January 2, 2012 § 5 Comments
Can you think of a better way to start off the new year than with a huge batch of delicious, spicy cubed radish kimchi (kkakdugi)?
Now that I have the green light to reintroduce spicy foods back into my post-cleanse diet, I am so excited to share this delicious kimchi recipe with you. For me, this is easier to make than regular kimchi, as the marinade/sauce is super-simple and the process is much less time-consuming. And did I mention that it is outrageously tasty?
Oh, and the prep-cooking-time takes only around 1 hour. (That one was for you, superspy.)
1. Please don’t be frightened to use salted shrimp, they’re really quite delicious and I call them Asian Anchovies. And, they will practically dissolve in the liquid the kkakdugi will give off during the fermentation process, so no need to fear!
2. Try to use sweet rice flour, I recommend Mochiko. Of course, I didn’t have any at home so I ground up some rinsed and dried sweet rice into a powder and it worked just fine.
3. If your spice-tolerance is not quite Cozybogie-level, feel free to use 1 cup of red chili powder.
4. This tastes especially amazing with a hearty-meaty soup, like my ox-tail gori gom-tang.
깍두기– Kkakdugi (Kkak-du-gi/Kkaktugi) Cubed Radish Kimchi
- 8-9 lbs Korean radish (around 3 medium-large radish)
- 1/2 cup VERY coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp sweet rice flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp salted shrimp
- 1 1/4 cup Korean red chili powder (must be Korean gochukaru)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 8-9 green onion stalks, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- Clean, peel and dice your radish into cubes. I like my radish cubes to be on the smaller side (around 1.5 times bigger than a game-dice) but feel free to cube them however you’d like (but I would keep them MAX 1.5 inch cubes).
- In a HUGE metal bowl, sprinkle 1/2 cup of the coarse sea salt and using kitchen gloves, mix well so that all of the radish are coated evenly with the salt. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- While the radish is being salted, assemble your marinade ingredients. First, mix the sweet rice flour with the water and microwave it for around one minute, and then stirring well to mix, and microwaving it for an additional 20 seconds. You should have a nice paste. Set aside and cool completely.
- In another bowl, assemble the rest of your marinade – garlic, ginger, fish sauce, salted shrimp, sugar, and gochukaru. Mix gently, and then when the sweet rice paste is cooled, mix all of the ingredients together until it forms a nice paste.
- Carefully drain the radish from the liquid it has given off, and rinse half of the radish with water and drain. Add it back to the bowl with all of the radish (there should be no liquid) and add the sauce.
- Using the kitchen gloves, carefully mix all of the radish so that every piece is coated generously with the sauce. Add the green onion and toss a few more times, and then transfer the mixture into air-tight containers.
- If you want your kkakdugi to last longer, refrigerate immediately and taste in 6-7 days, if you can’t wait to eat it, leave it out in room-temperature for 1-2 days and then refrigerate and try it 2 days after. It will take a couple weeks for the flavor to fully-develop, but if you are like me and can’t wait, waiting one week is fine for some fresher-tasting kkakdugi!
- Hope you enjoy!
October 18, 2011 § 3 Comments
There are a million different ways to make Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개, and I think I’ve tried about 999,999 of them. 🙂 THIS, however, is the most foolproof, most simple, most delicious kimchi jigae ever, and I really hope you try it since it’s the easiest thing to make.
1. You can use either pork or beef, but pork definitely imparts a more velvety-flavor that goes hand in hand with kimchi. Mmm….
2. Pork belly is also great for this, but perhaps a little more fatty (is this a bad thing?)
3. If you are using the last of your kimchi, don’t just throw away the jar! Pour some water in there and pour the little juices/spices into the stew. The more flavor, the better.
4. Must eat with rice.
5. Feel free to add tofu or vermicelli noodles!
Kimchi Jigae Recipe – Kimchi Stew
- 2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 lb pork belly, loin, or rib, sliced thinly
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups ripe kimchi
- 3 1/2 cups water (use around 2-3 tbsp kimchi juice from container)
- Heat oil in heavy-pot on medium-high. Add sliced pork, salt, and pepper and saute until nice and golden, 3~4 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of ripe kimchi to the pot and stir-fry with the pork around 5 minutes.
