Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Confucius' dieting tips

Confucius ponders his place in Independence Park in San Jose, CA. Photo courtesy of Christopher Bruno via sxc.hu.
Back in July 2010, Seoul Eats posted a quote from The Analects of Confucius, Lunyu X. 8. (248), which is called "Rules of Confucius about his food."

Here are Confucius' diet tips:

He did not eat his fill of polished rice, nor did he eat his fill of finely minced meat. He did not eat rice that had gone sour or fish and meat that had spoiled. He did not eat food that had gone off colour or food that had a bad smell. He did not eat food that was not properly prepared nor did he eat except at the proper times. He did not eat food that had not been properly cut up, nor did he eat unless the proper sauce was available. Even when there was plenty of meat, he avoided eating more meat than rice. Only in the case of wine did he not set himself a rigid limit. He simply never drank to the point of becoming confused. He did not consume wine or dried meat bought from a shop. Even when he did not have the side dish of ginger cleared from the table, he did not eat more than was proper. Lau [10:7]

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mi-sook recommends: Foodista

Imagine a "wikipedia" for foodies–a website set up as an encyclopedia of recipes where members can test, measure and "tweak" recipes for everything from apple strudel and french toast to Monte Cristo sandwiches and eggplant parmesan? It's too late for you to develop it because it's already been done.
It's called Foodista.
Foodista is a collaborative project to build the world's largest, highest quality cooking encyclopedia. With your contributions, we can create a free resource that helps millions of people learn how to cook everything and anything.

The website offers information on cooking techniques, kitchen tools, recipes and foods. 
Subscribers can post their own recipes or post tips and edits to recipes already listed, which is what Foodista calls "Community Editing."
We believe in quality over quantity. We developed a system to let everyone edit content to make it better. Rather than have multiple versions of the same recipe.
One of the most exciting aspects of this blog, at least from a food bloggers point of view is Foodista's embeddable widgets. You may have noticed them on some of the posts on this blog.

Here's an example:

Good Recipe on Foodista

When a blogger pastes on of these widgets into a blog post, Foodista automatically places a link to your post on the Foodista page. This helps bring traffic to your own blog.

How can a foodie sign up for Foodista? If you have a Facebook account, you have a ready-made way of subscribing to Foodista's page.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Recipe: Korean egg toast

Ketchup on the side is totally optional but kid-friendly. (Photo by Tammy Quackenbush)
Korean fusion cooking is not a one-way street where Westerners tinker with Korean dishes to make them more appealing to Westerners. Koreans also have "fusion" recipes, in which they have Korean-ized either Western or Japanese dishes.

I lightly sauteed the vegetables before adding the egg. I lightly cooked the egg but feel free to cook it as hard as you want. (Photo by Tammy Quackenbush)
One of the more recent Korean fusion recipes to hit the street markets of Seoul and other major cities in the country is the Korean egg sandwich. Commonly called 토스트 tost-u (toast, transliterated) or 계란 토스트 gaeran tost-u (egg toast), it is similar to an American fried egg sandwich. Yet the addition of cabbage and a sweet dusting of brown sugar are tasty Korean additions. You might also think of it as a portable Osaka-style okonomiyaki between two slices of bread. Even your cat might want some.

Here's the recipe for two servings:
Korean egg sandwich
4 slices bread (to be authentically Korean, it must be white bread.)
1 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
2 tbsp. chopped cabbage (or kimchi)
1 tbsp. grated carrots
1 tbsp. diced onions
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. ketchup (optional)
  1. In sauté pan or on griddle, toast both sides of bread over medium heat using almost all the butter. A lower-fat option is to toast your bread in an electric toaster (which I don't own). Remove bread and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and mix them with the cabbage, carrot and onion.
  3. Fry the egg mixture in the remaining butter in the same pan until cooked to an omelet consistency. You can also add the veggies to the pan and lightly saute them before adding the scrambled egg separately, which is what I did this time.
  4. Divide the egg mixture into two portions and place on two pieces of toast.
  5. Top with remaining bread and give a liberal (or gingerly) dusting of brown sugar.
  6. Cut the sandwich in half.
  7. Put some ketchup on the side for dipping.

Even though the measurements seem precise, it's ok to measure out the vegetables and sugar in "pinches" or "dashes", which is what I did when making this for you.

Egg on FoodistaEgg

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mi-sook recommends: Korean-style food blog

Korean-style food blog is the food blog of KOREA.net, which is the official website of the Republic of Korea, aka South Korea.

Korea.net is the Korean government's official English website and run by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOIS), an arm of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

If you want to know what the South Korean government thinks of the strange recipes weygooks (non-Koreans) are making with Korean foods as well as what Koreans themselves are trying to do to make traditional Korean food more popular worldwide, this site should at the top of your reading list.

They also promote food bloggers who are promoting Korean food culture and making it more accessible to non-Koreans.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe: Fresh Japanese cucumber crab side salad by Soo Chef

I recently found San Francisco-based Soo Chef during my occasionally expeditions on YouTube to discover new Korean cooking videos for you.

She has posted several Korean- and Japanese-style cooking videos on her new YouTube channel. Her Twitter feed, blog and channel debuted on Aug. 26.

I usually post a cooking video every other month, but she has posted three in a span of a few weeks. She seems to have stamina.

Crab Salad on FoodistaCrab Salad

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chuncheon chicken wings recipe in Food52 contest

Chuncheon wings plated with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. (Photo by Jeff Quackenbush)
I entered my Chuncheon chicken wings recipe in Food52' Your Best Chicken Wings contest. Please check out mine and the other recipes entered, and vote for me.

Food52 is hosted by Amanada Hesser and Merril Stubbs. They've already published a cookbook with HarperCollins, including the 52 best recipes submitted to the Food52 site from June 2009 to June 2010.

They're working on the second cookbook with "the best recipes from Food52":
We do this by hosting weekly recipe contests: we choose the finalists and post slideshows of us making the recipes; then everyone votes and the winners go into the book.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Faster fermentation: Does kimchi primed make kimchi before its time?

Do you jump-start the kimchi or let nature take its course? The choice is yours. (Photo by Jeff Quackenbush)
Chef Hector Marroquin of Pupusa Griddle in St. Helena, Calif., continues to perfect his kimchi recipe.

He sent me this message on Sept. 13 from Facebook:
I made about three gallons of kimchi.... I used about a cup of the older kimchi juice I had as a starter. I was surprised how quickly the fermentation process started.
Then he asked me an interesting question — interesting to me anyway:
Have you ever seen anybody use old kimchi juice as a starter?
If you save the juice from your Lactobacillus-fermented kimchi, you can either make it into stew or save a cup or two to jump start your next batch. (Photo by Jeff Quackenbush)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Video restaurant review: Dong Baek Korean Restaurant in San Francisco

Native San Franciscan Sabrina Gee Shin took her Korean husband, mother-in-law and two sons to check out Dong Baek Korean Restaurant located at 631 O'Farrell St., near San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

In the video she said, "There are only a few good Korean restaurants in San Francisco, and Dong Baek makes the list! The menu was surprisingly extensive."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Behind the scenes: Eat Real Festival 2010 video

My husband and I attended the Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., on Aug. 29, 2010, the last day of the event.

This was the fourth Koreafornian Cooking video we recorded outside the confines of my father-in-law's kitchen. Shooting outdoors adds several layers of challenges to the movie-making process, including problems with lighting and background noise control.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Namu hosts 'rogue market' with County Line Market on Sept. 12

Namu's booth at the San Francisco Ferry Building.
(Tammy Quackenbush photo)

Neo-Korean restaurant Namu in San Francisco will host a weekly "rogue market" in cooperation with Petaluma's County Line Market at Namu's Inner Richmond district location on Sunday, Sept. 12, from noon to 3 p.m.

County Line is a "35-acre certified-organic farm that is in year-round production."It specializes in green vegetables but also grows tomatoes, strawberries, basil, onions, beets, fennel, herbs, edible flowers, etc. I noticed the list includes green-leaf shiso, known in Korean as kkaenip.

At the Namu–County Line "rogue market," customers will receive pre-ordered "mystery boxes" of produce harvested earlier that day. The mystery boxes cost $25 and are ordered via County Line Market's website for pickup at Namu.

Namu staff posted photos of their recent trip to the County Line Harvest farm, where they picked, tasted and cooked up some of the current harvest.

To spice up the "rogue market" deal, Namu will include a free bottle of the restaurant's kimchi.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Korean cuisine can own the food world

U.S. Foodservice, one of the largest foodservice distributors in the U.S., conducted a survey asking chefs and consumers for their top trends for pork and poultry dishes.

Here are the top 10, and I'll show you examples of centuries-old Korean foods — as well as a few modern Korean twists) have the opportunity to own most of the trends on this list.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eat some rice in September

September in the U.S. is National Rice Month, created in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush to promote consumption of American-grown rice.

According to the U.S. Rice Council, about 80 percent of domestically grown rice is consumed by domestic customers. The other 20 percent ends up in foreign markets, mostly in Central America and Japan. California is the second largest U.S. rice growing state, most of which is grown in Northern and Central California in the Sacramento Valley. The most popular rice grown in California is japonica rice, a short- to medium-grain rice ideal for Asian dishes due to its sticky texture.

If you want the scholarly dissertation on rice consumption in Korea, check out "Cultural perspectives and current consumption changes of cooked rice in Korean diet" by Sook He Kim, honorary president of the Korean Nutrition Society. The 2007 paper includes with a couple of recipes for 비빔밥 bibimbap

To help you celebrate National Rice Month in style, the following are a few links to my recipes as well as some Korean recipes floating around the blogosphere. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yeongdong Grape Festival teaches Koreans wine from grape to glass

Kyoho grapes, a Japanese varietal, is also very popular in Korea for both table grapes and wine. (Photo by Tomomarusan via Creative Commons license.)

The Korean Tourism Organization is building appreciation for grape wine at the Yeongdong Grape Festival, running Sept. 3 through 7 in the southwest province of Chungcheong. 

"The programs … offer participants a chance to pick grapes, make their own wine, or both!" the event description said.

Teaching people to make their own wine seemed a little unusual. I live in Northern California, where several hundred wineries carefully — and expensively — produce wines known the world over for high quality. Even some Napa-Sonoma wine clubs for amateurs to small-scale pros such as Judd's Hill MicroCrush, Crushpad and Kings Hill Cellars cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to produce a barrel.

The winemaking class at the Yeongdong Grape Festival set participants back 5,000 won, with a 1,000 won discount if they brought their own grapes. A similar winemaking class in Napa County, Calif., would cost nearly $100, which would be approximately 110,000 won.

I asked Joshua Hall of Wine Korea what grapes were likely being offered in Yeongdong.
Probably Campbell early or kyoho. They may throw some muscat into the mix too. Resulting wine will be sweet, sweet, sweet. From the photo, it looks like they are making 포도주 [podoju, grape wine]. A fun day out for the kids.
Oregon-based horticulturist Lon Rombough, BS, MS, ATM, said the Campbell variety has a
complex parentage, bred by a private U.S. breeder in the 1880s. This black grape, with its big berries and big clusters has Concord-like flavor, but it's sweeter with less of the musky aftertaste of the older grape. While not commonly grown in the U.S., it is a favorite variety in Japan and other Asian countries.
The kyoho grape was developed in Japan as a cross between Campbell and centennial grapes. The skin easily comes away from the fruit, and most people eat the juicy pulp and discard the skins. The variety also is grown in California and sold in many of the Asian supermarkets in the San Francisco Bay area starting in July through September or October.

Both varietals produce grapes that are much larger than the wine varieties common to Northern California, such as pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. Campbell and centennial grapes are nearly the size of small plums and have such a dark shade of purple that they're nearly black. Both are slip-skin grapes because consumers usually squeeze the juicy flesh into their mouths and discard the thick skins.

Both varietals are similar to the American Concord grape, potentially giving any wine made from them a sweeter taste. Campbell and kyoho grapes also can be used to make jams, jellies and fruit syrups.

For more information about the grape festival, go to the KTO's page on grape-picking and winemaking at the festival.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Interview with Delilah Snell of Project Small on kimchi-making

Delilah Snell, a master food preserver (MFP), taught a class in kimchi-making at the Eat Real Festival in Oakland, Calif., on Aug. 29. [See the Sept. 2 post "Korean cuisine rolls into Eat Real Festival 2010, San Francisco Bay area."]

At a stage in the “urban homesteading zone,” Snell spent 19 minutes going through the ingredients and steps in making the commonly recognized spicy Nappa cabbage kimchi (배추 김치 baechu kimchi). She also took questions from an audience of more than 100, several of which vied for a chance to help her with the demonstration.

Snell kindly answered a few questions via email about herself and her passion for traditional cooking methods.

What is the name of your store? What do you sell there?
My store is The Road Less Traveled, an eco-friendly store selling green, natural, organic and fair-trade products in Orange County [Santa Ana] for almost five years. We also teach a number of classes there.

What kind of culinary training led you to teaching food preservation?
I have always been into food and gardening. [I] started a non-pro several years ago, starting [at] farmers markets, food gardens, etc. in my area. I just always wanted to know how to preserve for the store, but I ended up falling in love with all sorts of preservation after becoming going through the MFP program.

How long have you been teaching classes on food preservation?
Over a year.

You noticed there were more than 100 people there at Eat Real Festival to hear your presentation on making kimchi. What did you think of that?
I loved and was so excited and happy to see people interested. It give me faith in the future of food. I was a little shocked though — didn't expect so many!

Why are Americans "scared" of traditional fermented foods?
This goes into what what you brought up during the lecture: people — here at least — are so removed [from] how to do things again — plus bombarded by marketing telling you that you don't need to so you can by their "crap." You mentioned the kimchi turning sour — and, yes, I agree [it's] totally fine and normal to eat. But from my perspective, I am teaching safety, and I just want to make sure that people don't just leave it to rot thinking, "It's OK if it is sour." This [food safety], in my mind, is the baby-step for them to start exploring.

During the questions after the demonstration, someone in the audience asked her, "If you let it go sour, is it dangerous, or is it a flavor issue."

"It went bad, so you don't want to eat it," Snell answered.

I piped in at that point that Koreans often use sour kimchi to make a common stew called 김치찌개 kimchi jjigae.

She responded, "If it's gone bad, you may have created an environment where other bacteria can come in."

The interchange came in the last couple of minutes of her allotted time, so we had to pick up the discussion privately.

Why are people more interested in these traditional foods?
[The] local/DIY [do-it-yourself]/anti-big-ag[riculture] movement is and has been growing. People are taking food and food manipulation into their own hands as a form of self-empowerment.

Do you see a difference between Northern California and Southern California in regard to the interest in traditional cooking methods?
North California was so responsive. Here in South California[, it] might be a little less. But L.A. is growing. The size of the region is a problem, though, as far as people going to a lecture in this area.

What is your favorite meal to eat with kimchi?
The Kogi Truck success has been a real motivation. They use kimchi in their tacos and burritos. Being half-Mexican, this appeals to me — the crossing of cultures!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Buddhists, Adventists promote vegetarianism in Korea

Korean Buddhist Temple meal served at Sanchon Temple, Insadong.
(courtesy of Julie Facine, via creative commons license)
JoongAng Daily on Aug. 12 detailed the travails of vegetarians in Korea. One would think that a country that is about 30 percent Buddhist and accustomed to Seventh-day Adventists — a small Christian denomination with a high-profile network of language schools and healthful-living programs — it wouldn't take a lot of effort to follow such a diet. But you'd be mistaken. Vegetarianism (and veganism) outside the monastery is very rare in Korea.

The government is promoting Korean Buddhist temple cuisine around the world, but Koreans in their homeland face social ostracism if they refuse to "go along with the crowd" and eat meat.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Korean cuisine rolls into Eat Real Festival 2010, San Francisco Bay area

Chef Gordon Xiao of Ark Chinese Restaurant in Alameda making pulled noodles. (Photo by Jeff Quackenbush)

Among the more than 80 caterers, mobile and brick-and-mortar restaurants, and food-related vendors at the second annual Eat Real Festival in the San Francisco Bay area were two Korean "taco trucks," a nouveau hanshik restaurant, a ramen restaurant serving kimchi and a food-preservation specialist teaching how to pickle the popular version of it.

Did I mention the live demonstration of making Chinese pulled noodles (lai min)?

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