Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Korean Spicy Pork (Dwaejibulgogi)

One of the most versatile recipes that I use in cooking because it can be used so many different ways. This pairs nicely with white rice and kimchi. Slide these on a skewer and bbq this on the grill with your favorite veggies for that perfect bbq treat. I prefer making ssäm (wrap) with lettuce. In the lettuce wrap you can add rice if you wish. I opt not to use rice, but I often will grill garlic and place it into the wrap, sometimes kimchi, or Korean perilla (also known as seasame seed leaf). Add whatever makes your mouth happy.

You can add a little rice, grilled garlic, kimchi, or Korean perilla
This is called "spicy" because of the use of gochujang sauce, which is red chili flakes, rice powder, sweet rice powder, and powdered soybeans, however with the sweet rice powder it adds a sweetness to the sauce. This sauce is a main staple to Korean cooking, as well as flavoring wraps (ssäm). My two teenagers do not believe this to be a hot sauce, but my youngest on the other hand thinks its hot when she eats anything I make with this. Although my youngest thinks anything seasoned with black pepper is spicy so I hope that helps with giving an idea there is a slight bite but not overly spicy.

Note when I cook I am used to cooking for five now that it is just the three of us in the house since the husband and I have divorced and the oldest teenager has moved out I still have not cut down my sizes. This will end up making for the three of us, three meals. I bag the remaining and place it into the freezer. Typically, if I work on the recipe in the evening the next day it is ready to cook, so a full 24 hours. If on the weekends I am working on it in the morning I will cook it that evening and it has tasted fine but my theory is why create a recipe and cheat my taste buds out of a culinary experience? I have seen some people say 30 minutes to allow the marinate to soak, yes I like to look and see what others do differently than what I cook, and I cringe. So rule of thumb, allow at least 2 or more hours for it to marinade otherwise you are robbing yourself from the deliciousness of this recipe.


4-5 lbs of pork belly or pork shoulder thinly sliced.

For the marinade:

1 1/2 c of Asian pear  (if Asian is not available substitute Boscov pear about 3-4 medium sized)
3/4 c of onion (medium sized)
8 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 bunch of chopped  green onion (approximately 6-8 individual pieces)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c of honey
2 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil
1/4 c of brown sugar
1/4 c of  gochujang  (hot pepper paste)


  1. First I thinly slice all the meat and remove excess fat. Pork belly has a layer of fat that I also cut off from it. My mother gets on me over this and I can not eat a big piece of fat. If you opt to that is up to you and it is the way it is suppose to be done, I just can't.
  2. Next I peel the pears and quarter them removing the seeds and place them into the food processor. 
  3. I then move on to the onion, removing the ends and the peel and quarter that as well and into the food processor.
  4. Garlic we peel and place into the food processor. 
  5. Add 1tsp of minced ginger to food processor. If you are using ginger root then peel, cut off a small piece and mince, then place into the food processor.
  6. Add soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, brown sugar, gochujang into the food processor
  7. Mix all ingredients until a paste (pictured to the right)
  8. Now pour your sauce onto your meat and mix into well ensuring all the meat is covered. I use cooking gloves during this process because hot paste sauce tends to stain your finger nails.
  9. Slice off the ends of the green onions and chop them into small pieces add them into the meat marinade mixture and mix in.
  10. Allow your meat to marinade for at least 2 hours if not more. 
  11. Now it is time to cook. On the stove set the temperature to medium high. Cook approximately 12-14 minutes (6-7 mins per each side). If you have a butcher slicing your meat for you will need to adjust your cook time since they can often get the meat to cut thinner.  
Ready to for everyone to enjoy
I like mine as a wrap
My kids like theirs with rice

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sallys Award Winning Zucchini Bread

Over the past two weeks I have been playing around in the kitchen with many different types of zucchini breads. I have never made a zucchini bread in my life but with the crops coming in I figured that I better learn quick. My oldest daughter and I were the only two that would eat zucchini in cooked dishes, however with her now being an adult and moved out it has left the 14 yr old and 5 yr old to eat this with me, neither of them like it. I have tried many ways to cook this and it has been a no go. Zucchini  has been one of those veggies that takes on the taste of what you season and pair it with so I have never understood how the children could eat all the other veggies but not this one. After many recipes and hours of trying many times to make recipes my own I decided why mess with a good thing. I found an excellent recipe from Sallys Baking Addicition the kids loved and it was warm and reminded fall cooking, quite possibly because of the cinnamon and nutmeg. This bread reminds me a lot of a carrot cake. I omitted the chocolate chips so it was a little healthier for the children. Yes I did play around with a cream cheese icing and made it unhealthy and omitted the streusel topping. I loved it both ways. The best part the kids couldn't tell that zucchini was in the bread.