- Add 3 1/2~4 cups of water (or until kimchi and pork are JUST covered) and simmer on medium heat, covered, for 40-45 minutes.
August 27, 2011 § 3 Comments
I am sorry, poor lobsters. 😦 Your sacrifice, due to my horrific murderous actions, was much-appreciated. Thank you!
One of my favorite restaurants in NY is Fatty Crab. Their pork-belly watermelon salad is AMAZING. But the “piece de la resistance” is undoubtedly their chili crab. It is SO delicious. Mop up that sauce with their huge pieces of buttery toast…mmm…mmm….mmm….
But since I am implementing austerity measures, I decided I would try to make an adaptation of the infamous chili-crab recipe at home. With lobster. I think lobster is a little easier to eat because while still-messy, less messy than crab. And it was on sale for $5.99/lb, which is basically a steal. And once, at Fatty Crab, I tried the Chili Lobster instead one day, which was just as amazing as the crab.
1. Yes, 4 tablespoons of sriracha does seem like a lot, but I really couldn’t taste that much spiciness! Feel free to start off with 2 (bare minimum) but be liberal, I would actually do 5 next time.
2. Since I couldn’t bring myself to breaking down the lobsters while they were alive, I decided to steam them first and then break them apart. But I am sure if you have more guts than I do, you could break them apart while they are alive and then cook them in the sauce, which might make the meat more flavorful. I actually didn’t mind the light flavoring, especially since I had a lot of sauce that I could dip my lobster-meat into.
3. The original recipe called for some cornstarch, but my sauce was pretty thick so I didn’t put it in. But I’m guessing that this will help the sauce coat the lobster better, so I suppose you could always give it a try!
4. This was really good, doesn’t really remind me of Fatty Crab’s too much (in a league of their own) but it was still super delicious! I will absolutely make this again and again.
5. Stay safe from the Hurricane everyone!
6. I hope I don’t lose too many visitors after this post…I truly did feel bad for those little guys. But they tasted pretty damn good…
Stephanie’s Hurricane Chili Lobster
Adapted from NY Times
- 4 tablespoons sriracha
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Golden Mountain seasoning sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar (or 2 tablespoons mirin, 1 tbsp rice vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 cups chopped shallots (about 8 ounces)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch* optional
- 2 tablespoons water* optional
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 3-4 1 3/4-2 lb lobsters, steamed, cleaned and split, large claws slightly cracked
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- cup chopped scallions for garnishing
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, with a steamer. Be careful not to let the water level be higher than the steamer, just-touching is fine. Bring the water to a boil, and then carefully drop those lovely lobsters into the pot and close the lid immediately. :*( Then steam for about 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. After cooled, break them apart, taking the claws, tail, and legs off and reserving the head for soup stock if desired. Remove the gills and innards (greyish/greenish yucky stuff) and roe (orange/red stuff). Crack the claws and segment the tail carefully. Set the lobster pieces aside, you can do this up to one night before.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sriracha, soy sauce, sugar, Golden Mountain sauce, rice-wine vinegar, tomato paste and sesame oil with 1 cup of water and set aside.
- Place the shallots, garlic, ginger and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water.
- Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat, and when it shimmers, add the shallot paste and fry for 2 minutes until very fragrant. Add the chili sauce, and when the liquid simmers, continue to cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat (it may start to splatter, lower heat if this happens).
- Add the lobster and coat well with the sauce, keeping the heat at medium.
- Add the cornstarch paste if you want your sauce to be thicker, now, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the egg yolk to the sauce and stir immediately into the sauce so it is a smooth consistency. Coat the lobster pieces.
- Turn off the heat and serve the lobster with lots of rice or toast, and a LOT of napkins!
June 4, 2011 § 3 Comments
Dakdoritang is one of my favorite things to eat. It represents “comfort on a plate” to me. It’s hearty, spicy, filling, and just all-around so satisfying!
I know most people put all the ingredients together and let it stew, which is the normal method and it comes out great, but I seem to have unfortunate luck with this. Thus, I have created a system of staggering my ingredients so that my potatoes come out perfect. (They’re my favorite part of the dish.) I like my potatoes not too mushy and disintegrated, and whenever I do the one-pot method it always comes out this way so my staggering technique has become fool-proof for me.
