Saturday, November 20, 2010

Operation Clean Pantry: Samgak Kimbap (Triangle Kimbap)

I love these things! When I was in Korea a buddy of mine and I traveled around quite a bit and we would stop at convenience stores while on the road. I usually got a coffee or small soda and a couple of these samgak kimbap. These are rice and roasted pressed dried algae (kim) usually stuffed with meat and hot sauce. They are really clever because they are wrapped a certain way where you peel the plastic off and the kim is still nice and crunchy when it touches the rice.

I loved shopping at the local stores such as E-Mart or Lotte Mart. Mega shopping centers with tons of cool stuff and food. I found these plastic wrapped kim made for making samgak kimbap. I brought a bunch of them home with me.

I decided to make these and give these out to friends. I think they are really tasty and fun to make and eat. You can find the sheets of kim at a well stocked Korean store. Ask and you may be able to order them. Sometimes they come with the mold, but you can mold them by hand if you need to.

Samgak Kimbap

Makes 8-9 Kimbap

4-5 cups fresh cooked Korean rice (warm)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl until dissolved. I usually microwave it for about 30 seconds to speed up the process. Pour the mixture over the rice (in a big bowl) and cut in and mix with a rice paddle. Set aside and let cool.

Can tuna, drained and squeezed well
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
black pepper

Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add tuna. Cook for a minute and add garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and stir. Cook for another minute. Mixture will be dry. Turn off the heat and add the sesame oil, seeds and black pepper and mix. Put in a bowl and set aside to cool.

Once the rice and tuna mixture are cool start making your triangles!

Using damp hands press a little rice into the bottom of your mold. I make a slight indentation in the middle to hold the filling. Put in some tuna filling and a little Korean red pepper sauce. This makes it taste really good!

Then using damp hand press some more rice on top. You'll want to press firmly but don't over pack it. Lay out a sheet of the prepared kim with the writing side down. Pop the rice triangle out and place the top tip at the top of the kim. Usually the kim package will have instructions. Bring the bottom of edge of the kim up and fold the sides in and use the stickers provided to seal.

These are so delicious. Unwrapping them takes a bit of practice but that'll just give you an excuse to eat more of them! I got this recipe from my favorite online Korean cook, Maangchi and you can watch her demonstrate as well. Thanks, Maangchi!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Operation Clean Freezer: Hot Wings

This is my first attempt at making hot wings. I know! It's about time right? My sister, Dori is really good at making "wings" and they are really tasty, and well, she does live in Texas so her secret is to fry them in oil and then toss them in sauce.

Since my home is not the colossal sized house that she and her family enjoy, frying food in her nice deep fryer and in all that space isn't so bad, but I don't want my place to smell like a fried chicken shack for days. So, I am going to bake them. Plus baking is a bit healthier or at least I would like to think so!

So I thawed some frozen chicken wings from the freezer and patted them dry with paper towels. I think this is one of the most crucial things when you're going to make wings. You want any excess moisture to be gone and this goes for baking as well as frying. Especially when frying because the excess water can be explosive when it mixes with the hot oil.

So I arranged them on a pan and then sprinkled both sides with this great local seasoning called Schultz's Gourmet Premium Seasoning and Rub. I bought this at Costco and it's a local company. They make a hot sauce that rocks beyond belief. That's what inspired me to make hot wings in the first place. This seasoning is going to be good because the salt in it will help pull out some moisture from the skin and make it somewhat crispy. I hope!

After laying out all of seasoned wings I threw the pan in a 400 degree F oven and baked them for about 30 minutes and then I carefully poured off any juice from the pan making sure not to tip it too much and toss any wings into the sink! Then back in the oven they went.

After another 15 minutes of cooking I then turned them over, gave a few of the wings a light sprinkle of the seasoning (some of the seasoning went with the juice), and reset the timer for another 15 minutes (or until meat is done and the juices are running clear. The skin should be golden, brown, and delicious. I turned them again in between this cooking period so they weren't sticking to the foil.

These wings would be good just as they are since the seasoning is so good, but I tossed mine with the special hot sauce as well. I'm not a fan of dipping my hot wings in bleu cheese or ranch dressing so none for me. All I need is a good cold beer (sad, none in the house so a Coke will have to do) and a good warm cloth to clean up my fingers and lips in between feasting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Operation Clean Fridge: Pulled Pork

Yum! This was so good. Like I mentioned I thawed some pork country spare ribs and cooked them in the Crock Pot last weekend. This is the way pork should be eaten in my book. This was so simple because I had the piece in the fridge stored in a zip-lock bag. What I did was squeeze the pork in the bag and microwaved it for about 30 seconds to heat it up a bit. Then I opened the bag and sprinkled in some dried onion, put in some BBQ sauce and some hot sauce and I kneaded the bag so everything was nice and mixed. I then microwaved it for about a minute or so. Then when it was good and hot I put it on my buns (using the Thomas Bagelthins these days) and put some string cheese on top and nuked it one last time for about another minute until the cheese was melted. YUM!

Operation Clean Fridge: Skillet Breakfast

So the quest continues to clean out the fridge and the freezer. Today I used some leftover pork that I thawed from the freezer and cooked last weekend in my little Crock Pot. It was so tender and I've been eating it in soup. This morning I felt like a skillet breakfast. This is when you take whatever and brown it in a skillet, throw it on a plate and slide some eggs on top. I used the pork, some more of those Potato Oles and some awesome seasoning I bought at Costco. Yum!