I like TJs kimchi a lot.
February 2023 Cookbook of the Month: Korean American by Eric Kim
SALT AND PEPPER PORK CHOPS w/ VINEGARED SCALLIONS, pg. 49
These are dead easy and are a flavor punch thanks to the vinegared scallions. Add in a little rice and you have a complete and very satisfying meal that can be made during the week.
You prepare the pork chops by making a little rub from salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Set aside for 30 to 60 minutes.
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.
When ready to cook, blot the chops with a paper towel to get it dry. Using a cast- iron skillet with oil sear the the chops on both sides. Stick into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to plates to rest before serving.
In a small bowl, combine shredded scallions, vinegar, gochugaru, and brown sugar. Top the pork chops with the mixture.
To make the pork chop dipping sauce, combine salt, brown sugar, and sesame oil and stir.
Serve the vinegared scallion pork chops with rice and the dipping sauce.
This dish made my mouth happy. I altered the recipe slightly to use no carb sweetener instead of regular brown sugar. But other than that, I pretty much made it as written. And if prep the pork chops with the rub and then make the rice and the dipping sauce and the scallions while the chops are in the oven, you can have this whole complete done in about an hour.
Start making the sauces for the scallions and for the pork chops.
They run out fast. When.I made the meal pictured above to take over to my friends’, I got the last jar, which has been the case 3 out of 4 times I’ve bought it!
YANGNYEOM ROAST CHICKEN, pg. 210
This is another super easy recipe with a huge flavor pay-off.
Preheat oven to 425.
Oil your bird and then salt and pepper it everywhere- inside and out. Stick it on a sheet pan and roast for 45 minutes to an hour. Or until done, if you have one of those huge franken birds.
While your chicken cooks, in a medium bowl combine together ketchup, maple syrup, gochujang, strawberry jam, brown sugar, and minced garlic together.
Once the chicken is down and has rested for about 10 minutes, slather the chicken with the sauce. Serve with extra sauce.
I changed this up slightly. I took my bird out a little before it was completely done and slathered the sauce on and roasted it a little longer. I wanted the slight caramelization that provides. I also only used strawberry jam. I thought maple syrup AND strawberry jam AND brown sugar was super overkill. But if you like your spicy sauces more on the sweet side, add it all in.
We ate this off the bone the first night and then in lettuce cups the next.
SALTED SALMON STEAKS [FILLET] (with celery and mushrooms)
This “recipe” is to stress the benefits of salting fish for half an hour to a day before cooking.
The salmon is roasted along with celery and mushrooms. I had already made plenty of mushrooms when I made the Japchae and I don’t like celery, so I just roasted the salmon on its own and added vegetables to my serving later.
Salting fish, as with salting any protein, is a good thing of course. However he calls for 2 6oz steaks to be roasted at 450F for 30 minutes — WHAT???!!!
Anyway, ignoring that, if this is not a technique you already use, it’s a good one to learn. The only issue is that water will be exuded, so if you want crispness, dry the fish off again beige cooking.
I ate the fish as part of a bibimbap bowl with spinach namul, broccoli slaw muchim, kimchi, and ssam sauce (comprised of doenjang, gochujang, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar) which landed on the fish instead of the rice by mistake.
I make Shiozake (塩鮭) often, and depending on the thickness of my salmon (usually about 1 inch), I bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes.
30 minutes and you’re going to get jerky.
At 450 it might be charcoal…
CRUDITES w/ROASTED SEAWEED SOUR CREAM DIP, pg. 194
This is the variation to the main recipe which uses smashed potatoes and scallions. But I am watching my carb intake and the crudité variation was right up my alley.
Combine sour cream, crumbled gim, minced garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and sugar in a bowl. Serve with various vegetables. I used endive, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and blistered shistitoes.
I really liked this and Mr. Shark ate it until it was gone. The garlic gives the dip some heat and the other ingredients add umami and depth to a dip which takes less than five minutes to make. I can see this being a party dip with a lot of raw and cooked vegetables.
KALBIJJIM WITH ROOT VEGETABLES AND BEEF FAT CROUTONS
Maybe I’m just picking the wrong things to cook from this book, but I’m pretty underwhelmed so far.
