Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Cooking

My inlaws came to visit us for Christmas this year.  It was a very short visit for them but we sure did eat a lot in the two days they were here! :)

I decided to make oxtail broth, gom ttang  곰탕 since my FIL likes it so much.  I made my first gom ttang mid year and since then, I've made it a few times but never got that milky white broth that it's supposed to be. So frustrating! It's either dark or too oily, or both.  So the day before my inlaws arrived, I started the gom ttang with my usual step by step process and hoped for the best.

4th hour after I removed the meat into a separate pot. It looked promising...

After 20 hours... OMG look how dark it is!  As soon as my MIL walked in the door she took one whif and said something wasn't right, HAHA.  Apparently I wasn't draining ALL the blood from the meat and bones which is KEY to making good gom ttang.  I've been making blood soup this entire time! LOL.  My inlaws still ate it and said it was delicious. Hehehehe. Gotta love them.  I asked my MIL how she gets her broth so milky white and she said she would show me so off to the market we went.  She usually soaks her meat and bones overnight in separate buckets.  So we soaked for six hours.  Then we did the initial boil on high for 30 minutes to get the rest of the gunk out.  We then drained the gunk filled water and cleaned the meat and bones THOROUGHLY in COLD water.  She also doesn't add the vegetables I usually add (Onion, garlic, ginger and peppercorn).  Her and FIL like the pure and mild taste without the added veggies.  After only the 4th hour this is what it looked like:

NIGHT AND DAY difference!! Look how WHITE it is! Pure, basic and beautiful! We didn't even have to skim the top for excess oil and fat as often as I do. I was so happy I felt like a kid at Disneyland for the first time.  LOL.  We ate it for breakfast this morning and I'm going to boil it again overnight for an even milkier broth.

My MIL also taught me step by step how to make her famous spicy seafood soup, cod meh oon ttang 운대구 매운탕.  Best with soju 소주! This is one of the two things she always makes when we visit Denver because she knows how much I love it! 

This is the second.  Her spicy raw crab. 매운 게장.  My MIL is famous for it.  It's seriously the best.  I've seen her make it before once when hubby and I were dating but this time I paid more attention.  She's passed on her secret recipe to me.  This is only a picture of the 양념 (seasoning).  I can eat this stuff for days! I love it mixed with rice too.  Sometimes she'll add jalapeno for that extra kick. 

I probably gained 7 pounds this weekend alone.  I'm excited for new recipes in the upcoming year.  I'm going to tacke all of my mom's and mil's famous dishes and try to come up with a few of my own!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I just fried up some mandoo as a snack and it made me think of a dumpling bar my friend Richard had me try in New York.

Rick Shaw Dumpling Bar.  You choose your dumpling (steamed or fried) and enjoy them a la carte with different dipping sauces or in a selection of different broths to make dumpling soup.  I had the chicken & Thai basil dumplings in shiitake mushroom soup.  AMAZING! AND they had the best watermelon lemonade I've ever had.  Both watermelon and lemon freshly scooped and squeezed into a slightly sweet and tart drink PERFECT for the summer.  Makes me drool just thinking about my amazing lunch at Rick Shaw.

I've been disappointed in prepackaged frozen mandoo from the Korean markets lately.  They've gotten a lot smaller and the filling is mediocre and just doesn't "pop."

I just got the sudden urge to run to the Korean market to buy all different kinds of fresh ingredients and start making my own mandoo.  I think I will experiment with different fillings and also try to make the chicken & Thai basil dumpling I had at Rick Shaw.  I'm going to have a lot of fun getting different sauces to complement my mandoo experiement since I'm pretty much a sauce whore.

Pictures soon to come!

P.S. Also while in NY, Richard introduced me to the soup dumpling in Chinatown. SO GOOD!


Galbi Jjim and Kimchee Jjigae

Close up of Galbi Jjim.  Made the camera steam up haha.

Shabu Shabu

The udon at the end was amazing! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Pastrami Pizza at The Downey Pizza Co.  Pastrami, Mustard, and pickles.