Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Apple Picking and Other Recent Updates

This post is going to be a mash of a couple of different things. A couple weeks ago, I visited Lynd's Fruit Farm and it was a blast. I've been there before, but the weather was cruddy and not especially conducive to enjoyable activities. This time it was much better, but unfortunately everyone else thought so too since the line to park was about a mile long.

I'm so proud of this jump shot #sobasic

Our posse

I guess they found an especially delicious looking apple...

We took home an overflowing bag of apples, and I considered hauling home a giant honking pumpkin too but finally decided against it :( sho shad

I baked up some apple roses, and they were actually much prettier than I had anticipated but not as tasty as they look unfortunately :( And I decorated a teeny pumpkin that I bought home with this kit, fox dood looks like hungry...

And I also baked up this apple pie streusal cake, which tasted much better. Now I'm all fall'd out.

I made soondubu again as promised, with sliced beef and shrimp. And some ddukbokki which I didn't bother making from scratch -- the prepackaged sauce and some rice cakes from your local supermarket is more than enough.

And finally a bit of restaurant food...

Khoi and I had happy hour at The Rossi on Labor Day since it was one of the few restaurants that we were sure was open that day. And man was the food fantastic. Their ceviche (top) is one of the most beautiful dishes I've seen in a long time, and tasted amazing to boot. This was also one of my first experiences with poutine and it got me thinking that I need to hit up Canada more often.

And lastly, brunch last weekend! Tasi, I finally visited you! I've wanted to try their food since my first year in Columbus but always chickened out because I feared the line...and it wasn't too awful. Their options are simple and are probably dishes I could make at home...but mine wouldn't be as good. And their huevos rancheros have my heart

Until next time :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Soondubu Chigae (Korean Tofu Soup)

So...I found my dream Soondubu Chigae recipe. If you haven't tasted this before, it's Korean tofu soup and it's amazing. I've tried making this dish a couple times in the past, and it never tasted quite right. But this time, I got it spot on and it brings me back to my high school days hanging out in KTown LA.

The key to this recipe is to make a chili-garlic sauce of sorts (gochu yangnyum). It looks an awful lot like gochujang, which is another Korean chili paste that is easily available premade and looks quite similar. However, gochu yangnyum tastes a lot lighter and will give you the flavor that you're looking for so do not take a shortcut and substitute with gochujang. The recipe for gochu yangnyum is enough for 3-4 batches of this soup so it's super easy once to make again once you get the first part down. I found the recipe here but made a few substitutions so I figured that I'd share my version.

You can get all of the ingredients at your local Korean grocer (Arirang has everything if you're in Columbus). I've listed the Korean names of all the items that aren't available at your average grocery store, so you can google image them so that you know what to look for in advance.

Adapted from Kimchimari

  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp of Korean red chili powder (gochugaru)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic OR 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar OR honey
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 Tbsp white cooking wine (mirin, sake, michi, or sherry)
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients EXCEPT for the vegetable oil.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add mixture above to the pan and stir constantly while it cooks for 3-4 minutes (don't let it burn!). Remove from heat.
  3. Proceed to making soup, and store the remainder of the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. This recipe makes about 3 Tbsp and it should keep well for several weeks.

  • 1 pack (11 oz) of extra soft silken tofu (soondubu) - regular soft tofu will not do! Need the extra soft...
  • 1/2 to 1 cup broth (chicken or fish broth, or water + boullion)
  • 1 Tbsp gochu yangnyum (prepared sauce above)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced fermented shrimp (saewoojeot) - optional
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of veg/protein of choice, cut into small pieces (I used enoki mushrooms, bok choi, zucchini, and seafood mix)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green onions - optional
  • 1 egg

* Note: use the smallest saucepan that you own. Ideally you should make this in a tiny clay pot, but it's not the end of the world if you don't have one.
  1. Open the extra soft tofu and add it to your pot. Add just enough broth to cover the tofu. 
  2. Turn the heat on medium to start cooking your soup, then switch to low heat so that's it's constantly simmering/bubbling but not at a rolling boil. While it's heating up, stir in gochu yangnyum, soy sauce, fish sauce, and optional fermented shrimp. 
  3. Add your veg/protein, and let simmer for 5-7 minutes or until just thoroughly cooked. Add salt to taste and optional green onions.
  4. Add egg and simmer for an additional minute, then remove from heat and serve. You can break up the egg so that it cooks completely, or leave it whole but you may need to cook it for a little longer unless you're using a clay pot or enameled cast iron that retains heat well.
This weekend I'm planning to make this again, except I'll be going all out with fancy shrimp and thinly sliced ribeye. I'll be serving it with ddukbokki (spicy rice cakes) and kimchijeon (kimchi pancakes), and I'm already giddy with excitement just thinking about the food :D