How to Make Fish Stock

How to Make Fish Stock

This past weekend my husband and I hosted a dinner party. On the menu we had an entire grilled grouper stuffed with lemons and herbs. The fish was so large we had to chop off the head so it would fit on the big green egg.

What in the world can you do with a leftover fish head? Luckily, for Christmas I was given the newest James Beard cookbook Waste Not. The idea behind the book is to use your kitchen scraps instead of throwing them out. The idea to make my very first fish stock was a no brainer.

This recipe is truly easy. Once you see how easy it is, you will not go back to using store bought stock.

The best part is that you can make the stock then freeze it. One fish head makes a very large batch of stock, and there is no way you will be able to use it all immediately. I let my stock cool, then placed it in sealed containers and into the freezer immediately. I hope to post a yummy recipe using the stock I made very soon.

Read more about the book Here.

A few tips about making your own stock:

  • A fish head or the bones from one fish is enough for one batch of stock.
  • Remove the gills from you head, if you do not it will make the stock taste awful.
  • This recipe is more of a guide. You can throw anything into the mix: shrimp shells, different herbs, carrots, celery, etc.
  • If your finished stock is milky or cloudy you need to throw it out.
  • I will warn you, making fish stock will stink up your house for a bit.
  • Fish stock freezes extremely well and tastes exactly the same after freezing.

Cooling jar of strained homemade fish stock

How to Make Fish Stock

How to Make Fish Stock

Ingredients

  • 1 Fish Head
  • 1 Onion, peeled
  • 4 Mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 Small bunch of Thyme

Instructions

  1. Rinse your fish head well. Make sure all of the slime is off before using the head or your stock will taste bad.
  2. In a large soup pot put in the fish head and pour in enough water to submerge the head.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, pour out the water.
  4. Place fresh water in the pot with the fish head, filling until the pot is 3/4 full.
  5. Place the rest of your ingredients into the pot.
  6. Over medium heat, bring the water to a low boil.
  7. Once at a low boil, reduce the pot to medium-low heat then simmer, with a lid on, for one hour.
  8. Strain the stock with cheese cloth once cooled.
  9. Use immediately or freeze until use.
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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.

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

When it comes to cooking, I am a believer in using every ingredient to the max. In my posts, I have often spoken of the difficulties in cooking for a home of two — especially being a Southerner with a large family who is used to eating large meals. The concepts of a meat and three and eating everything on your plate was instilled in me at a very young age.

Another southern part of me loves to keep a cake on the counter at all times, and my husband’s mother is the same way. With all of the baking I do, I so often have leftover egg yolks and nothing to do with them. For most, we think nothing of tossing the egg yolk into the sink after separating eggs for a mix. To be honest, I have done the same countless times, often without even blinking. Thinking back on it now, it is kind of silly to waste such a delicious fat-filled staple. Egg yolks are so versatile; they’re essentially nature’s mayonnaise. Personally I feel as though a runny egg can be eaten atop of almost any dish, taking a dish from normal to out of this world. So why would we throw away something so delicious?

All of that changes now. After reading up a bit on salt curing, a cooking technique that predates most, I thought why not apply this technique to my egg yolks. If you don’t know what curing is, it is a way to preserve food by applying salt.

Cured egg yolks, often time duck yolks, are popular with traditional Japanese cuisine.

The result of curing the yolk is a bit strange. The finished product is not runny, instead the texture of the yolk is that of a soft gummy. Many people treat the yolk as a soft cheese, grating it over a finished dish. The flavor is like a creamy umami salt bomb.

For my recipe, I wanted to expand on the idea of Asian cuisine, adding Korean chili powder known as Gochugaru. You can find it in any local asian grocery store.

As for the color of the yolks pictured, they are much more orange than those cured in a traditional salt cure. The chili powder adds a vibrant orange tint to the yolks.

Do not be scared of curing something. The process itself is rather foolproof. Simply tightly cover and let sit untouched in the fridge for one week.

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Cuisine: Asian

Servings: 6

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Ingredients

  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Cups of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Korean Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine together salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar.
  2. In a sealable container (at least 8x8), pour 2/3 of the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the container.
  3. Create six indentions in the mixture, large enough to nest an egg yolk.
  4. Gently place each egg yolk into each indention, being careful not to break.
  5. Gently pour, preferable with your fingers, the remaining 1/3 salt mixture over each egg yolk. Be sure each egg yolk is fully covered.
  6. Tightly cover and store in the fridge for one week.
  7. After one week, remove from the fridge.
  8. Gently rinse each yolk with water.
  9. Grate onto anything you want.
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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!