Archive by Author

Thrilling Steamed Meat, My Grandmother’s Galbi Jjim

28 Sep

The book Gourmet Club written by Tanizaki, describes in detail the texture and seductive tastes of magical food. He concentrates on Chinese dishes and excludes Japanese foods. Tanizaki engages all his senses when tasting various Chinese dishes; when he comes across a dish he considers immensely exquisite he becomes incredibly thrilled and excited.

My personal magical food involves the admiration of galbi jjim, a Korean dish similar to steamed short ribs in America, which is my grandmother’s recipe. When I was eleven years old, I was very sick due to a heavy cold caught during the fall season. My grandmother worried about me and thought I needed protein as well as food that were both warm and nutritious. While I was taking a nap, some smell made my nostrils flared and caused me to wake up. I tiptoed to the kitchen to observe what my grandmother was cooking. When I first glanced at the galbi jjim, it was a variety of dark-brown colors and looked similar to meat soup.

Usually meat is very hard to chew and can become stuck in one’s teeth; yet, when I tasted this meat for the first time, it was extremely soft and instantaneously dissolved magically in my mouth and the flavors of the meat broth circulated around my nose, mouth and even throat, which thrilled and aroused my whole my body’s senses.

The magic ingredient in my grandmother’s recipe is kiwi. She said if one puts meat and kiwi together, kiwi causes the protein in the meat to soften, which in turn causes the texture of the meat to soften. The steamed short-ribs should be eaten with rice and Kimchi, which is a Korean dish which consists of a variety of vegetables combined with spicy red peppers; a perfectly magical combination. Korea’s staple food of steamed rice is combined with the sweet and sour taste of Kimchi also plays a role enhancing the smooth texture of the meat. Whenever I visit my grandparents, I love to see how my grandmother cooks galbi jjim so that I learn how to imitate her specialized recipes. Just like my grandmother thrilled my senses due to this meal, in the future I hope to be a grandmother who thrills her grandchildren with this magical food.

Slow Food, Fukuoka’s Foodie

16 Sep

In a Korean drama called Pasta, a definition of a best cook is to be able to make delicious food even though ingredients might be in low-quality. The cooks in this drama prepare dishes for lunch and dinner by roasting, melting and steaming with a bunch of artificial flavors (soy lecithin) and preservatives. If Fukuoka Masanobu could see this terrible situation, he would be disappointed at them because he emphasized that human should prepare food with nature intent without intervention. He prefers a simple life by connecting with natural food with souls in the Meiji era.

As the age of industrial society came and population increased rapidly, human beings cultivated vegetables with numerous agricultural chemicals to accomplish mass production, while ignoring traditional dining culture. The modern population has no choice but to follow mass production to meet huge demand of food and it’s impossible for now to stick to the old method of cultivations. Asian countries especially followed western culture and made an effort to catch the concept of Modernology.

We think critically of Fukuoka’s message called “do-nothing farming” in considering his background since he lived in the Meiji era, not the 21st century. Although natural style is good for human beings and the environment, industrialization leads people to follow fast food rather than enhance qualities of the ingredients. That’s why it is difficult to say whether Fukuoka’s foodie style is completely right or whether unhealthy food style is wrong.

Nowadays, people are against unnatural foodie because they are sick and tired of unhealthy food. People search for organic goods and open organic restaurants as well as groceries. Asian cultures view this as a Slow Food trend, as they seek for natural food and ingredients. Living in the world today, people get used to contemporary foodie. However, it would be better if people realize the pure taste of natural ingredients and avoid artificial flavors.

Non-Spicy Dukbokki

7 Sep

Dukbokki is a popular Korean spicy food and is usually sold from local street vendors. My American friends had particular difficulty consuming the Dukbokki I had made last winter. Though I’ve gotten used to its overwhelming taste because spicy foods are common in Korea, the extreme intensity of the hot flavor was a foreign taste to my American friends. So, I personalized the Dukbokki cuisine so my international friends would be eating something more familiar as opposed to foreign.

The original recipe consists of placing sliced rice cakes in cold water, cutting 1/4 of an onion diagonally, each slice being about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Also, needed are 1 tbsp of chopped spring onions, 1/2 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Then, boil the water in a deep skillet after the water has been boiled, pour in the seasonings and rice cakes. For seasoning, how I specialized the recipe was, add 1 and 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce (no hot pepper sauce), 3 tbsp of beef broth, and 1 tbsp of salt and 1/2 olive oil. Keep stirring the ingredients until all the sauces are mixed up. Continue to add sliced vegetables and sesame seed oil, sesame seeds, and ground black pepper. Then, combine it with a variety of ingredients, such as lettuce, sesame leaves, Soondae (which is kind of sausage made of steaming pig’s intestines stuffed with cellophane noodles, and barley). When it starts to boil, stir for 5 minutes more and serve hot!