise in order to obtain one flat sheet.

Score it diagonally into a criss-cross pattern (the interior side) and then cut it into 2 cm strips.

Do the same with the fins.

Cut the tentacles into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a pan and stir-fry the cabbage, the carrot and the onion for about 2 minutes.

Add the squid and the chili powder and fry them, stirring for another 2 minutes.

Finally add the gochujang, the garlic, the sake, the syrup and the sesame oil. Season with soy sauce or salt to taste. Stir-fry until the squid is cooked (about 3-5 minutes). Each strip should be white (whiter than the raw squid) and curled.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Japanese Chilli and Garlic Oil with Sediments (Taberu rayu)

I don’t have the habit of praising factory-made sauces or condiments, but when I discovered taberu rayu, I have instantly fallen in love. This Japanese condiment is sold in tiny jars filled half with chili oil, half with a crunchy mixture of fried garlic, sesame seeds and chili and it goes well with almost every dish I tested (not only Japanese). Since me and my husband are both addicted to this rather expensive sauce, I thought I should try reproducing it at home. I had no idea what to start with, so I turned for help to Robert-Gilles, my blogging friend from Shizuoka (Shizuoka Gourmet). Robert-Gilles has already saved me from many culinary troubles (daikon leaves rice topping is one of the best examples) and here he was once more extremely kind, generous and helpful. In short, as if by magic, the taberu rayu recipe appeared the following day on his blog!

As Robert-Gilles has written here, taberu rayu (食べるラー油) appeared in 2009 in Okinawa as a modified version of chili oil, originating from China. The name means literally “chili oil for eating” probably because, as I have mentioned above, a part of the condiment is solid. My Japanese grocers sell two types of taberu rayu: one contains dried garlic and the other both dried garlic and dried shrimp. Since I find the former version more versatile, I have left out the shrimp in this first experiment. The recipe proved quite easy (although I did burn the first batch of fried garlic…), rather quick and the result was surprisingly close to the “original” condiment. Home-made taberu rayu is hot and slightly sweet. It has a pleasant crunch due to the sesame seeds and garlic, combined with the stickiness of gochujang (Korean chili paste) and a wonderful bright red colour. Maybe because it lacks artificial after-taste, I find it even more addictive than the factory-made version. Thank you so much, Robert-Gilles, for this extraordinary recipe and for your kind help!

TIP: If you don’t find gochujang (Korean chili paste), you will find a recipe also on Shizuoka Gourmet blog. You can substitute it here with a bigger amount of chili flakes and a bit more sugar, but the texture will be different.

Preparation: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients (fills a 200 ml jar):

100 ml canola oil (or another oil with a neutral taste)

50 ml sesame oil

1 dried chili

3 thick slices of fresh ginger

10 cm piece of leek

2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)

2 heaped tablespoons Korean chili powder (or half of it if you don’t like very hot seasonings)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar (I used agave syrup)

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds

(about 2 tablespoons dried shrimps, chopped)

Fried garlic:

deep-frying oil

5 big garlic cloves, finely chopped (or roughly mixed in a food processor)

Fried onion:

deep-frying oil

1/2 onion,  finely chopped (or roughly mixed in a food processor)

First prepare fried onion and fried garlic.

Heat some oil in a small pan and when it’s hot enough to fry the garlic (a bit of garlic thrown into the oil will stay at the surface, the oil will start bubbling around and instantly frying it), throw delicately the chopped garlic and take out as soon as it is slightly golden. It will take about one minute or less. Drain the excess oil on paper towel and put aside.

Filter the oil and fry the onion in the same way. It will take more time (a couple of minutes). Drain the excess oil on paper towel and put aside.

In a metal bowl combine the sesame seeds, (the shrimp), the chili powder and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

Pour the remaining sesame oil and canola oil into a pan. Add the ginger, the leek and one dried chili.

Fry at low heat for a couple of minutes.

Take out the vegetables and heat the oils until they start smoking.

At this point pour slowly, stirring, the hot oils into the sesame and chili paste.

Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, put into a jar and keep for one month at room temperature.

 

 

Thick and Crunchy Japanese Chili Sauce on Punk Domestics

Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeum Bap) with Bacon

kimchifriedricep

I suppose many of you will agree that fried rice is one of the most extraordinary dishes in the world. Whatever we use as ingredients, it always ends up, miraculously, as a flavoursome meal.  I am often surprised how good it is compared to some “standard” preparations, where I follow the recipe and respect the ingredients’ list. Naturally, when I learnt about fried rice with kimchi, I had to test this Korean version of fried rice.

