29 July 2011

And now, off to Korea!

I can't believe how quickly this summer has flown by.  Here I've been in Taiwan for 6 weeks now, and my time is rapidly coming to a close.  I can say without reservation that I am exactly where I should be at exactly the right time.  It feels really, really good to be so settled-feeling, so happy.  I just don't want it to end, though, and I can't say how sad I am to be leaving a place that has so quickly become home for me.

Having wrapped up my stint as a teacher here, I now have my long-awaited Korea trip before me.  In just a few days, I will be reveling in the motherland of one of my favorite cuisines, hopefully getting some samgyetang, gamjatang, and patbingsu in somewhere along the way!

In honor of this upcoming trip, I want to post a recipe for the classic Korean dish kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew).  This jjigae is incredibly easy to whip up...and the flavors are rich and exciting.  Moreover (and this is what earns it high marks in my book), it is extremely healthy, low-fat with great fiber and protein levels from all that yummy cabbage kimchi and tofu.  I used a nice lean pork sirloin tip roast, but pork belly (samgyeopsal) would be a tasty, richer alternative.

Kimchi jjigae (Kimchi Stew) 김치찌개,
Serves 3-4, Adapted from Maangchi

4 cups chopped kimchi
2/3 lb. (300g) pork meat, diced
½ medium white onion, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced on the bias
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 Tbs. hot pepper paste (gochujang)
~2 cups water
14 oz. (400g) tofu
1 Tbs. sesame oil

Place kimchi, pork, both types of onion, sugar, pepper flakes, and pepper paste in a medium pot.  Add more water as needed to submerge all ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook at a lively simmer for 20 minutes.  Cut the tofu into large bite-size chunks add to the jjigae; continue cooking for 5 minutes more until tofu has heated through.  Check seasoning and add salt to taste, then drizzle with sesame oil.  Serve with steamed rice.


Unknown said...

Erica - You're so lucky! I am really jealous. lol. I know you will have a great time in Korea. Can't wait till hear all your amazing food experience there. Have a safe trip.

Susan Lindquist said...

This sounds wonderfully spicy! I'm not a fan of tofu, but I think I could handle this! The cabbage and pork flavours sound wonderful to me!

The Church Cook said...

I think Hyosun and I will need to meet you there and help you eat all the wonderful Korean food! Can't wait to hear about your trip! My mother, who lives next door, has been out of town for two months and I haven't had any Korean food. This is making me salivate, and it's past bed time. Have fun, Erica! Hugs!

erica said...

Oh, wouldn't a group foodie adventure be so much fun! I will do my best to take pictures and record all my experiences. Thanks for the well-wishes! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I envy you... I didn't really get to eat much when I was there. I've been watching a lot of Korean dramas recently and just dying for some really good Korean food. Have fun!!!

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