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« November 14, 2005 - November 20, 2005 | Main | December 5, 2005 - December 11, 2005 »

November 26, 2005

Naengmyun, Chilled Noodles by Ji Young Park

P1010010_2

www.bookofraiforum.com discuss cuisines and cultures.

Naengmyun is a Northern Korean cold noodle dish from the Pyong-an-do and Hamgyong-do provinces. Traditionally naengmyun was enjoyed during the winter.

Pyong-an specializes in mul naengmyun made from buckwheat noodles and a pheasant and beef broth with radish kimchi juice added. Hamgyong specializes in bibim naengmyun made from starch noodles with Hong Hwe or seasoned flounder. Mul means "water" or "liquid" and bibim means to "mix". As the dishes traveled further away from their origins, Koreans from other regions began adding different ingredients soon naengmyun became a summer time favorite.

My mother learned this dish through an "adopted" relative from North Korea who opened a restaurant in South Korea shortly after the war. It's hard to imagine now, but 30 years ago the restaurant scene in Seoul was a fraction of what it was now. It wasn't really until the Olympics that Seoul began exploding into the dense, vibrant city it is now.

Continue reading "Naengmyun, Chilled Noodles by Ji Young Park" »

November 25, 2005

Korean Mother Sauces and Stocks by Ji-Young Park

www.bookofraiforum.com discuss cuisines and cultures.

The three most important sauces in Korean cooking are kangjang*, toenjang** and koch'ujang***. All are made with meju, blocks of fermented soybean paste. Commercially packaged meju comes in different sizes and forms, from pellets to powder.

The basic stocks are white beef stock and sun dried anchovy stock. Chicken stock is NOT common at all. And there is no such thing as vegetable stock in authentic Korean cooking. Authenticity is a tricky word and I do not have a single benchmark for it. How is that for straddling the fence? I will try to place recipes within context. That is the best I can do in terms of what is authentic or not.

Beef stock is also more of a restaurant item in Korea. Korea is a soup loving country and bones are in high demand. The last time I was in Korea about 4 years ago the beef bones were just as expensive as the best cuts of meat. And the price of beef had just started to become more accessible. Beef stock as a home pantry item is more of a Korean-American thing. In the past in Korea it was more for the wealthy and it still is for the most part.

Continue reading "Korean Mother Sauces and Stocks by Ji-Young Park" »

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