Thursday, February 03, 2005

Lunar New Year Yummies!

Lunar New Year is February 9, 2005 and it is the Year of the Rooster. The Rooster is a happy animal and is also a family animal, so it should be a good year to spend with one’s family! Anyway, being ambiguously asian, and also since Lunar New Year is my favorite holiday, I am posting a few dishes for everyone to eat. On Wednesday, eat some noodles for long life and some dumplings (mandoo in Korean) for good luck and wealth! Drink some green tea for health and give people younger than you money for luck – oh how I love lucky money! Here are a couple Korean dishes to try with your noodles and dumplings. First and foremost, the most recognizable Korean dish, Kimchi for moehawk! Everyone makes this dish differently, and I have revealed only a couple of my secrets here, if you can stomach the spicy/sour yumminess that is kimchi, try eating my seaweed and sticky rice too! Mmmm . . . Halmoni’s Quick Kimchi (Halmoni is Grandma in Korean!) 1 large head Chinese (napa) Cabbage (4lbs) 3 Tablespoons Coarse Salt 2 Tablespoons (or more) coarse red pepper powder (or good flakes) 3 Tablespoons anchovy essence (or tamarind or fish sauce) 5 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and finely chopped 3 scallions cut into three-inch pieces 2 scallion sliced very very thin 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, crushed and finely chopped 2 Teaspoons sugar Trim off tough outer leaves and stem of cabbage (peel a few large leaves off and set aside) and slice head of cabbage lengthwise into four pieces then sliced into 2 inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Mix with your hands. Leave for 4 hours or more shaking the bowl and mixing with your hands from time to time. Drain off any excess water. During the 4 hours keep checking the cabbage and bend the thicker parts until the cabbage is limp but still crisp when broken. In the meantime in a small bowl, mix the red pepper powder with sufficient water to make a paste. Do this right away to allow the paste time to draw out the color. Once the cabbage is limp, rinse well and drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Mix the fish sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar & red pepper paste. Then add mixture to the drained cabbage mixing well with your hands (wear rubber or plastic gloves!!) Pack tightly into a sterile jar and seal with a few large cabbage leaves which you have set aside, cover with cellophane and lids. Place in a cool dark spot. Let it sit for a day or two if you can wait that long. The longer it ferments, the better it tastes! Ok, since Kimchi takes forever to make, here is a quick and easy Korean dish. Bulgogi (Korean marinated beef) 2 1/2 pounds of thinly sliced (1/8th inch or thinner) rib-eye or sirloin/flank steak marinated in: 5 Tablespoons soy sauce 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped 2 Tablespoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons sugar Freshly ground pepper to taste 2 Tablespoons Worschestershire sauce 4 scallions sliced 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds Cover beef with marinade and mix well using your hands. Set aside for at least one hour. Grill the meat for a few minutes on each side under a broiler or on a grill. If using a grill, turn with tongs frequently until cooked through. Serve with steamed white rice. Kimbop (Rice and Seaweed.)

This is a favorite of mine, and now my son's. I used to eat it like white kids eat chips after school. The benefits are that Seaweed detoxifies your body, and cleanses the blood. So, yummy and good for you!

What you need In the Asian aisle at the supermarket get a package of laver (seaweed for sushi). Brush each sheet with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with salt. Run each sheet over a heat source (in a pan or on a grill) until the sheets crisp up. Once done, cut into squares and serve with hot steamed white rice. Place rice on the small squares of seaweed (like a little seaweed taco) and eat! SayHayYay Boke Manhepadusayoh! (Happy New Year.)

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