In my mind, Korean food is always so red. Turns out, there’s a simple trick to that: gochugaru. Red chili powder. The Korean grocer just sells very large quantities of it. The smallest package is 7 oz, which means I now have more gochugaru than all other spices combined.
This project was meant to push comfort zones, and venturing into Indian curries from scratch definitely did that. Exotic spices from a specialty store, hand-mincing ginger and garlic as finely as I can, marinating chicken in yogurt and lemon, frying whole spices, pretending a hot wok is a tandoor oven.
Turns out that butter chicken is like a global interpretation of Indian cuisine, but it still starts with tandoori chicken, a bunch of spices (many which I hadn’t heard of before), and — of course — butter. Preferably ghee, or clarified butter, but I was baking too!
Despite being Taiwanese, my family is probably more into Japanese food. Time to make some.
Oyakodon (chicken and egg on rice)
I like this dish so much that I used to order it at all sorts of Japanese restaurants, even forgoing other delicacies. Last year, my mom taught me her version, which is like a Taiwan/Japan hybrid with lots of egg. This time, I’m aiming for more traditional: steaming in the sukiyaki broth, following justonecookbook.com. (last updated 8/29/17)
In a small pan, 1/4 cup dashi (1/8 tsp hondashi in boiling water), 1 tbsp mirin, (1 tsp sake), 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar.
Add 1/2 small onion thinly sliced in single layer.
Add on top 1-1.5 chicken thighs cut into bites obliquely and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Simmer covered on medium for 10 minutes.
Drizzle in 1 egg. Stir around to distribute. Garnish with scallions/mitsuba. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until egg is just set.
Appropriately, we made chicken cabbage dumplings. Also, pork and chive potstickers. Flashback to my Harvard Taiwanese Cultural Society days and our Dumpling Workshops, where we would buy huge bags pork and other ingredients, mix it with our hands, teach 100+ people how to wrap 1000+ dumplings, boil in three vats of water, and just have a great big happy family.
combine 1 lb ground meat, like 1oz chives, tiny bit of minced ginger and scallions, a splash of soy sauce, some cooking wine, dash of sesame oil.
with friends, wrap around 40 dumplings.
in a big wok with some oil, steam off a thin layer of water, then fry two surfaces.
Sorry, there’s no way to write an intelligible terse recipe, haha
To celebrate Lunar New Year, we made nian gao (stick rice cake). And because I don’t have steaming capacity yet, we baked it. And because I don’t have steaming capacity yet, I made lu rou fan (braised pork rice) instead of turnip cakes or other traditional dishes.
Lu Rou Fan
Ahh, one of my favorite Taiwanese comfort foods. What’s not to like about animal fat and soy sauce on white rice? Halfway through frying 8 shallots that I had painstakingly peeled, I realized that fried shallots is a prefabricated ingredient I have in a jar sitting in the pantry. Tracking this recipe, with input from others.
Edit 8/29: I don’t like this formulation. Consider it defunct.
Fry 8 shallots finely sliced. Pat dry.
In leftover oil, brown 2-3 lb ground pork or pork belly chopped to 1/4″.
Add 3 cloves garlic minced, then the shallots.
Add 1/4 cup dark soy sauce, 1/4 cup light soy sauce, 1/2 cup cooking wine, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp five-spice powder, enough water to cover.