Friday, April 30, 2010

A Bastardized Version of Dak Galbi

My four favorite foreign foods are Korean, French, Thai, and Japanese. Of those, French is about all I'm comfortable making. Korean food isn't difficult to make just time consuming. However, there is one dish that is super duper easy to make because the key ingredient is available prepackaged in your local Korean grocery store refrigerator section. Dak galbi is traditionally made by stir-frying chicken in gochujang or chili pepper paste and then adding sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, and rice cakes.

Dak galbi was one of my favorite meals when I taught in Korea. Oddly though, I could never find it on offer in any Korean restaurant in Los Angeles. I found one place recommended on Chowhound but it was not to be - it had changed into a BBQ joint. So home is the only place I can get close to the taste I crave.

To make my version you simply buy a package of dukboki which are rice logs (or because that sounds slightly distasteful rice ovaletts) you then simmer in the provided packets of spicy red sauce. Dukboki by itself is a common street food in Korea eaten as a snack. But mixed with chicken and green cabbage or other vegetables it becomes a tasty and complete one pan meal. I have found the above brand, Pulmuone, quite good, but I'm sure others will work just as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

So Good So Easy

I finally got around to making Smitten Kitchen's chewy granola bars and oh boy are they delicious! Not to mention super easy and super flexible. They're definitely better than any store bought granola bar and better even than some cookies. But the best part is that they are wheat and gluten free. Ever since I got pregnant my body cannot handle gluten or wheat. My joints and feet start to stiffen up if I eat too much of it. Try to find any baked good that tastes fantastic (besides no flour chocolate cakes and such) and has no flour. Difficult. So this is going to replace scones for me unless anyone can recommend an excellent gluten/wheat free scone recipe. I tried some quinoa banana bread, which was tasty but no substitute for a scone.

Back to the recipe. I made a few adjustments to her recipe. Instead of six tablespoons of butter I used Canola oil and for the sweet liquid I used all maple syrup since I was making these for a vegan friend. For the fruit/nut component I chopped up in the food processor 1/2 cup of apricots, 1/2 cup dried cherries, and 1/2 cup of crystallized ginger. I also added 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup shredded coconut. And I included the peanut butter which gave it that extra layer of divine goodness.

For the next round I'll try olive oil and honey and maybe almond butter. The possibilities are endless!

If you make these, let me know what you included.