1. If you’d like to, you can bring the marinated chicken (without the 3 TB of sauce) to a rapid boil for around 10 minutes and then throw out the water, rinse under cold water, and add the 3 TB of sauce and start from step 3. This gets rid of most of the chicken fat and impurities that you have to skim later on. Next time, I will do this.
Stephanie’s 닭도리탕 – DakDoriTang Recipe
2 TB Rice wine (mirin)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 TB of coarse sea salt
1 whole chicken, cut up, around 3-4 lbs.
Sauce aka “magical elixir”:
2 TB minced garlic
1 1/2 TB rice wine (mirin)
4 TB Soy sauce
1/2 TB hot chili oil
1/2 TB sesame oil
1 1/2 TB honey
4 TB Korean chili paste ‘gochujang’
1/2 TB Sugar
3 TB Korean chili pepper powder ‘gochugaru’
1/2 TB Sriracha hot sauce
5-7 Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10-12 baby carrots
2 large onions, chopped roughly
2 hot green peppers, sliced
4 green onions, sliced
2~3 cups water
1. Rinse and cut chicken into even-sized pieces, no need to trim extra fat or bones (we want these for flavor!) Add mirin, salt, and pepper to the chicken and mix well, and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. While the chicken is marinating, assemble the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.
3. Place marinated chicken into a big pot, and throw out the excess liquid. Cover chicken with 3 TB of the spicy sauce and mix so that the chicken is lightly coated, and then add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil on high heat and cover, and then lower the heat to medium high. Cook for ten minutes.
4. Remove the lid and skim off as much fat as possible. Add all but-2 TB of the sauce and the onions. Stir well and cover again, for 5 more minutes.
5. Add the potatoes carrots, green onions, and hot peppers and the rest of the sauce. Add 1 more cup of water if you like it a little more stew-like and extra saucy. Make sure you get every last drop of sauce in there! Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat, uncovered until the potatoes are cooked. (This is the time your sauce will get nice and thick and magical.)
6. ENJOY with a bowl of steaming hot rice.
April 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
I have been waiting to make this for 40 days.
This recipe is a shout-out to my most darling friend of Taiwanese-descent, Ellen. Superspy.
1. Only put two star anise, because even if you think it’s not enough, those little suckers are STRONG. And delicious. But just put two, you don’t want to overpower your soup.
2. I didn’t make my own noodles, but one day I will. Until then, kalgooksoo noodles (jja jang myun noodles) are totally sufficient.
3. I couldn’t find Chili Bean sauce in the grocery store, so I used Chili Black Bean Sauce. I hope I didn’t make a cardinal error that is an affront to this noodle’s tradition, but it tasted really good!
4. If you can’t find rock sugar, I think it would be fine. It just looks pretty cool.
5. Ideally you want to boil until the meat has fallen off the bone and your marrow-bones look bare, see below. (That means all the FLAVOR is in your broth! Mmmmm)
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
Adapted from TinyUrbanKitchen
3 lbs Beef Shank
2 T vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch chunk of ginger, chopped
2 star anise
2 scallion stalks, chopped
2 1/2 T Chili black bean sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 carrots, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup rice wine
1/4 cup rock sugar
8 baby bok-choy, split in half and washed well
2 bunches of fresh hand-pulled noodles
Soak beef shank pieces in hot water for about 5 minutes. Drain dirty water, rinse beef shanks, and set aside. Over medium high heat saute garlic, ginger, scallions, and star anise in vegetable oil until fragrant. Add beef shank and chili bean sauce and saute for a few minutes, until the beef is slightly browned. Add soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Add carrots, tomatoes, rice wine, and rock sugar. Add water until everything is just covered. Bring to medium high heat and then reduce to a simmer and cover for 2-4 hours, or until the beef is fall-apart tender. You may need to add water because of evaporation, so please keep a close eye on it! (Optional* Add hot sauce to taste.) Remove meat and let it cool, and then slice carefully against the grain when it is cool enough to handle. Reserve.
In a separate pot, boil water. Add bok-choy and boil for 3 minutes, and then immediately submerge in cold water. Drain, and put aside.
In another large pot, boil water for the noodles. Boil the noodles according to directions on the package, mine were no longer than four minutes.
In your serving bowl, add the drained noodles. Add bok-choy on top, and then a few slices of meat (around 5-6 per bowl is good). Enjoy!
