Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's good to have an open mind.

This is one of my favorite Korean dishes to eat when drinking beer. In fact I think it's one of every Korean's favorite. What's not to like about it? It's spicy and sweet and tangy and chewy. I love it! What is it you ask?

I had eaten this dish many, many times before really knowing what was in it. My Korean friends always said it was just "seafood." Well, that could mean anything. My last duty station in Korea my friend, Ah Young told me the secret to making this. I finally figured out what was in it I just didn't know the proportions. The main ingredients are fresh veggies (mostly cucumber and onions) and canned sea snails called golbaengi. Don't wince. No gagging allowed until you try it. They are very good.

In fact when my sister, Darcie came a few days earlier than everyone else during the big journey to Korea this summer, she had a taste of it. Of course I didn't tell her what it was. She liked it until I told her what it was. Poor Darcie. She doesn't know what she's missing.

GolBaengi MuChim

1 can sea snails
(you can pick these up at any Korean market. Just ask the Korean ladies who work there. They will be more than happy to help you!)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin (you can use less onion. I just like a lot)
3-4 green onions, julienne into about 2 inch lengths (I just sliced mine on the diagonal too)
1/2 cup dried cuttle fish, snipped into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces (I used more because I like it)

3 Tbls. Korean red pepper paste (I used 4 because I like mine extra spicy)
1 Tbls. Korean dried red pepper flakes (of course I used more)
1/2 Tbls. soy sauce
2-2 1/2 Tbls. sugar (start out with less and add more to taste)
2-2 1/2 Tbls. cider vinegar (start out with less and more to taste. I added way more because I like the tang)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sesame seeds (or more if you would like)

Angel hair pasta, cooked, rinsed in cold water, drained well

Cut the veggies and put in a bowl. Open, rinse well, drain, and chop the snails into bite sized chunks. Don't gross out. They are very good. Snip the dried cuttle fish into bite sized strips. Set aside.

Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over all other chopped ingredients in bigger bowl. Mix well. Chill overnight if you'd like or eat right away. It tastes better when it sits in the fridge a bit.

Take the angel hair pasta and coil into little bundles on each side of the salad. Mix when ready to eat. Drink copious amounts of any type of beer. Delicious!

I'm eating this for lunch and I made this batch without cucumber. I hate cucumber, but for some reason not having it in my dish makes it taste...not quite right.

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