For those who haven’t heard about kimchi or haven’t read my previous posts, kimchi (김치) is a very ancient Korean preparation of seasoned fermented vegetables. According to Wikipedia the oldest references to kimchi go back as far as 3000 years ago. Apart from the chili, garlic, ginger and scallions are the most frequent ingredients of the most popular, fiery kimchi version. Kimchi has a very powerful smell, but once you taste it and love it, the smell will never be associated with anything unpleasant. It is spicy, hot, sour and, like most fermented vegetable preparations, very healthy. High in fiber, low in calories and fat, it is packed with vitamin C (thanks to the fermentation) and carotene. It also contains several other vitamins, helps digestion, is said to prevent certain cancers… In short: it’s a wonder food. Its importance in the Korean cuisine cannot be compared to anything in any European food culture I know. It is not only eaten as a side dish, but also put into warm dishes, for example… fried rice.

Kimchi can be made with different vegetables, but the most popular are white radish (daikon) and Chinese (Napa) cabbage kimchi. Until now I have experimented with both (Kkakdugi 깍두기, or Cubed Radish Kimchi, and Mak Kimchi, or Easy Chinese Cabbage Kimchi). Mature and well fermented Chinese cabbage kimchi is the one used in warm dishes, so I waited for its flavours to develop and decided to combine it with fried rice.

Since it was my first attempt to use kimchi this way, I decided, exceptionally, to follow a precise recipe. I have chosen Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeum Bap) with Bacon found on Hyosun Ro’s Eating and Living. It was easy, quick, convenient and tasted heavenly. The most surprising part was that the complexity of flavours created by the ripe, well fermented kimchi. It was difficult to believe that soy sauce and chili paste were the only seasonings. Thank you, Hyosun Ro, for introducing me to this amazing version of fried rice.

I have respected the recipe, but changed a bit the proportions, added some frozen peas I often mix with rice and substituted bacon with smoked pork loin. I have also skipped gochujang because I didn’t feel like very hot dishes (my kimchi was quite hot).

TIP: As Hyosun Ro advises, the previous day rice is the best here. If slightly microwaved, it breaks easily into grains during the frying process.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

about 200 g  (1 cup) cooked short grain rice (I used the Japanese rice)

1 onion (sliced)

1 small carrot julienned or diced

about 100 g bacon, diced (or other smoked pork cut; I used smoked pork loin)

8 heaped tablespoons Chinese cabbage kimchi, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces

(5-6 tablespoons frozen peas)

4 tablespoons juice from kimchi

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste) 

(green onion)

1-2 tablespoons canola oil (to fry)

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

Heat some canola oil in the pan and fry the bacon (do not brown it).

(You can remove the fat if the bacon rendered too much of it).

Add onion, kimchi, gochujang and carrot.

Stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

(If using, add the frozen peas and stir-fry for two minutes).

Add the rice, the soy sauce and the kimchi juice.

Stir-fry for another 5 minutes scrapping the delicious browned parts that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Combine with sesame oil just before serving and serve with chopped green onion (optional).

 

Pork Rolls and Shiso in Tempura

porkshisot

I still remember discovering Korean dishes made me feel like tasting a bolder and hotter version of the Japanese cuisine. I quickly realised this vision was too simplistic, since Korean cuisine is much more than chili and garlic, which are not as ubiquitous as many people think. Until now I have cooked very few Korean dishes and have posted only one (Mandu, or Korean dumplings). Even though I don’t cook Korean more than a few times a year, I am addicted to gochujang and put it in many Asian or European dishes (Black Pudding and Gochujang Toast and Scallops with Gochujang are very good examples). My very recent discovery of Eating and Living, a beautiful, inspiring Korean cooking blog, has triggered off my need to keep on exploring this cuisine, especially since, browsing through posts I realised many dishes can be prepared with the Japanese ingredients I always have in stock.

These pork rolls were the first I have bookmarked. Even looking at them I knew they were my cup of tea: I love tempura, shiso, pork and the chili kick was all I needed on a cold Autumn night. I was also thrilled to discover the excellent pork and shiso combination, broadening the use of the herb I am so fond of. Even though my rolls were not as beautiful as Hyosun Ro’s, the taste was perfect. When cut in half and presented with the colourful filling upwards, my rolls ended up looking quite appealing. I used one slice of hot pepper and one slice of bell pepper, but next time I will stick to chili. Thank you, Hyosun Ro, for this wonderful recipe!