March 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
I don’t know about you, but Thai food is an addiction of mine that I succumb to several times a week. I also have attempted to make Thai-dishes in my kitchen that have been ultimate fails, I can’t seem to recreate that amazing restaurant-flavor at home! That is…until I found this recipe and tinkered around with it, and came up with something really delicious a few days ago.
I love basil, and even moreso I love Thai-basil, which feels like basil taken up a few notches. I’m sure that this recipe could be done with American basil if you can’t find Thai-basil in your Asian supermarket, but perhaps add more of it than the recipe calls for because of the milder properties of American basil. But definitely try to find and use Thai basil.
The prik-khing paste can be found in the curry/wasabi aisle of the grocery store and I’ve added a picture of it so that you won’t be completely lost looking for this Thai-product.
Also, I added eggplant to this dish because I seriously love eggplant. I am sure you can add or not put in any vegetables in this dish, but it’s up to you really. I wish I put in more eggplant, as I only put in one, so next time I am definitely going to add more.
I also used two green serrano peppers and three red chili peppers which weren’t that spicy…but I know I have an abnormal spice-resistance so only start with a little and add more if you can handle the heat.
Phat kee mao gai (Thai stir-fried spicy chicken with chili and basil)
Adapted from Cooking with Kai
- 1 lb of boneless chicken thigh-meat, minced and sliced into tiny pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon prik khing paste
- 2 Chinese eggplants, washed and sliced in half and then into diagonal slices
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (use 1/2 tablespoon if you don’t really like it)
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 cup of packed Thai basil leaves
- green and red chili peppers (according to how spicy you want it) sliced into diagonal pieces
Heat oil in large wok or pan in medium-high heat. Add the prik khing paste and stir until fragrant, around 20-30 seconds.
Add the chicken and cook for around 5 minutes until almost done, and then add the eggplants. Cook together until the eggplant is cooked through, another 4-5 minutes.
Add water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar, and stir until well-mixed and coated over the chicken and eggplant. Stir for another 30 seconds.
Add the basil, red and green chili peppers, and stir for 15 seconds. Then take off the heat and serve with rice.
Enjoy this super quick, easy, and delicious recipe!
March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
I had one of those afternoons where I was scrounging around my pantry, looking for something…anything to make! Here is one of those dishes that, while not spectacular, will be extremely satisfying and filling using ingredients that will most likely already be in your kitchen. (Please stop reading if you are a foodie…this is a very downmarket-dish. Padma Lakshmi would call it “pedestrian” but…who cares! ;))
I tried this with two types of noodles, one, a box of linguine that needed to be used, and another, a thin Korean-noodle used for kong-gook-soo. Both were great, I love thin noodles (see my Dan Dan Noodles post). This is a good snack-food, I hope you enjoy it!
Cold Sesame Noodles Recipe
Adapted from Tyler Florence’s recipe
- 1 box of spaghetti or linguine (or any kind of noodles you like, 1 lb)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal oelek
- 1 heaping tablespoon sriracha (please only put in if you like things mouth-numbingly spicy)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons hot water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don’t stick together.
In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil over medium-low flame. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Cook and stir for a minute until soft and fragrant. Mix in the sriracha, brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has smoothed out. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with the sesame seeds. ENJOY!
March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
My inspiration behind this dish is from the amazing experience I had this week at Danji, a new Korean restaurant (346 West 52nd, b/w 8th and 9th Ave.).
It was incredible.
With my two darling girlfriends in tow, we had a delicious meal made by the most talented, wonderful executive sous-chef there – Daniel Rutledge, who I am proud to call a friend. The ambiance is so comfortable, sexy, and chic and the food is simply irresistible. Here is what we had, in the order of what we liked best (but it was so hard to choose, since all of them were phenomenal!).
1. Poached sablefish with spicy daikon
2. Bulgogi Beef Sliders W. Roasted Bone Marrow
3. Spicy Thai-style chicken wings
4. Kimchi fried rice chorizo ‘paella’ with farmhouse egg
5. ‘Danji’ Braised Short Ribs W. Fingerlings & Pearl Onion
6. Mocha chiffon cake
So in honor of these delectable choices, I wanted to recreate as much as I could of the buttery-smoothness of the poached sablefish, and the spot-on spicy sauce. My attempt does not hold a candle to Danji’s perfected dish, but it’s an acceptable home substitute until you can personally get over to Danji and try its inimitable masterpiece for yourself.