Recipe credit: Sallys Baking Addiction


Brown Sugar Oat Streusel

  • 2/3 cups (60g) old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 Tablespoon (10g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) 



Cream Cheese Icing
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/4 cups powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk


 Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil*
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional (or use pecans or walnuts)


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x5 (or 8x4) loaf pan with nonstick spray. If making muffins, preheat oven to 425F degrees and spray a 12-count pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
Make the streusel first by combining the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cold butter with two knives or a pasty cutter (preferred) - or you may use your hands. Mix until the streusel resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla until evenly combined. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Avoid overmixing.
Spread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 20 minutes at 350F degrees. Remove from the oven and top with the streusel - press it down into the top. The reason you are adding it after 20 minutes is to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the bread as it bakes. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I covered the bread loosely with aluminum foil after 35 total minutes to avoid the top from getting too brown. Allow bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan and serving.
If making muffins, fill 9-10 muffin cups all the way to the top. Press the streusel into the tops of each muffin. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F degrees and, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and continue to bake for an additional 13-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.
Bread and muffins stay covered tightly at room temperature or refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bread and muffins freeze well for up to 3 months. Recipes may easily be doubled, tripled, etc and baked in batches.
If making a cream cheese icing, mix together butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add powder sugar in a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Set aside and place on top of the bread once it comes out of the oven so it melts and hardens.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Korean Fried Chicken Wings are so tasty and differ from the typical chicken wings that are placed in flour or flour and egg mixture. These puppies use a cornstarch for their coating which gives them a  light crispy crunch and holds their sauce well, but don't just take my word for it try your hand at these heavenly morsels.

Chicken Wings Ingredients
1 4-5 lb bag of chicken wings
1 1/2 c - 1 3/4c of cornstarch depending on 4 or 5 lb bag of wings
1 c of soy sauce
3/4 c of sugar
grapeseed oil or vegetable oil for frying (enough to cover the chicken completely or if you don't mind cooking longer at least to cover half the chicken)
sesame seed to sprinkle on top of the wings 

1. I typically leave my wings frozen until I need to use them. Then I take them out and place them in a big bowl in cold water and let them soak for about 45 minutes to defrost. This also gives the wings a bath and pulls some of the fat off. Clean chicken to work with woohoo! Yes I know I am not right in the head, I am a clean freak.

2.Once your chicken has defrosted drain the chicken in a colander. Wipe down the bowl dry with a paper towel and return chicken to the bowl.

3. Now your chicken is ready for the cornstarch make sure to get everything covered. If you do not have a big enough bowl and not good with flipping chicken then please by all means use a plastic bag. I don't want you to create a mess you in kitchen. I am from the school of using less to do my jobs. Your chicken should look like this. Yes I realize it doesn't look like it is going to be a nice coating of anything but believe me it will be trust the cornstarch if you coated them all.

4. Next is placing your oil in a pan I do not give measurements for this because it depends on pan size that is used, not to mention so people would rather flip to use less oil. I use expensive oil so I would rather flip and take my time then use more oil. I know I am strange that way. Which also cook time will vary depending upon how much oil you use. For the small wings it will be 5 minutes for the larger 8 minutes. If you do the flip method double it 5 minutes for each side and 8 minutes for each side. I cook on medium high heat. When cooking with the cornstarch it doesn't brown like flour does. It will change slightly in color but this is what you will be looking at.

5. Once your chicken is done place it on a plate with a paper towel. I personally prefer to use a bakers rack and casserole dish because this allows the oils to drip down. A paper towel can only absorb so much before it stops absorbing. I want the flavors and not the oil. Here is your happy chicken.

6. Once all of the chicken wings have been cooked you will want to place your soy sauce and sugar into a large pot on high heat. Stir it together to make sure the sugar blends in with the soy sauce. Allow the soy sauce and sugar to bubble and I mean rise and bubble because it will. I have asked my mother why it needs to rise and it states "Dis it what makes tasty" in her Korean accent. I have no ideal why the reason I just go with it because there is a method to the madness. I will trying to obtain a picture of this and it really is not the best but over the stove on high heat was a problem.

7. Take your chicken and dump them in the soy mixture and shake/flip them in the pot to cover the chicken completely with the mixture. Remove for the pot and place onto a plate. If you are not good with flipping then I would recommend placing all your chicken into a metal or glass bowl that is heat resistant. Dump the soy mixture from the pot onto the chicken then dumping chicken with mixture back into pot going back and forth until full covered and then plating.

8. Now that the soy mixture is on your chicken it is time for you to cover with sesame seed. How much you use is depending upon you. You can use a dash or cover them fully like I have done above.