I had them as a main dish, but I can imagine them as an ideal party snack. It didn’t come as a surprise that the Tomato and Shiso Salad was the perfect pairing. You can serve them, as Hyosun advises, with this sauce, or with any sauce of your choice. I enjoyed them with one of my favourite quick sauces: a mixture of thick soured milk and gochujang.

Preparation: 1 hour

Ingredients (16 pork rolls: a starter for four or a main dish for two):

16 thin lean pork slices (1-2 mm thick)

16 big perilla/shiso leaves

1 big bell pepper or chili peppers, sliced (I counted two thick slices per roll)

a couple tablespoons flour

50g tempura flour

cold water

salt, pepper

3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

oil for deep-frying

Season the pork slices with ginger, salt and pepper. Put aside.

Heat the oil in a pan.

Prepare, in separate bowls: tempura batter roughly mixed with ice cold water (the mixture should have a pancake batter consistency, but it shouldn’t be smooth, but with lumps; the best way is to mix delicately with chopsticks), flour, shiso leaves and sliced chili or bell peppers.

Dredge every pork slice slightly in flour (on both sides), place a shiso leaf on one side, then chili slices (close to the edge) and roll the pork slice very tightly.

Check the oil temperature: if a small amount of tempura starts bubbling and frying immediately (it doesn’t fall down), the oil is probably ready to fry.

Dredge each pork roll in tempura batter and deep-fry for 4-5 minutes.

Pat dry with paper towels and serve.

TIP: I always keep a baking dish in my oven, heated to 60°C, and put there every deep-fried batch, so that they stay warm until I serve everything.

Black Pudding and Gochujang Toast

boudintoastpI know in the spring I should normally start craving light green salads, raw vegetables, grilled fish… but what can I do if one day I know I simply must have some black pudding? Apparently black pudding – also called blood sausage – contains a lot of iron (it is made mainly of blood) and since I don’t eat much beef, another iron provider, I suppose I might lack it quite often. Another thing is I am a huge fan of good black pudding, so I don’t know whether my craving is a need or a very strong urge to have something delicious.

Practically most European countries have their own versions of black pudding and whenever I can, I love discovering new ones. Some are excellent, some weird and some uneatable. Apart from the blood, black puddings usually contain some offal and, to keep a firm shape, rice, bread crumbs, buckwheat or barley are added. In France, where I buy my black pudding (not here in Switzerland, where all the black puddings I had were too bland for my taste), usually the fat and onions are the “filling” ingredients, but some regions use rice. Every butcher has his own version of black pudding (boudin noir), though the differences within the same region are tiny. The problem – which doesn’t arise in certain countries – is when it gets hot, the French simply stop buying black pudding and most butchers stop selling it. The clients affirm it’s the fat content and heaviness that don’t go well with hot weather. However they keep on eating greasy sausages and heavy pâtés… In fact, their black pudding refusal comes from the ancient restrictions dating back to the time when fridge, freezer and dried blood were unheard of and when black pudding could be made and sold only in pigs’ slaughter periods.

Those who, like me, are in the minority, have to enjoy it fresh until the end of April and sometimes May, then freezing is the only way to survive until September. For me the best black pudding is with hot spices, but it very very difficult to find, hot spices usually hiding a lower product quality… I buy the standard, but good one instead, and spice it up. The most frequent way I have it cannot really be called a recipe, but rather an idea. It consists of grilling toasts with black pudding slices, glazed with gochujang, Korean hot pepper paste, with highly addictive umami taste.(Click here to find a more than complete gochujang guide on One Fork, One Spoon blog). They can make a good lunch, if served with a green salad, but they are most of all good and nourishing snacks. They make excellent and original canapés and, while I’m thinking, why not a British inspired breakfast?

Before the recipe, a quick reminder of how my gochujang box looks like:

Preparation: 15 minutes

Ingredients (10 toasts):

10 x 4-5 cm diameter good bread toasts (sliced crunchy baguette is the best)

10 x 1 cm thick black pudding slices (skin removed)

a couple of tablespoons gochujang

Preheat the oven upper grill.

Place the black pudding on the bread slices.

Spread approximately 1/2 teaspoon of gochujang on top of each canapé.

