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Kimchee for Novices

Try a traditional yet high protein option: kimchee mung bean pancake is a great snack/appetizer. It doesn't sound very sexy but it's pretty delicious, healthy and authentic. Instead of a flour/water/egg medium, use a mungbean/rice mixture. Let the raw mungbeans and rice sit in water for a few hours then blend it into a puree; add sliced onions, scallions, and chopped kimchi. Can serve with a vinegar/soy sauce. Pairs well with makgullee.

Mar 08, 2013
hyunnee in Home Cooking

Help with Korean etiquette please

Lemons are not used in traditional korean cuisine but it's sometimes used as a garnish if you're in one of those korean restaurants that serve korean style chinese food. I wouldn't hesitate to take a lemon with me and do as I please. I can't imagine any normal korean objecting to a customer customizing food flavor especially if it doesn't require any effort on their part. They'll appreciate your business - bottom line.

Mar 07, 2013
hyunnee in General Topics

What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?

Locavore restaurants (at least in NY). The menu almost invariably serves grass fed beef burger, free range roast chicken, pork chop, salmon, a pasta, and kale salad. They're everywhere.

Mar 07, 2013
hyunnee in General Topics

Korean sushi -- What's the difference?

Perilla...sometimes they're used as garnish for japanese sushi/sashimi but the korean variety tastes slightly different - I would say it's spicier and less minty. They're sturdy plants and are easy to grow. If you're keen, you can grow them until they flower - the flowers will eventually fall off and leave clusters of fresh soft seeds. You can chop off the clusters and lightly fry them in a thin flour/egg batter or chop them up and incorporate into a scallion pancake mix. Sometimes people like to let the seeds mature until the plant dies and use them to replant the following season.

Mar 07, 2013
hyunnee in General Topics

Korean sushi -- What's the difference?

Korean sushi is more accurately described as sashimi. It's characterized by freshness, quantity and texture. Presentation is an afterthought. If you go to small coastal towns in Korea, locals will shop for fresh fish suitable for sashimi-ing (flounder/fluke are the most valued) in fish markets then take it to a restaurant to turn into sashimi. The bones/head are made into a spicy fish soup and completes the meal. The fish should preferably be alive just before preparation. Some modern korean seafood restaurants have added a gimmick of serving the sashimi slices layered over the the bones/head with the mouth still moving. That's the ultimate freshness people will pay big bucks for. The sashimi is served unseasoned in large quantities, spread over a plate the size of a personal pizza on a bed of shredded daikon or lettuce. There's always the common option of serving with a bowl of hot steaming white glutinous rice (unflavored) and a choice of a hot pepper paste/vinegar sauce or soy/wasabi. Each piece is dipped in the sauce then layered over a bite size morsel of rice by the diner and consumed one piece at a time (instant nigiri!) - takes some dexterity. Sometimes you can consume it in the form of a ssam (lettuce/perilla). If the diner doesn't care for rice, they can go without.

The comments about the preference for "chewy" texture is absolutely correct. Tuna and salmon are considered too soft. Seabass and fluke/flounder are chewier white fish that are good options.

The korean rolls involve no fish and is the ideal and traditional picnic food - it can conveniently be eaten by hand and flavorful enough to go without the common korean meal of rice and "banchan." You can brush the roll before cutting into pieces with sesame oil then very briefly rolled over a frying pan to maintain crispness of the seaweed.

Mar 07, 2013
hyunnee in General Topics