I also recommend their ’50’ soju blend, it was nice and clean, very easy to sip. The service was immaculate and attentive, and it’s affordable. Please go now (while there are only a few lines and moderate wait) before it gets an amazing review in the Times and NY Mag and it will be impossible to get in! 🙂
Thanks again, Rut! I will be back very soon.
For this recipe, if you can’t find fresh cod, don’t make it. Using a fresh fish will make or break this dish, so please grill your fishmonger and ask for the freshest cuts and pieces. 🙂
Poached Cod with Spicy Radish Recipe
March 5, 2011 § 1 Comment
This was a fun and extremely easy way to use up mushrooms and bulgogi (Korean-marinated sliced ribeye). I took many liberties with this, as I didn’t use a recipe and tried applying my previous knowledge of other jungols (stews) to put this together and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
It was very good! Next time, I wouldn’t put the leeks in, as I didn’t enjoy the flavor of leeks combined with the mushrooms and spices as much as I thought I would. I would put in tofu next time. Also, I would add some watercress to put on top since I love the crunch and fresh flavor of watercress in jungols.
I apologize that I don’t have pictures of how to make bulgogi, which should be an entire post on its own. But here is a temporary placeholder, which I have also pasted below, from my favorite Aeri’s Kitchen blog. I haven’t tried it, but I trust that it’s delicious, just as much as her other recipes.
You can either make this on a table-top electric-heated pot, or on the stove in a regular pot. I suggest if you are entertaining, assemble all the ingredients up to step 7 and then bring out to the table so everyone can admire, and then cook the remaining five minutes at the table.
Soohee’s Mushroom Casserole Stew
10-12 pieces of dried kelp (used for seafood flavoring)
2 tbsp dried Korean anchovies
6 cups of water
2 onions, sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp red hot chili pepper
1 tbsp red chili pepper paste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 packages of enoki mushrooms, around 1/2 lb. total (I LOVE enoki mushrooms. Their texture almost served as noodles in this dish..so delicious!)
5-6 large King Oyster Mushrooms, sliced
1 red chili pepper, sliced finely
1 green chili pepper, sliced finely
3 carrots, sliced thinly at a diagonal angle
2-3 cups of prepared raw bulgogi
3 green onions, minced
1. Combine kelp, anchovies, and water in a pot and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for about 10-15 minutes, then drain and reserve the liquid. This base will serve as the soup stock.
2. Heat 3 tbsp of garlic with oil in a pot on medium-high heat. Add 1 of the sliced onions, and saute until fragrant and translucent, around five to seven minutes.
3. Add soup stock to the pot with the onions and bring to a simmer.
4. Combine the red hot chili powder, paste, rest of the garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. It should be the consistency of a paste. Taste it, if you want it to be spicier or saltier, adjust according to your tastes.
5. Add the red chili paste mixture to the soup stock and bring to a boil. Taste, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium, and boil for 5 minutes.
6. Prepare your mushrooms and chili peppers. I like to slice my king oyster mushrooms into slices, around the thickness of steak-cut french fries, and I just cut off the solid root bottoms of the enoki mushrooms. (Is there any use for this fungus bottom? If you know of one, I would love to find SOME use for it, as I feel so wasteful throwing it away.)
7. Add mushrooms, chili peppers (be careful, if you can’t handle spiciness that well, perhaps only put a little chili pepper), remaining sliced onion, and green onion to the pot. Then, carefully top the center of the pot with your prepared raw bulgogi.
8. Admire, and then mix the mushrooms and bulgogi into the simmering broth below. Simmer altogether for five to eight minutes, and then serve into individual bowls.
I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did with a bowl of hot white rice.
