Fair warning – tonight my dialogue is all over the map in a rambling manner.
I found a great Korean recipe site, maangchi.com. I feel inspired to make something daring, something new, something fresh… well, perhaps not fresh, not anymore. But tasty and well-preserved… yes, oh yes, most definitely.
ojingeo jeot is a dish made with squid. You take your squid, salt it, and put it in a bin (sealed) in your fridge for not less than one month. Now, I am showing you the two pictures below (the ones that you’ll find on Maangchi’s site), with the hopes that you’ll go over there and poke around. Too many really good Korean flavors waiting to be experienced and if you don’t go you’ll miss them.
Cruel Wife says she was torn by the kimchee that I was given us by my co-worker, Inscrutable Half-Breed†. His mom is Korean (sorry, was – she grew up there and lives here now) and she is the real deal – she makes kimchee that I weep over. Instead of ice cream in the middle of the night I have a big bowl of kimchee. Anyway, Cruel Wife wanted to love it and she wanted to hate it when I made kimchee soup the other night, which is code-speak for “Yes, it is good, for kimchee, but culinarily speaking I am being brave by not running to the bathroom”.
† Note: Inscrutable Half-Breed as a name does not offend my friend/co-worker of thirteen years – I easily refer to myself as Sour Kraut. He knows I mock stereotypes and loathe the politically correct idiocy. He’s half-Korean half-American and when he wants to mock the inscrutable stereotype he has a great scathing gaze.
Oh well, more for me. The kids run screaming from the room. Having my offspring run from the room at the mention of unusual foods is not my proudest moment but they are young and should be given some latitude. In the last five days I personally have eaten roughly one gallon of Inscrutable Half-Breed’s mom’s kimchee, truth w/o exaggeration. I had a two-cup helping of kimchi with a small bowl of rice and some blackened Tilapia for dinner tonight.
But I have the feeling that Cruel Wife will NOT try fermented squid. To her, “fermenting” is too much like saying “rotting”. Next up, is the pic of the ojingeo jeot after it has been mixed in with the pepper flakes, fish sauce, garlic, onions, sugar, sesame oil, etc.
Apparently once you get it to this stage, it will last forever in your fridge (months and months). People write in to Maangchi and the gal takes her time to write many kind and encouraging things like “The smell means it’s maximally nummers!” or “Luck favors the brave!” or “Aw, go for broke!” Well, she said none of those, exactly, but she does say a lot of encouraging things and asks her readers to please send her pictures of the goodies that people make there.
What is really cool is that this could serve as a starter for your kimchee or your kimchee could serve as a starter for your squid, and indeed some kimchee recipes involve fermented anchovies. Probiotic cultures in your food is cool. And tasty. And I have to say, after talking with many fellow Americans, that this food is probably not for everyone (they keep making warding signs and sprinkling the places where I walk with salt).
As a side-note, I had Thai with The Dude last Thursday. We ordered our usual dishes and asked them to kick them up to ten-stars (the heat scale on the menu goes to four-stars) per our customary heat levels. We haven’t eaten there in a few months and oh how we suffered. He wanted to do eight stars and I said “What? You wuss. TEN. TEN stars.” When we got our food we were dying and drinking water by the carafe. I got back to work and talked with his wife and told her that because he was weak and unable to fight peer pressure it was his fault that we were both dying of internal injuries.
Moving right along…
One of my favorite snacks is roasted seaweed. Sadly, I can count on one hand the people that want to have second helpings after trying some of my snacks. Again, more for me.
Another recipe of Maanchi’s that I want to try badly enough that it amounts to a burning sensation in my soul is her seasoned fried chicken (yangnyeom tongdak). Here’s that pic to help sway you into going over there. Now… go there… go there now. Just GO.