Friday, July 31, 2015

What I Ate: Ojinguh Bokkeum

I'm driving up to Ithaca today for a little long weekend trip with my family. The dog is coming too, which is nice. I'm excited to hit up my old favorites (even though a few have since closed) and to revisit my alma mater, which I love and has a special place in my heart. I'm also super excited to hit up the farmer's market. Ithaca's farmers market is gorgeous and so much fun and there's tons of amazing food and beautiful produce.

I wish we had a more substantial farmers market in my town. Luckily for us, our grocery store is pretty well stocked and they recently set up a little stand with local produce. They've also upped their meat and seafood game. The selection isn't always that varied but once in a while they have some gems.
And when they do, I pounce. This time, it was a delicious looking package of squid which I turned into ojinguh bokkeum.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Seaweed Side Dish | Miyuk Moochim (미역무침)

I'm convinced that in a past life, I was a mermaid. For one, I love to swim. I'm actually a pretty strong swimmer (despite what you may think when you look at my small, chunky frame) and snorkeling is probably my favorite leisurely activity ever. I also added some pink streaks to my hair and I think that's a desire that only mermaids have. And, the final clincher is that I've always had a thing for seaweed.

When I was a kid, miyuk guk (seaweed soup) was always my favorite. And despite being flavored with beef stock, I would pretend I was just drinking a bowl of warm ocean water; if that's not an indicator of mermaiditis, then I don't know what is. Oh, and of course, toasted seaweed (which has become a pretty popular snack) is still served at my dinner table all the time.

I haven't been as into dealing with seaweed lately, mostly out of laziness. My mom only ever used seaweed for soup but here and there, I've had it in a spicy side dish at restaurants. While digging through the pantry to see what needed restocking, I found a package of seaweed and decided to give the spicy side dish a go. It's not the prettiest looking dish, but it's yummy and seaweed is super healthy.
Ingredients:
½ oz. dried seaweed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped
1 tablespoon hot pepper paste
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
+ sesame seeds

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thai Red Curry with Fish

I've diagnosed myself with no-planned-holiday-on-the-horizon depression. I am a big lover of going on vacation and I don't have anything concrete planned right now and it's driving me crazy. Because I'm contemplating taking the Professional Engineering exam either some time this fall or next spring, I've been apprehensive to book anything just yet. I think I might book something for November though because right now, I'm in such a slump. Being at work feels extra mundane when I don't have a break to look forward to so I've really got to do something now or I might have a nervous breakdown.

Similarly in my cooking life, I've been feeling kind of uninspired. This happens every summer because I regard heat sources with such disdain, especially when my wallet and my environmentally conscious conscience can't be bothered to up the air conditioning enough to offset the beads of sweat that collect on my forehead (and if you'll indulge my disgustingness for a second, my pits) when I'm standing next to a lit stove.

Plus, when it's hot, I'm inclined to eat light but there are only so many salads a girl can eat without developing a hatred for all things green. This fish curry was a great solution in many regards. For one, it's super low-maintenance with minimal time standing next to the stove. Secondly, it's full of vegetables so it feels fresh and light but it has some tender fish which gives it some substance. The last bit of praise I'd like to give this curry is that it's easily customizable to whatever you've got in your crisper drawer. Wait, one more advertisement: the leftovers are so good, especially when the ingredients have had time to really soak up the flavors of the curry sauce.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 teaspoon oil
¼ onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced lemongrass
4 Thai chilis, chopped
13.5 oz. can coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon roasted chili paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 heads baby bok choy
1 squash, sliced
5 oz. (drained) can bamboo shoots (8 oz. undrained)
¾ lb. flounder (or any soft white fish)
1 tablespoon chopped Thai basil

*Like I mentioned above, the bok choy and squash are merely (delicious) suggestions. Feel free to use your favorite produce items here. Some suggestions: bell peppers, asparagus spears, broccoli, eggplant, the possibilities really are endless.
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