Bulgogi Recipe from Aeri’s Kitchen (Modified slightly to fit this recipe a little better, for full version click on the link)
- 1 to 1.5 lbs (3 cups) of thinly sliced rib-eye (can be found at Korean grocery)
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 6 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Cooking Wine
- 3 Tbs Green Onion
- 1½ Tbsp Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1. Combine soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, garlic, sesame seeds, black pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
2. Add sliced rib-eye meat and onions, and mix together until the marinade is evenly dispersed throughout.
3. Marinate for at least three hours, up to a day in the refrigerator.
February 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
Lately I have been craving bánh mì and much to my chagrin, there are no great bánh mì places near me. So after some exhaustive research, I settled on this truly delectable-sounding recipe from my new favorite blog whiteoricecouple.com and made a few minor adjustments.
This was seriously delicious. Major.
A few key notes:
1. Choose good pork belly! Also many times, pork belly sold with the skin still on is much cheaper than ones sold with it off, so it’s worth an extra minute of paring to save a lot of money! This is what I did with my 2.5 lbs of pork belly.
2. Use good bread! A French-style baguette is key (and it totally helps that my brother works at a bakery part-time) and a hard, flaky crust and soft interior is exactly what you need to be going for, texture-wise.
3. Cilantro: ahh..the herb that could spark wars. I wish I could say otherwise, but I am unfortunately on the side that is not too friendly with cilantro. So, I left this out, but most bánh mì enthusiasts swear by it, so please by all means, put it in! This was purely for my personal taste, and I am sure it will be delicious with cilantro as well. I’ve tried to eat it in the past but I simply cannot bring myself to like it. (I was once publicly booed at Baogette in NYC when I asked for my sandwich without cilantro, so I know I must be missing something. 😦 )
Bánh mì Recipe (Adapated from Todd and Diane)
For the nuoc mau (Vietnamese caramel sauce)
- 3 Tbs sugar
- 2 tbs warm water
1. Add sugar and water to heavy bottom sauce pan. Heat pan on medium heat and let sugar melt. As sugar begins to melt, the mixture will begin to turn to a golden brown. Using wooden spoon, stir the mixture occasionally.
2. Do not leave the caramel sauce unattended! Once the sugar begins to melt, it will turn color very quickly. As soon as the mixture turns to a medium golden brown, immediate remove pan from heat.
3. If the mixture is still too thick, SLOWLY and CAREFULLY add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes more watery consistency. Adding the addition water to the HOT caramel will splatter, so be careful. Quickly mix with a wooden spoon so that there are no hard lumps. When finished, set aside.
For the Pork:
- 2.5 lbs cubed pork belly (about 1 inch cubes)
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- about 1 or 1.5 cups of water (and more, as needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- salt to taste
1. In medium to large sauce pan (or dutch oven), turn on heat to medium. Heat oil, then add onions. Slowly cook onions for about 1 minute, then add garlic. Cook both until they become soft and fragrant. Add pork belly. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of coarse sea salt. Cook pork belly for about 10 minutes or until all the edges are seared and browned.
2. Add fish sauce and cook pork belly for about another 5 minutes. Add about 1 cup of water. If you need more water to cover the pork, add more until the pork is covered. Add the peppercorns. Turn heat to low and cook for about another 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Then add the caramel sauce.
3. Continue braising the pork on low heat for about another one hour, or until pork is tender. Stir occasionally. Add more water as is needed, so that the pork does not burn.
For the Pickled Carrots and Radish (Vietnamese caramel sauce)
- 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
- 1 small Korean radish, washed and peeled (please see size reference in Dongchimi post)
- 4 carrots, washed and peeled
1. Using a mandolin, finely julienne the radish and carrots. PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF YOUR FINGERS!
2. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Put on medium heat and heat through until all the ingredients are dissolved and combined. Pour mixture over prepared radish and carrots and mix. Let the mixture soak for at least 30 minutes.
For the Banh Mi assembly (not all required, some are optional):
- 2 large French baguettes (for the amount prepared above)
- pickled carrots and radish
- 4 jalapenos
- thinly sliced cucumber
1. Slice baguettes lengthwise. Add the ingredients that you want (or like) to the banh mi. I showed my step-by-step in my pictures above, I’m sure I didn’t do it the “correct” way but it tasted good, so it’s okay!
2. Spread mayonnaise on the top layer of bread.
3. On the bottom layer of bread, start by spreading cucumbers thinly and evenly. Add jalapenos on top (I like things CRAZY spicy so I use a whole jalapeno on 1/2 of the bread). Add pickled radish and carrots on top, according to taste. Add slices of the pork belly.