Put under the grill and grill them until the black pudding starts sizzling and gochujang caramelising a bit (don’t let the gochujang change the colour: it means it has burnt!).

Serve either as finger food, snack or as a lunch, with a green salad.

Toast with Canned Tuna and Melted Cheese

Canned tuna is probably the most versatile canned fish I can imagine. Contrary to sardines or anchovies, it is equally good in both hot and cold dishes. To all those crying I shamelessly promote an overfished species, I have two words: Katsuwonus pelamis. This latin name refers to skipjack tuna, also called striped tuna or arctic bonito, the one usually canned and apparently not endangered. Those who have ever had a chance to taste it grilled know it is definitely not the highly praised, red, succulent tun. Striped tuna is dried in Japan,  and then becomes katsuobushi, “shaved” and used to prepare the Japanese broth, or dashi (read more here).

Grilled toasts with toppings (or grilled open sandwiches) are my staples whenever I need a hot, but quick meal. They are the only reason I keep the vilified toast bread, ideal for this preparation. Since this kind of bread keeps quite long, and given into consideration the cans’ shelf life, I always have the ingredients necessary to prepare a toast with tuna. (I do not mention the gruyère you see melted above, since living in Switzerland I couldn’t possibly not have it in my fridge!). The remaining items can be freely substituted or omitted.

This grilled toast can be served for any course. With a green salad it makes a complete and light lunch or dinner (of course unless you put tons of cheese on top).

Preparation: 10 – 15 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

1 can tuna (in water is the one I prefer)

2-3 slices toast bread

a couple of tablespoons capers or chopped olives

a couple of tablespoons mayonnaise, cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream

salt, pepper

50-70 g or more gruyère (or any other melting cheese you have, even mozzarella will do; personally I find gruyère the best here)

(gochujang, tabasco or chili powder)

Preheat the upper grill in the oven.

Drain the tuna.  Put it in a bowl and squash it with a fork, add the capers (or the olives), the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, gochujang and mix well with a fork.

Cut the toast bread into halves (I like the triangles’ cut) or into four pieces if you prefer.

Spread the tuna mixture (a 1 cm or thicker layer) over the bread and arrange the sandwiches on a baking tray or a piece of aluminium foil.

Grate the cheese over the sandwiches or cut it into thin slices and put it over them.

Put the sandwiches under the oven grill and grill them until the cheese melts and the bread crust becomes golden.

Serve with ketchup or hot sauces (plum sauce goes well) and with a green salad.

Scallops with Gochujang

Have you ever heard that preparing scallops with strong tasting or hot condiments is the biggest faux pas?  I’ve read or heard it thousands of times. Sometimes not believing the “specialists” and taking risks, even with expensive products, is worth it. Scallops might look innocent, but they support perfectly well even very hot seasoning (unless one is not used to or doesn’t like hot dishes of course!).

Talking of hot condiments…. if you shop sometimes at Asian groceries, you might have come across this red box:

Gochujang is a Korean condiment based, among others, on hot pepper and fermented soybean. It is dark red, a bit sticky, very hot and slightly sweet. In Korean cuisine gochujang is put into soups, sauces and marinades, and that is also how I often use it. If, like me, you love the combination of sweet and hot, you will become addicted to gochujang! I have been using it for a couple of years and cannot imagine finding my red box empty one day!

Anyway, let’s get back to the point! The last time I had scallops in my fridge I was in a lazy mood and didn’t want to cook anything complicated or/and long. Whenever I opened the fridge to find an idea the scallops seemed to wink at me… When I noticed my eternal gochujang box in the fridge, I simply had the idea to put them together! Personally I really liked the result, and to make matters worse for culinary purists, I found it really luscious with… sour cream! (My idea of trying the sour cream came from the gochujang and sour cream cold sauce I often use as a dip).

Preparation: about 15 minutes (depending on your oven)

Ingredients:

as many scallops as your appetite dictates you (shells and corals discarded)

a dollop of gochujang per each scallop

sour cream (or sour milk for a lighter version) served as a sauce

Preheat the oven upper grill.

Wash the scallops. Pat them dry and place on a dish or baking paper.

Spread some gochujang on every scallop and put them under the grill (not too close to the grill though, otherwise they’ll get burnt while still raw inside).

Grill them checking if the bottoms of the scallops are well cooked (no longer transparent, but white and opaque).

Serve with rice or good quality crunchy bread and do try the sour cream or milk!