spicy korean chicken stew

spicy korean chicken stew - dak-bokkeum-tang

for about 24 hours 2 weekends ago
the temps dipped,
and for that amount of time
i made two comfort dishes that usually make appearances
around january.
obviously, it was a season fake out,
and my kitchen inclination was also a fraud.

this stew is technically not authentic.
i tried it once at a korean restaurant
and it was much too spicy for my taste buds,
and unfortunately, for my stomach.
i tempered the spice by omitting the korean pepper flakes
and adding the ssamjang.
fraudulent dish or not,
it was still very good.

spicy korean chicken stew - dak-bokkeum-tang

spicy korean chicken stew – dak-bokkeum-tang
adapted from beyond kimchee
serves 4-6

*note: this is a stew, and if it weren’t for the fact that i was going to style to take pix, i would’ve thrown it all together and called it rustic. the veggie cutting can be rough & un-fancy.

package of chopped up chicken meat, i had a mix of bone in, skin on drumsticks and bone out/skin off thighs, about 3-4 lbs total
3-4 medium carrots
1 onion, chopped
3-4 medium potatoes, cleaned and chopped
2-3 cups kelp stock or chicken stock is fine

for the seasoning paste:
2 tablespoons Korean chili paste Gochujang, i used this
1 TBL Korean Seasoned Soybean Paste Ssamjang, i used this
4 TBL soy sauce
1 TBL oyster sauce
1 TBL maple syrup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp pureed ginger
2 TBL rice wine

for garnish:
2 green scallions, chopped

in a stew pot, make the seasoning paste. taste if you need more spice, etc. add the chicken pieces and mix to coat. set aside on stove.

in a medium sauce pan add a piece of kombu or kelp or seaweed to 2-3 cups of water. bring to a gentle boil. cover and simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.

strain the kombu/kelp/seaweed out and pour the remaining liquid into stew pot with chicken. you’re aiming to barely cover the chicken, if needed add more water or you may not need all the stock.

turn heat to medium hot and simmer for about 10 minutes.

add in the onion and carrots, submerging the pieces and allow to simmer for additional 10 minutes.

last add in the potatoes and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes.

the sauce will thicken as it reduces. at this point, everything is cooked through and tender, how much sauce you want is up to you.

garnish with chopped green scallions, serve with steamed rice.

BAM!

spicy korean chicken stew - dak-bokkeum-tang

4 years ago: chicken masala
3 years ago: quinoa sushi rolls
2 years ago: vietnamese seafood noodle soup
1 year ago: crunchy quinoa salad with miso-tahini dressing

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bento love

Variety Bento

autumn is in the air —
i vacillate between
excitement for
mustard yellows & crunchy leaves
and
utter dread for
dreary cold temps.
today marks the first day of school
for most kids in MD,
which means traffic is up,
the campus is packed,
and the kids in my building
aren’t seemingly training for the
gymnastics olympic team at 1pm.

Variety Bento

in favor of transparency here,
i’ve been in a food rut.
i’m not my usual excited self on market day,
most evening dinners have been veggies on toast,
i’m spotty with the breakfast thing
and while i still pack our lunches 4/5 days,
more often than not,
it’s PB&Honey sandwiches
or pasta salad.
just punch me with all this food blogger burnout already.

Variety Bento

enter the bento.
i tinkered with it a little last summer,
then lost interest
and for reasons beyond me
picked up the interest again.
i like the portion control,
and honestly,
how pretty it looks.
if that’ll get me out of my slump,
i’ll take it.

Variety Bento

resources & inspiration: (these are not affiliate or sponsored links)
glass bento containers
sushi maker
bentoparty
shisodelicious

pickled jalapenos

Pickled Jalapenos

i read a meme recently
that basically said
the month of August
is like a long Sunday night
for teachers/educators.
while i am not a teacher
this rings such truth for me.
i feel a sort of melancholy that
the summer is half over,
never mind that it’s over a month out.

summers of late
have me pickling,
which leaves our fridge littered
with random jars of experiments.
we tend to have purges
of the most random soured/salted/sweetened
vegs piled high on toast,
the essence of summer in messy, briny bites
during the dark of all other months
where temps don’t go further than 40F.

Pickled Jalapenos

pickled jalapenos
adapted from gimme delicious food

*note: the first time we made this we deseeded the jalapenos and followed the recipe exactly. it was delicious, but the 2nd time we made this i only deseeded half the peppers and i used a rice vinegar instead, because we ran out of the white stuff. still delicious. it has a spice kick to it but that doesn’t deter me from snacking on them. they would be great chopped up and added to tuna or chicken salads, or topped on hot dogs.

1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, smashed & rough chopped
3 TBL sugar
1 TBL salt
7-8 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced, deseeded

wash and slice jalapeno peppers, aim for thin, but it’s up to you. you wanna be careful, the spiciness can stay on your finger tips for awhile, so don’t rub your eyes or other parts of your body. deseed if you want. set aside.

mix all the ingredients in a saucepan. bring to a boil and add the slices. mix it up, make sure all the slices are sufficiently dunked.

carefully transfer the contents of the saucepan to a mason jar. i used a quart jar.

allow to cool before lidding.

BAM!

Pickled Jalapenos

4 years ago: chocolate + coconut macaroons
3 years ago: homemade bánh cướn chay
2 years ago: popcorn
1 year ago: zucchini ravioli

all other pickled stuff:
bread & butter pickles
brinjal pickle hummus
pickled beets
veitnamese pickled carrots & dakon

jasmine tea + mango jello

Jasmine Tea + Mango Jello

hot damn,
it looks like a post
will go up for june!
barely made it.

we’re headed into july,
which means we are hosting our nephews soon,
and i’m ridiculously excited about it.
we’re headed into the woods,
where i’ll worry about bears and ticks
and mosquitoes,
oh my.

hope your summer is going well!

