Friday, October 17, 2008

The Incredible Edible Egg (even the teeniest ones)

I was turned on to eating these when I was here in Korea in 1997. They are a popular snack food and I was thrilled to see them commonly available as any white chicken egg. In fact a flat of 40 eggs was really only about three or so dollars. That's cheap! I've seen these babies in gourmet shops in the states for a lot more money and you get maybe a dozen. Maybe.

I am an egg fan. I love them. I've photographed them, I've made giant sculptures of them, I've eat hundreds maybe even thousands of them. Hell, I even dressed up as a fried egg for Halloween! So when I ate tiny little quail eggs for the first time I immediately took a liking. They are so cute and so delicious!

I began to ponder while I was boiling up my pot of mini eggs. Where are the farms for these little egg sweat shops? I know they are around, but it's just an odd thing to imagine hundreds of these little itty bitty birds cranking out itty bitty eggs on a daily basis. Do you suppose they televise these farms on TV for Korean children?

You know like the ever popular little "how do they do it?" and "where does it come from?" snippets they showed American young 'uns on Sesame Street and Captain Kangaroo. Little snippets like...this is how peanut butter is made....this is where your milk comes from....this is where they make chocolate bars.

Only here in Korea they can do little snippets on...this is where those little tiny eggs come from... this is where they raise the dogs for that tasty dog meat that thousands of Koreans are so fond of... see where they harvest the thousands of silkworm larvae for that street vendor favorite, bundagee. This is how we make kimchi!

I think Korean television for children would be very interesting to venture into! With my love of food, my love for the bizarre and off the wall, and my love for photography and the cinematic I think I could pull of a very entertaining and educational program.

My first snippet that I would produce would be on "this is where they make the squat toilets!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kimchi Chigae a la Diane

I am learning to like traditional Korean cabbage kimchi. It's very strong, but the more I eat it and the variety of ways to eat it I find I'm getting rather fond of it. I've always loved kimchi fried rice (will have to make that soon) and I really like kimchi soup (kimchi chigae) and it's really easy to make.

When we went out to the field my KSCs (Korean civilians who work for the US Army) would cook for all of us and one day they made soup. I just watched what they did and realized it's just cut up cabbage kimchi and water and sausage/SPAM, really whatever you want. I put a few extra in to make it my own.

Diane's Kimchi Chigae (김치찌개)
(serves about two or one giant Diane serving)

About 1/4 cup cabbage kimchi, cut up (seems to me the older the better!)
About 3 cups water
1 tablespoon Korean style beef seasoning powder (it's not as salty as buillion but you can use that if you have to)
1 tablespoon gochuchang (Korean red pepper sauce)
A couple of thick slices of SPAM (my meat of choice, you can use hotdogs too but it really should be super processed to have that real Korean flavor!)
I threw in leftover mushrooms that I had the fridge, a few little boiled quail eggs, and a handful of the rice cake that I love so much.

Throw all of the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer. Serve piping hot with or without Korean style white rice. You could change up the recipe every time you make it. Yum yum! Nothing tastes better on a cool or cold day!