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Spicy Stir Fried Rice Cake :: Dduk Bbok Ki (떡볶이)

It won’t take long for anyone visiting Korea to spot an ajumma stirring a big vat of ddukbboki, or spicy rice cake, on the street somehere. Usually a crowd of young students will crowd her stall, patiently awaiting a plastic bag-covered plate filled with the nation’s favorite street food (eaten with a toothpick, of course!).

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Kimchi Fried Rice :: Kimchi Bokkeumbap (김치볶음밥)

Kimchi bokkeumbap — a favorite of mine from childhood! If you find yourself with an abundance of overripened kimchi and refuse to make another jjigae, here’s a fast classic that will hit aaall the right spots. ;) 

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Korean Spiced Chicken :: Dak Galbi (닭갈비)

Sorry there was no recipe last week, folks! I was visiting Sweden with my sweetie O for midsummer — it was great seeing his friends and family, and getting to eat all that wonderful Swedish (and Korean!) food. Now I’m back and even more committed to cooking at home and trying to save some money in the process. ;) 

Before I left for vacay, I had some friends over for dak galbi, or Korean spiced chicken. I can’t even begin to tell you just how much I ADORE this dish — basically a mix of marinated chicken, assorted veggies and rice cake. The best part comes at the end when you mix in some rice and create that heavenly layer of crispy nooroongji (much like paella’s soccarat) that forms from the residual heat of the pan. Ahhh, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! 

Dak galbi joints are usually peppered around busy university areas, as it’s a popular and affordable student food. It’s also very convivial, as you eat ’round a large tabletop skillet, taking turns mixing everything up. Cold beer and even colder soju are often good friends of this dish. :) I love dak galbi so much that I finally decided to give it a go at home. And you know what? It was really easy and REALLY good! 

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Seaweed Soup :: Mi Yuk Guk (미역국)

I’ve blogged about miyukguk, or seaweed soup, before on my first blog. It’s the mainstay soup for women who’ve just given birth, as it’s chock full of iron and helps with breast milk production. But it’s also the traditional birthday soup, enjoyed by all Koreans. It’s one of my absolute favorites and I always feel like I’ve done my body some good afterwards. :)

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Korean Black Rice :: Heuk Mi Ssal (흑미쌀)

When I was younger, I never really cared for bap (=rice) with beans, peas or seeds thrown in. Thankfully, my palate has grown to appreciate all the wonderful earthiness and health benefits  these extra legumes and hearty rice types provide. 

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Korean Steamed Egg :: Gyeran Jjim (계란찜)

I’m just returning from a food-filled girls’ weekend in SF/wine country, which was amazing! Whenever I come home from a decadent trip, I must say my body craves homemade Korean food to put me back on equilibrium (my favorite ‘reset’ meal is dwenjang or kimchi jjigae — both recipes to come at some point.). 

With a pretty empty fridge though, I had to stick to simple. Not just simple, but fast because I was too hungry. ;) Gyeran jjim, or Korean steamed egg casserole, really fit the bill this time around!

gyeran jjim

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Glazed Baked Chicken Wings

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone enjoyed the day off with family, friends and good food. As for me, I’m getting over a cold, but still had O and his two friends over for a simple summery lunch. Not a typical Korean one, but definitely Asian-inspired. ;)

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