Jasmine Tea + Mango Jello

jasmine + mango jello
serves 2

note: dw loves him a good boba tea, i don’t care for it, but the local boba shop has pineapple jello that they add to their jasmine tea and damn if i’m not addicted to them.

brew tea according to preference, chill

1 mango, skinned, pitted and cubed
1 1/2 cup boiling water
2 1/2 tsp agar agar, i use the telephone brand, in powder form
maple syrup to taste, optional

in a small sauce pan heat up the water. when it reaches a boil, add the agar agar, remove from heat and stir to melt.

in a vitamix or blender, blitz the cubed mango, you want it as smooth as possible. add the maple syrup if the mango isn’t sweet to your liking.

carefully add the hot water to the blender and blitz to mix through.

pour into a container with a flat bottom. i used a rectangle pyrex container.

cool to room temp and then put in fridge to chill further and harden. (at room temp, it should be hard to the touch already)

when ready, cube the jello, be mindful of the size and that they’ll go up the straw.

to assemble:
add a few tablespoons (or whatever amount that you fancy) of the mango jello cubes to glass. pour the cold tea over it and play the game where you try not to eat all the jello pieces before the tea is gone.

BAM!

4 years ago: s’more donuts
3 years ago: veggie dumplings in spicy sauce
2 years ago: meringue cups + mango curd
1 year ago: raw blueberry coconut tart + nut crust

cháo cá kho

Chao Ca Kho

today marks 3 years since
my beloved gpa passed away.
we are currently in CA,
in celebration of his life,
visiting gma,
and taking a much needed breather.

today’s recipe is one of my childhood faves,
which i have gone & bastardized.
normally it’s eaten with rice,
but gpa would make it with
rice porridge
and we’d have it for breakfast.
gpa always ate it with chopsticks,
which is weird,
this is stew-soup-porridge,
but the man was deft with them sticks.
he is dearly missed.

Chao Ca Kho

cháo cá kho
cháo amount makes 4 small servings, or 2 hefty servings (which is the norm)
cá kho amount makes 6 servings

*note: in feb, dw & i visited charleston, sc, and one of the places we dined at, Xiao Bao Biscuit had a special: fishball congee that was fresh and completely different from any congee experience i’ve ever had, at home or at a restaurant. i only like vietnamese style congee, which is called chao, every other version is not good to me, no offense to all other congees out there. their version, the balls were deep fried and proportion of balls to congee is the exact opposite of what i’m used to. chao is supposed be a quick filling and warming meal, bland with a few bites of salty. their version tipped it to the opposite side of the scale and my version attempts to even it out. the presentation is a little on the precious side for me, but it was a special occasion.

*note: the consistency of this chao is on the thick side, which is my preference, almost to the point where you could stick your chopsticks upright in the bowl and it won’t topple (don’t do that though, especially in japan).

Chao Ca Kho

fishballs
1 1/2 lb catfish filets, skinned and de-boned
knob of ginger, skinned and thin sliced
2 garlic cloves
2 scallions, rough chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
fresh cracked black pepper
oil, for frying

in a food processor add all the ingredients except the filets. pulse until all the ingredients are rough chopped and mixed together. with a spatula, push down the mixture and clean the sides of the bowl.

chop the fish filets into bite sizes and add to the processor. pulse until all the ingredients are chopped and mixed through. you don’t want it to be mush but you do want it to get incorporated.

using a tablespoon or if you’re fancy, a ice cream scooper, scoop up about 1.5 tablespoons worth into your hand and roll it around until it’s ball. place on plate or parchment lined cookie sheet. do this for the entire mixture.

in a pan, heat up a splash of oil. fry the balls until they’re all browned on the outside. don’t worry if they’re not fully cooked on the inside (though they probably are). set on paper towel lined plate and set aside.

braising/caramel sauce
1 generous tsp sugar
1/2 cup – 1 cup coconut juice (water if you end up sipping all the coconut juice waiting for the sugar to caramelize)(no judgement)
half onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
a knob of ginger, thin sliced
1-2 TBL fish sauce

you’re working simultaneously here:
in a pot heat up some oil. saute the onions until they are richly browned, add in the garlic and ginger, all the while stirring to prevent burning.

meanwhile, in a small sauce pan heat up the sugar. it’s going to melt, it’s going to harden and you might smell some burning. don’t freak out like dw did, add the liquid (coconut juice or water) and mix it all together and the liquid starts to simmer. at that point, add it to the pot of onions/garlic/ginger.

mix it all through and then carefully, nestle the fried fishballs into the pot. allow the pot to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. turn the balls to allow for even coatage, add more liquid if the pots gets too dry.

while that’s doing its thing, make the chao.

cháo
1/2 cup rice, rinsed and drained (any kind, whatever your preference)
3 cup water

in a medium pot, add the water and rinsed rice. heat on high until boiling, stir, and then lower heat to medium low, until just a simmer. semi-cover and ignore for 20 minutes. check on it, stir and check consistency. you’re aiming for a thick porridge, if you prefer looser, add more water. take off heat. as it cools, it will thicken, just add water to loosen.

toppings/garnishes
pickled red onions (paper thin sliced red onions in a sweetened vinegar mix)
fried onions
fried garlic
green scallions
sliced red chilis

to assemble
in a bowl add the chao then top with fishballs. drizzle with the caramel/braising sauce. add the garnishments to your heart’s content.

BAM!

Chao Ca Kho

previous gpa posts:
citrus curd mille feuilles
salt & pepper shrimp
guinea hen liver pate