Monday, March 27, 2017

Korean Noodle Soup | Janchi Guksu (잔치국수)

As the chilly weather finally leaves us, we're no longer eating as many cozy comfort foods for dinner. So every year, March is a month full of soups and stews because I want to get my fill before it's no longer appropriate.

This noodle soup is a simple dish my mom used to throw together when we didn't have much in the house because it's made with mostly pantry ingredients. So, on a Thursday evening when we didn't have much left in the fridge, I took inspiration from Mum and threw this together. The irony (to me, at least) is that this is called 'janchi guksu' which translates to 'banquet noodles.' I don't really think these are worthy of a banquet, but apparently Koreans think this is wedding food.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
8 cups water
¼ cup dried anchovies
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ onion, sliced
½ small daikon radish, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 long hot pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 eggs
3 cups baby spinach
4 bundles wheat noodles (somyun)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Wontons in Chili Oil

Honestly, I'm still sore from last week's snowstorm. Not only was there a lot of snow, because the first few hours of the snowfall were a bit warmer, it was that dense, kind of melty snow on the bottom which meant shoveling was an extra intense workout. I also got a physical last week and the doctor told me that I seem pretty fit, which was a great compliment since I only started my gym membership in January. It's great motivation to keep it up.

Like I shared last week, I went wonton crazy a few weeks ago. I used the leftover wontons from my spicy chicken wonton soup-making adventure and decided to prepare them Szechuan style with lots of spicy chili oil, black vinegar, and garlic.
Ingredients [serves 4 as an appetizer, 1 as a meal]:
1 dozen spicy chicken wontons
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon black vinegar
1 scallion, chopped

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spicy Chicken Wonton Soup

I recently got an intense craving for wontons. I think it's because we haven't had Chinese takeout in a while - which is something we don't do often in general, but it's been an extra long time, like six months - and I missed the free cup of wonton soup that comes with my meal. It's such a simple dish; a few wontons floating in a delicate chicken broth is as homey as it gets. It hits the spot so well, especially on chilly days.

True to my form, I couldn't just go with the simplest preparation though. I had to put my own spin on it, which basically means I made it spicy. I'm pretty sure that 99% of the time I "put my own spin" on a dish, I just add a spicy element and call it a day. Luckily for my tastebuds, adding spice is really all I need to take a dish from being ordinary to one of the best things I've ever eaten.
Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
1 lb. ground chicken
1 egg
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 Thai chilis, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
package of wonton wrappers (48 wrappers)

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
4 Thai chilis, sliced
1" piece ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 bunches baby bok choy, chopped
2 scallions, sliced

Monday, March 6, 2017

Crispy Plantain Fritters

I need to give a little shoutout to my coworker, L, for this recipe. I was telling her that I love plantains but how I was traumatized by the ripe plantains at my grocery store because when I made maduros, they kind of tasted like bananas. But I also wasn't that big on making tostones during the week because they were so labor intensive.

L said her favorite preparation of plantains was when they were grated and fried. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head and that weekend during my weekly grocery shop, I bought a plantain to give it a go. The results were fabulous and I can't imagine pounding tostones ever again. No, that's a lie; I still love tostones but with this crazy simple preparation, I can't imagine pounding tostones all that often anymore.
+ oil for frying
salt & pepper, to taste
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