This is more along the lines of a “refined” version of a traditional recipe than a home-style or simplified version. (Struck me later that this may be more in the direction of Momofuku’s sous vide Galbi than traditional Galbi-JJim, but given the comments about this dish being a rite of passage and so on, that was not what I was expecting from that set-up.)
Step 1: Boil the beef with the aromatics left in large pieces (vs pureed as they might be in the traditional version), then strain the stock (and de-fat it)
Step 2: Cook the beef again with the saved stock, soy, apple, brown sugar, and maple syrup till the liquid is reduced by half, then add vegetables and cook till soft.
I needed to boost the aromatics and seasonings as with other recipes I’ve tried so far. I also saved the vegetables from the first step and pureed them for a heartier sauce.
I had beef stew meat to use up, so I added bones I had saved from something else. Didn’t have radish so I used cauliflower stem for some bite and sharpness, and also added chunks of red onion and some potato for the second step.
I ate this with rice, as suggested. I haven’t made the croutons yet, not sure I will but I’ve got plenty of leftovers so I may change my mind.
Oh wow, that’s a bummer that you’re feeling underwhelmed. You’re certainly giving it a fair chance.
Hah. I’ve missed Korean food, so I was going to cook it anyway, but I’ve been choosing recipes from the book vs Maangchi or Koreatown.
Maybe I’ll try some of the more fusion-y / less traditional recipes next, I think that’s been my issue, picking things where I had a clear flavor expectation.
I don’t have the book, but I have enjoyed his recipes that have appeared in the New York Times.
SHEET PAN JAPCHAE WITH ROASTED WILD MUSHROOMS - p. 231
I made this as directed, although I did cut the noodles because as Saregama noted, this step was left out of the instructions. My mushrooms were shiitake and oyster. I really liked the concept of this dish. It makes sense that japchae could be adapted to use oven-roasted vegetables. But as written, the recipe didn’t deliver. The sauce lacked complexity. The dish needed a greater variety of veg. Just mushrooms and scallions didn’t quite cut it. Everything about this version of japchae was just underwhelming compared to every other version I’ve made. I would like to play with this, because I do still think the concept has merit. But this recipe… not one to repeat. Picture lacks sesame seeds, because I forgot to add them until after I’d taken the photo.
Better late than never, here is our March nomination post:
I’ve only made two things, but I feel the same way. Underwhelmed. The book isn’t very vegan-friendly, so I just have a few more things to try, which I’ll do towards the end of the month when I’m back in town. My lackluster results so far don’t inspire me to take on the task of veganizing the animal-based dishes, which I would happily do if the book were providing stunning flavors.
CHARRED CAULIFLOWER WITH MAGIC GOCHUGARU DUST - p. 200
Oooh, magic gochugaru dust! That sounds special, right? If only. This recipe is super easy. You toss some cauliflower in a bit of oil, and broil it. 5-15 minutes, he says, but for me it was 15 to get some decent char on it. Then you sprinkle the cauliflower with a mix of salt, gochugaru, smoked paprika, a tiny amount of brown sugar, and a tiny amount of garlic powder. Done.
So flavor-wise, this dish doesn’t come across as particularly Korean. The smoked paprika dominates the flavor of the spice mix, and it ends up reading as more American barbecue. It was fine, nothing exciting. I mean, it’s roast cauliflower with spices on it. Do you need a recipe for that? I don’t, and I can come up with more vibrant spice mixtures. Served with turmeric-glazed tempeh from I Dream of Dinner, which unlike this recipe, has become a repeater around here.
Voting for March is here:
Reporting thread for March is here:
I am late to the Eric Kim cooking because I only just got some Asian eggplants.
I made EK’s Gochujang Glazed Eggplants with fried scallions.
With kimchi fried rice from here, (not EK’s) minus the bacon and with scrambled eggs mixed in vs. fried eggs on top. Oh, made w/ brown rice
Very very good eggplant. Easy to make after the fiddly step of vertically slivering the scallions.
The fried rice was great too.
Two to TJ gochujang!
Nominations for April COTM are now open: