Korean BBQ Bibimbap Bowl

Korean BBQ Bibimbap Bowl

Just a few days ago I posted a recipe on how to cure egg yolks, specifically my style  using Korean Chili Powder.

But, I am confident most of you are like: how in the world can I even use cured egg yolks?

Plenty of ways! The texture is similar to a soft cheese therefore the ideal use is to grate it over a dish. Many chefs love to grate them over fresh pasta.

Since the egg yolks I cured were covered in Korean spices, the best route for these bad boys is a dish with Asian inspiration. My choice? The bibimbap bowl.

Lets start with what a bibimbap bowl actually is. It is a traditional Korean dish and is normally served with a base of rice that is topped with roasted vegetables, meat, a sauce, and an egg. The vegetables can range from carrots to peppers or cucumbers, and the meat is usually beef but can often be another type of protein. As for the sauce, the traditional sauces such as gochujang, soy, and a few others are used. Last, the egg, which is in my opinion the most important part. However the egg is used, it is normally served with a runny yolk, adding a bit extra sauce to the equation. Before the bowl is eaten, all of the ingredients are stirred together. The beauty is, there is no right or wrong way to create a bibimbap.

When I lived in Atlanta there was a local Korean Mexican fusion spot where my husband and I always played weekly trivia. It was through this restaurant that I was introduced to the concept of the bibimpap bowl and many other delicious Korean delicacies. I grew to love kimchi as well. They also offered these amazing Korean barbeque nachos — that I will be recreating for a blog post one day!

Since moving to Savannah from Atlanta I have struggled to find bibimbap bowl as delicious as the one we ate every week at trivia. So when you cant find it, you recreate it.

For this recipe, I forwent the traditional bulgogie, thin marinated slices of grilled beef, for Korean barbeque. My version uses a crock pot, which is by no means traditional or correct, but it is easy and guarantees tender meat.

For the rice, I steamed jasmine rice the day before and pan seared it for a crunchy outer layer.

The vegetables are your choice, but I am partial to bok choy, so that was my green. You can trade out any vegetable in this recipe to what you love or have.

This recipe makes at least four to six bowls depending on how large you prepare them.

Crispy Jasmine Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cup of Jasmine Rice
  • 3 Cups of Water
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

  1. The day before you want to eat your bibimbap bowl prepare your rice.
  2. Rinse your rice under cold water until the water runs clean.
  3. Pour your rice into your rice cooker, and cover with water.
  4. Set the cooker to cook.
  5. Once rice is cooked, store in the fridge in a sealable container.
  6. The day you want to eat the bibimbap bowl, remove rice from fridge.
  7. Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  8. Once oil is rippling, gently pour in your rice and pack down into a pancake.
  9. Sprinkle over salt.
  10. Let rice cook on one side, without stirring, for approximately four to five minutes.
  11. Flip the rice and cook for the same on the other side.
  12. Serve cooked rice in the bottom of your bibimbap bowl.

Korean Barbeque

Ingredients:

  •  2 1/2 pounds of Beef Roast or Loin
  • 1 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of White Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
  • 1/2 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Pear or 1 Kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Scallions

Directions:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients but for the beef.
  • Stir until fully combined
  • Place your beef in a crockpot, then pour sauce over the beef.
  • Cover and cook on low for at least four to six hours, until beef is fork tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Set temperature of crockpot to warm until ready to serve.

Bibimbap Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 4 Heads of Baby Bok Choy, sliced from bulb base and rinsed
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup of Carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 Cup of Fresh Beansprouts
  • Korean Cured Egg Yolks, one for every two bowls
  • Korean BBQ Beef
  • Crispy Jasmine Rice

Directions:

  1. Prepare your rice according to the recipe above. While it cooks prepare your bok choy.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat sesame oil over medium heat.
  3. Place bok choy in the pan, and cover with soy sauce. Cook until slightly wilted.
  4. Add in your minced garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant.
  5. In each bowl, place the desired amount of rice in the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Top with cooked bok choy, Korean bbq beef, carrots, cucumber, and beansprouts.
  7. Grate 1/2 of the Cured Egg Yolk over each bowl.
  8. Serve with desired toppings like gochujang sauce, kimchi, siracha, soy sauce, green onions, sesame seeds etc.
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Korean Fried Chicken [KFC] Sammies

Korean Fried Chicken [KFC] Sammies

Asian cuisine may be the holy grail of all food. I am of the opinion that most Epicureans adore Asian fare because it is so balanced. Every dish is filled with salty, sweet, tangy, crunchy,  savory, and umami goodness.

Most people get their Asian fix through cheap takeout or delivery food, so many people are really missing out on the full pleasure of good Asian cuisine. Part of the problem is many towns do not have legitimate quality sit-down Asian restaurants, aside from the oh-so-common Japanese Steakhouse (which is delicious for its own reasons). As a lucky Savannahian, I am part of a sea port that has a variety of quality Asian restaurants to choose from.

An easy and great way to try higher quality Asian food is to make it at home. I assure you, replicating takeout food is not as difficult as it may seem. If you are a good Southerner that knows how to fry chicken, than you can conquer this dish. A few extra ingredients from the store (most of which you can find anywhere) and you are ready to cook.

For this recipe I used Hawaiian bread sandwich rolls, which adds just a touch of sweetness to this spicy sandwich. The pickles on top are the much needed addition to cut through the richness of the powerful chicken. Making things even easier, you can pair any side dish with this sandwich; sweet potato fries, chips, corn, slaw, etc. (It’s even okay to buy them pre-made if you want to cut a few corners.)

Korean Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Thighs, deboned
  • 1 Cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 3/4 Cup of Water, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of Gochujang
  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying, about 2 Quarts

Directions:

  1. The night before or morning before you plan on cooking, combine one cup of water, rice wine vinegar, and salt in a sealable Tupperware container. Place chicken in the brine, and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. When ready to cook, remove chicken from Tupperware and dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Combine your sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a small sauce pan, heat over medium until the ginger and garlic are fragrant. 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of water, sugar, gochujang, and soy sauce until smooth. Set Aside.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. While your oil is heating, combine flour, con starch, and remaining 1 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl.
  7. Set wire rack on a baking sheet, and set aside.
  8. Dip your thighs into your flour mixture, allowing excess batter to drip into bowl before adding to your hot oil. Once all the chicken is in the oil, increase your heat to high to cook.
  9. Once coating is starting to lightly golden on each side, about 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer to your prepared rack.
  10.  Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, turn the heat down on your oil to medium.
  11.  After 5 minutes, turn the oil back up to high and continue to cook the chicken until golden brown on each side. About another 10 minutes.
  12.  Once crisp remove from oil and return to wired rack to let stand for 2 minutes before tossing chicken in your sauce.

Pickled Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 2 Shallots, Sliced Thin
  • 1 Cup of Julienned Carrots
  • 1/2 Cup of Sliced Cauliflower
  • 1 Cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar

Directions:

  1. In a heat proof bowl, combine carrots, shallots, garlic, and cauliflower. Set aside.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Heat to a low boil.
  3. Pour heated vinegar mixture over vegetables. Set aside until ready to use.

Asian Aioli

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
  • Directions
  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until fully combined. Set in fridge until ready to use.

KFC Sandwich

Directions:

  1. Using bread of choice, place your chicken onto each bun.
  2. Coat the top bun with a healthy helping of Sesame Mayonnaise
  3. Top chicken with pickled vegetables.
  4. Eat!

Review: Pie Society

Review: Pie Society

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‘TRADITIONAL’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the food industry. I must say, if I was forced to pick a single term to describe the menu, ambiance, and attitude of Pie Society, I would be remiss to not describe it using that pesky term.

I ain’t talking about saying the blessing while holding hands before a meal, I am talking the type of tradition that makes the food of our ancestors so delicious.

Founded in 2013, Pie Society opened its first location in Pooler, and only a year later opened a second location in the historic district of Sa

vannah. This restaurant and bakery is steeped in tradition and is owned by a family, the Wagstaffs, born and raised in England; they relocated to Georgia to bring Savannah its only authentic British bakery.

Co-owner Gillian Wagstaff, mother to the other co-owners, brought a refrigerator from her home in England and placed it in the store — you cannot miss it behind the counter with a giant flag on the front.

The walls of the Pooler location are adorned with photos as time-honored as the recipes  cooked daily within the confines of the business. Most notable is a blown up picture of the Wagstaff’s family’s shoe shop, in Birmingham, England. Pictured in black and white, you can see their great grandfather, Thomas Sylvester Wagstaff, second to the right. Co-owner Melissa Wagstaff proudly poses in front of the picture.

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The Pooler location “is much bigger…and we sell more things such as British groceries and frozen items like English bacon and sausages” says Melissa, setting itself apart from the sister location in City Market.

Those are not the only things that make the Pooler location unique, they now offer traditional (in the truest sense) British Fish and Chips. Even if you don’t live near Pooler, these fish and chips are worth the short drive to experience the most authentic British Fish and Chips around.

The dish is so authentic, any Englishman would be proud to dub Pie Society a Chip Shop or Chippy, a title given to most fish and chips shops across the pond.

Each plate is cooked to order to ensure optimal flavor and that it arrives at your table piping hot, which only takes about five minutes. With the full portion of fish you get an eight to ten ounce deep fried filet of Alaskan cod that is balanced atop on a mound of thick hand cut “chips,” or fries as we defectors call them here in the States.

According to co-owner Emma Wagstaff, “the fish is fried in beef tallow (fat) in accordance with the traditional British method” to make these fish and chips as proper as the Queen herself.

The tallow is what lends the fish its unique flavor. The cod is meaty yet moist with oversized flakes, and coated in thin crisp batter that makes an audible noise when you tear off a chunk.

The fries that sit beneath are golden brown with a crunchy outer layer, and a pillowy, salty potato inside. At lunch the restaurant offers a half portion of fish that still comes with chips, a sauce of your choice, and a drink.

If you are of the belief that fish and chips must include a cold frothy beverage to wash it down, Pooler’s Pie Society offers several options in beer in wine, including Stella Artois and Newcastle.

As for sauces, the choices of pairings for your fish and chips are limitless considering each accompaniment is as good as the last. The extra creamy tartar sauce, a classic southern pairing for fish, is robustly chunky with bright parsley, sharp shallots, and briney capers.

The second option is preferred by most Brits: fresh mushy peas that are made from lightly blanched garden peas and finished with a touch of mint. It’s sort of a British version of refried beans.

Gravy, a third sauce pairing, is served warm with tiny chunks of steak floating about. This gravy is made using all of the leftover pie gravy from each morning’s bakes, and is hearty like a steak sauce but with a deep flavor of beef.

Lastly, yellow curry is available as an option to dunk your fish and chips in. Again, made from scratch in-house (like most everything on the menu), the curry is studded with caramelized onions and has the ideal amount of spice.

Emma Wagstaff recommends mixing the curry and gravy, her favorite way to eat fish and chips.

To finish your meal, a pastry and some tea is a must considering the head baker and co-owner, Ed Wagstaff, along with his team, begins baking every morning at one am to ensure both stores have the freshest baked goods available.

 The millionaire shortbread, an upscale take on a Twix candy bar, comes layered with chocolate and caramel resting smoothly a top a base of shortbread.A true bake of love, the caramel is just thick enough to ensure it does not overpower the slightly bitter chocolate. Each bite finishes with the sandy texture of a textbook shortbread that dissolves in the blink of an eye leaving behind the sapor of butter.

To wash it all down, the Wagstaff’s recommend the PG Tips tea, a tea that can be found in every English home. The drink is reminiscent in flavor of an Earl Grey, but coats your palate in a subtle floral flavor.

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I ask Emma her recommendation on how to dress up the tea:

“Absolutely with milk…sugar if you like, but you must first let the tea sit and brew,” she says.

As for the optimal amount of milk is almost a science,but the right amount results in a subtle caramel color.

As the recent winner of Best Savory Taste at Savannah’s Food and Wine Festival, Pie Society will have much more to come in the future considering they beat the competition with a Thanksgiving meal featured in a pie.

Melissa says her family would “like to open another place in Savannah that’s more accessible to locals.”

Find the original version in print with Connect Savannah, or online here.

Creme Brûlée Cookies

Creme Brûlée Cookies

Every southerner’s New Years day is filled with collard greens and black-eyed peas, a delicious superstition that may never die. Collards represent wealth and black-eyed peas luck. Even though I hated this tradition as a child, my grandmother made me eat a plate full of them every year. Like most of us below the Mason Dixon, I should be a millionaire by now.

For this New Years Day, I suggest we adhere to the typical new year go-to meal, but after you have your hoppin’ johns, try a new dessert that is hard to pass over (even on a full stomach). I am suggesting the Creme Brûlée Cookies that were featured in the most recent Bake From Scratch Magazine, which coincidentally happens to be my all time favorite magazine. But if you are hesitant to boot your family’s deep-rooted New Year’s Day dessert tradition, this recipe is great to tack on to any old ritual.

These cookies are little pieces of art that will liven any New Year party or meal. The base is a thin, short cookie that holds a luscious little round of creamy vanilla custard.

Below you will find my take on the recipe…

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Creme Brûlée Cookies

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

• 3 egg yolks (50 grams)

• ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) vanilla extract

• 1 ¼ cup (155 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and baking

• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

• ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) powdered sugar

• ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons (120 grams) unsalted butter, cold

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla and set aside. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and combine on low speed. Cut the butter into 1-centimeter (0.5-inch) cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Continue to mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 minutes. Do not overmix. If the mixture starts to stick together, it will not absorb the eggs and it will be very sticky and hard to roll. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix just until incorporated and you have a homogenous dough, about 30 seconds. Form the dough into a flattened circle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour, minimum. Note: It did not take 5 minutes to incorporate the butter. I suggest watching the mixer until the mixture turns sandy.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat. Parchment paper works just as well.

3. Roll out the pâte sucrée 0.5 centimeters (0.2 inches) thick. After rolling out the dough, I placed it in the freezer for a few minutes to make cutting easier. Using a 4.5-centimeter (1.75-inch) pastry cutter, cut 30 circles from the dough and place them on the half sheet. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to prevent spreading. Bake the circles just until the edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Be sure to cook the cookies until golden, undercooked cookies will turn soggy after adding the creme brûlée.

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Creme Ingredients:

• 5 egg yolks (85 grams)

• ⅓ cup (60 sugar) plus more for sprinkling

• 1 ½ cups (350 grams) heavy cream

• 1 tablespoon (10 grams) Grand Marnier

• ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place 2 (4-centimeter [1.5-inch]) silicone demisphere molds with 15 cavities per mold on a half sheet pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine all the crème brûlée ingredients and blend them with an immersion blender. A regular mixer works just as well. Fill the molds with the crème brûlée. Pass the flame of a propane torch over the surface of the cavities to pop any bubbles. Place the half sheet pan in the oven, but before closing the door, pour 1 centimeter (0.5 inch) of warm tap water into the pan around the molds. Close the oven door and bake until the crème brûlée is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. When you lightly shake the pan, the crème brûlée should not move in the center. Allow to cool to room temperature, pour the water out of the pan and then place it in the freezer. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Make sure they are frozen before removing or you will lose the shape of the domes.

To assemble, Unmold the frozen crème brûlée and place a dome on each of the tart dough bases. Sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar on top of the crème brûlée. Caramelize the sugar with a propane torch, using the lowest setting. Decorate with gold leaf ( I used copper). Allow to thaw completely before serving, about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

 

Find the original recipe here

And So It Begins

And So It Begins

Food: it is what drives me. It drives you. It drives the entire world. As a person who learned to cook from her mother (and maybe wishes I went to culinary school), food has become the focus of my life. It is what drives most of my errant thoughts throughout most of my days. I would be lying if I said I didn’t constantly think about what my next creation will be or, if I am not cooking, the next restaurant to try.

Thailand. I know you are thinking, what does this have to do with the last two paragraphs. Well…a lot.

My husband and I took a recent trip to Thailand, partially because we did not have honeymoon, but mainly to enjoy some of the best food the world has to offer. To say the we were more than satisfied would be an understatement.
We tried everything from local coffee grown in the mountains of Chaing Mai in small coffee shops (which is by far the best coffee in the world in my opinion) to…

Food: Rustic and Blue in Chaing Mai, Thailand

This hip art gallery/coffee shop/refined cuisine mashup served one of the strangest (and strangestly satisfying) cold rice salad dishes I have ever seen, accompanied by a huge pile of grubs and other toppings and dressings on the side. The grubs themselves were crunchy and had the basic texture and mild flavor of puffed rice. Food: Woo Café in Chaing Mai, Thailand

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Breakfast anyway you can imagine it.  Food: Clay Café in the Garden, Chaing Mai

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And finally, a form of familiar American food for when you just miss home too much. Food: The Barn in Chaing, Mai

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I hope to take you on an adventure with this blog better than the one I had in Thailand. (See! I told you I would connect the two!) If I do not succeed I at least hope to encourage you to love food as much as I do. If still I have failed, it is my hope that this site can serve as a source of inspiration for your next meal.

P.S…I cannot write an entire post without giving you something to try at home. So, if you want to try the best authentic dish that Northern Thailand has to offer, try Khao Soi:

Recipe: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-khao-soi